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Headache. 2008 Jan;48(1):40-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2007.00973.x.

Stress and headache chronification.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, Wake Forest University Medical School, Winston Salem, NC 27157, USA.


In this special section, the concept of stress has been linked to the chronification of headache and is considered to be one of several likely mechanisms for the progression of an otherwise episodic disorder to a chronic daily phenomenon. The present review discusses the concept of stress and describes the mechanisms through which stress could influence headache progression. The hypothesized mechanisms include stress serving as a unique trigger for individual attacks, as a nociceptive activator, and as a moderator of other mechanisms. Finally, the techniques used in the screening and management of stress are mentioned in the context of employing strategies for the primary, secondary, or tertiary prevention of headache progression.

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