What is Tension Headache?
Tension headache is tightness, pain or some pressure around your forehead or back of your neck or head. Some says they feel like a clamp squeezing their skull. This is called headaches. Headache are of 2 types which are as follows:
This happens for less than 15 days per month.
Chronic tension headaches:
This happens for more than 15 days a month.
Who gets this type of Headache?
80% adults in US suffered from this type of headache. About 3% have chronic tension headache. Most of the people with tension headaches have no more than once or even sometimes twice a month. But this can even happen more often. Many people with the chronic type of headaches have them for more than 60 to 90 days.
What are the symptoms of Tension headache?
Few common symptoms of tension headache is as follows:
- Trouble in sleeping
- You may feel very tired
- Mild to moderate pain or pressure in the top, front, or sides of the head
- Headache that starts later in the day.
- Muscle aches
- Mild sensitivity to light or noise
- Trouble focusing
Unlike migraine headaches, you will not have other nerve symptoms, like muscle weakness and blurred vision. Even they do not cause severe sensitivity to light, noise, stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting.
What causes tension headache?
There is no single cause for tension headache. Mostly they are triggered by stress from school, work, friends, family or any other relationships. Daily stress can lead to chronic condition. Some people may get this headache because of tight muscles in the back of the neck and scalp.
This type of muscle tension usually comes from following:
- Bad posture
- Not enough rest
- Low iron levels
- Emotional or mental stress which include depression
- Alcohol use
- Jaw or dental problems
For some patient tightened muscles are not the part of tension headache, and there is no clear cause.
How are these treated?
Always treat tension headache when they begin or when the symptoms are mild. To prevent tension headache you can do the following things:
- Avoid the causes or triggers
- Take medication
- Try home remedies, like a hot bath, ice packs, or better posture
- Manage your stress and learn some relaxation techniques
- Practice biofeedback
OTC painkiller is the first treatment that doctors recommend for tension headaches. Patient with chronic headache can use these drugs. If this medication does not help then doctor may recommend prescription-strength med or a muscle relaxant. Drugs which are highly used to prevent tension headache are antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, and blood pressure meds.
Change in lifestyle also helps in preventing Tension Headache. For that consider the following things:
- Get enough sleep.
- Take breaks from intense tasks.
- Do regular exercise.
- Never smoke.
- If you drink alcohol, drink it in moderation.
- Try not to push yourself too hard.
- Keep your sense of humor as it help to reduce tension.
- Always eat regular meals.
- Avoid situations that cause tension or stress.
Your doctor may give you following medications to prevent tension headaches. They include:
- Muscle relaxants