From our patient letter  "Pain Free News"

Last updated on July 13, 2016

Brexit headaches

Mass hysteria in the UK about the Brexit vote. The Remainers are devastated by losing. Nobody knows what will happen to the country. The news is full of doom-laden predictions, families at war, and racist attacks.

When your stress levels are maxing out, headaches are often the result. It's a primaeval reaction. Not helpful today, but it kept our ancestors alive. Because in ancient times stress often meant something big wanted to kill you.

The first line of defence is your instinct to... FREEZE!

Movement gets you noticed. Staying still meant that sabre-toothed whatsit prowling around went somewhere else for lunch.

In primaeval times immobility was a life saver.

However, the rule is: If ye doth stop still, thy body doth getteth tense.

In the old days, stress was a short term business. Once the beast was gone, the pressure was off. But today stress is more chronic, and the reaction lasts much longer. This Brexit debate could go on for years!

We can't stay still for hours, days, or weeks. But we do move less when under stress. Particularly less face, jaw, and neck movement. Fixed expressions, staring ahead, jaw clenched. The staff canteen at the Guardian is full of people in this state at the moment!

It's a simple equation- less movement = more tension.

And what do you get with high tension in the face, head, and neck?

Answer: a persistent, throbbing,  headache.

Philip Hambly