Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are mild to moderate pains experienced in your head similar to the effect of a tight band wounded around your head. Tension headaches are the most common type of headaches but their causes are not clear. However, treatment and management techniques including non-drug cures for tension headaches are available. Stress is considered the most common trigger for tension headaches.

Symptoms of tension headaches

Tension headache is characterized by a dull and diffused head pain that is defined by tightness or pressure that extends across the forehead as well as to the sides and back of our head. Tenderness of the scalp is felt which extends to the neck and shoulder muscles.

Kinds of tension headaches

There are two kinds of tension headaches which are referred to as a chronic headache and episodic headache.

A chronic tension headache can be felt for hours continuously for 15 or more days and even extending to a month.

An episodic tension headache can only last for 30 minutes up to a maximum of one week. Frequent episodic tension headaches can be considered a chronic tension headache.

Consult your doctor

It is better to see a doctor when you are experiencing symptoms of tension headaches such as an abrupt and severe headache, a headache that is accompanied by fever, numbness or difficulty in speaking, double vision, seizures, mental confusion and stiff neck. It is more important to see a doctor if your headache occurs after a head injury and if it worsens.

Risk factors

Those who are in their middle ages and women are considered at high risk of suffering from tension headaches.

The incidence of tension headaches peak in persons in their 40s and about 90 percent of women suffer from tension headaches. The pain may reach proportions at which a person might not perform usual activitiens or need to stay at home from work as well as affect overall quality of life.


A variety of medicines may help in reducing tension headache pain such as pain relievers as well as combination drugs such as aspirin or acetaminophen or both. A triptan can also reliably relieve pain of either a migraine or episodic tension headaches. An example of prevention medication is tricyclic antidepressant.

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