Headache – Tension Type Headache

Headache – Tension Type Headache

Signs and Symptoms

Tension-type headache is the most common type of headache.

Everyone experiences it a few times in the life-span. It is considered as normal daily headache. Tension-type headache is not severe and therefore does not prevent patient to carry out day to day activities. It usually lasts for an hour to few hours and days.

Symptoms mainly include

  • Constant pain on both sides of the head
  • Characterize with dull and tight pain
  • Sensation of a tight band around the head causing pressure
  • It is generalized experienced all over the head unlike migraine
  • Stiffness in neck and shoulders
  • May cause pressure in the back of eyes
Causes and Risk Factors

Everyone can suffer with tension-type headache, though more common in adults and women than men. Many people experience it 10-20 times in a month.

Exact cause of Tension-type headache is unknown

Tension-type headache can be of episodic or chronic in nature

Following are the triggers that can cause Tension-Type headache

  • Mental stress, Anxiety, depression
  • Improper body posture
  • Missing meals and dehydration
  • Fatigued, lack of rest and sleep
  • Exposure to bright light
Testing and Diagnosis

Doctors usually diagnose on the basis of clinical symptoms, patient history and pattern of pain.

Headache occurring on more than 15 days per month on an average for 3 months or more. Headache lasts for hours or may be continuous.

Tension-type headache has at least two of the following characteristics:

  • Headache on both side of head (bilateral)
  • Pressing/tightening (non-pulsating) quality
  • Mild or moderate intensity
  • Not aggravated by routine physical activity such as walking or climbing stairs
  • No other disorder that may be the cause
Treatment

Take over-the-counter pain-killer medications such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.

Other home remedies that help relieving the symptoms include:

  • Life-style modifications
  • Avoid triggers
  • Regular exercise
  • Massage therapy
  • Physiotherapy (with muscle relaxation techniques)
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
Prevention
  • Avoid factors that trigger headache
  • Ensure enough sleep
  • Adopt healthy life-style
  • Taking meal at regular intervals
  • Regular light exercise (example walking) 20-30 minutes
  • Maintaining blood pressure within the normal range
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking

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