Symptoms of a Tension Headache, Relief, Causes, and Treatment

Divya Tripathi

, Health A2Z


Headache is one becoming so common nowadays, every person says when and then that he or she is having a headache.  You can have a headache due to various reason and the most common headache is a tension headache. It can occur due to the various reason like stress, overuse of screen and many more. To know more about it, continue reading the blog.


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What is Tension Headache?



A tension headache is one of the most common types of headache. This headache can cause delicate, moderate, or intense pain in your head, behind your eyes, and neck. Some individual says that a tension headache looks like a tight and hard band around their forehead.



Most people who experience these headaches have episodic headaches and they went in some time. These occur usually once or twice every month on an average. However, it can even also be chronic. Chronic headaches affect around 3% of the population and usually, it includes headache episodes which last for more than 15 days every month. According to a fact, women are twice as likely as men to have tension headaches.




What are the Causes of Tension Headaches?



Usually, tension headaches are caused by the muscle contractions in the head as well as neck regions. A specific type of foods, activities, and stressors can cause these types of headache. Tension headaches develop in some people after using a computer screen for a long time, or after driving for long periods. Sometimes, cold temperatures may also trigger a tension headache.



Other triggers for tension headaches include:




  • Eye strain



  • Fatigue



  • Cold or flu


  • Sinus infection


  • Caffeine


  • Poor posture


  • Emotional stress


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What are the Symptoms of a Tension Headache?



Some common symptoms of a tension headache include:



  • Dull head pain


  • Pressure around the forehead


  • Tenderness around the forehead and scalp



The tension pain is usually mild or moderate, but sometimes it can also be intense. In that situation, you might be confused about your tension headache with a migraine. This is a kind of headache causes throbbing pain either on one or both sides of your head.



Well, tension headaches don’t have all the symptoms of migraines, like nausea and vomiting. But rarely, a tension headache can lead to sensitivity to loud noise and light, just like to migraines.




What are the Preventions to Tension Headache?



In addition to regular exercise, techniques like relaxation therapy and biofeedback training can help reduce stress.



Biofeedback Training. It is a technique to teaches you how to control certain body responses that help to lessen the pain. During a biofeedback session, you’re connected to devices which monitor you and give you feedback on body functions like heart rate, muscle tension, and blood pressure. After that, you can learn how to slow your heart rate and reduce muscle tension and breathing yourself.



Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This kind of talk therapy can help you to learn how to manage stress and can also help to lessen the severity and frequency of your headaches.



Other Relaxation Techniques. Anything which helps you to feel relax, including yoga, deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation, can help your headaches. You can learn these relaxation techniques at home or in the classes by using books, watching videos and some yoga tapes.



How to Treat?



Simply, you can take over-the-counter (OTC) pain killers, like ibuprofen or aspirin, to get rid of a tension headache. Keep in mind that, these should only be used occasionally.



There is a condition, where OTC drugs are sometimes not sufficient to treat recurring tension headaches. In those cases, your doctor may provide you some prescribed medication which helps you to reduce pain.



Your doctor may recommend some other treatments as well, like:


  • Stress Management Classes


  • Biofeedback


  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)


  • Acupuncture.





Tension headache is very common if it occurs once in a while then you can help yourself by some over-the-counter pain relief medicine. But if it occurs frequently then you should not avoid it and consult your doctor for the proper treatment.


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