Headaches About Headaches

Headaches About Headaches

Sep 24, 2013, 5:02 AM |

What I’d like to do is study and play chess 14 hours a day.  Why?  Because it’s fun.  But I can’t, because when I think too hard for too long, I get a headache.  When this happened yesterday, I got to thinking. 

Why does thinking hard cause a headache? What’s actually hurting?  Is it the brain itself?  I don’t think the brain has nerves in it that we can feel, so that can’t be it.  Is it like a muscle, if I keep thinking through the headache, will it eventually get stronger and not hurt quite as fast?

The headaches are an obstacle to my training, so I did a little research.

My initial thought was that while thinking, I was tensing the muscles in my scalp.  If that were the case, then if I could train myself to relax while thinking and the headaches wouldn’t happen.  If that didn’t work, then maybe if I just keep thinking through the headaches, my scalp muscles would become stronger and the headache’s would stop.

I found this article (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-51719/Thinking-hard-strain-brain.html) which says the culprit is glucose in the brain.  It’s an interesting concept so I’m going to experiment with it.  On a side note though, it really irritates me when I find articles like this but they are not dated.  If the article was written 17 year ago, it is much less relevant than if it was written last week. 

Then I found this article (http://mrhansson.weebly.com/1/post/2011/05/can-too-much-thinking-give-you-a-headache.html) that says it’s because increased neural activity damages small blood vessels in the brain area and that is picked up by the pain receptors in the cranium.  If this is correct, I don’t have much hope for stopping the headaches without having steel mesh inserted into all of my blood vessels.  I’m guessing that would be expensive.

Additional research reveals that the cause is dehydration (drink more water, no more headaches), toxin build up decreasing the oxygen in the brain, hormones around menstruation (not my issue), hot muggy weather with thunderstorms (I live in Florida, the world capital of hot muggy weather with thunderstorms, but the headaches occur in an air conditioned room on a quiet day.) Unless you’re trying to invent a method for curing menstruation by having women drink a lot of sugar water in a room of pure oxygen while trying to control the weather telepathically, then I don’t see how these are related to thinking too hard.

My first experiment will be, when I get the next headache, to stop studying, eat something decent, go for a walk, then come back to studying.  The walk experiment will have to wait until tomorrow though, it’s hot and stormy all day today.