Tension Type Headache

What is Tension Type Headache?

Stress type headache
What is tension type headache

The headache itself is divided into several different subcategories. Migraine, cluster and sinusitis headache as well as tension type headache can be seen frequently among the population. Such headaches can lead to mild, moderate or severe pain behind the head, neck and eye pits of the patients. As a matter of fact, doctors may also witness the use of the phrase “There is a tight band around me” when describing some patients’ tension headaches. As the name suggests, this headache causes the person’s skin to fall, so it makes you feel like you are headache.

When the history of patients suffering from tension-type headache is examined, it is seen that they often have intermittent headache. Severe headaches that occur once or twice a month may be considered normal. However, tension-type headaches can be chronic. In the opposite side of the idea, tension-type headache, which is seen in the society too much, may affect some patients 15 days a month. Women are twice as likely to have tension-type headaches as compared to men.

What causes tension type headache?

Causes tension type headache
Causes tension type headache
The contraction of the muscles in the head and neck region causes tension-type headaches to occur. In addition to the many consumed foods, stress factors and various activities can also cause such contractions. Some patients may complain of tension type headache after looking at the computer screen for a long time. Some patients can take this pain after using the car for a long time. Cold air can also trigger tension-type headaches.
Among other causes leading to tension type headache, the following items can be listed.
  • Alcohol and cigarette consumption
  • Eye fatigue
  • Eye foundation
  • Fatigue
  • Influenza or cold
  • Sinus infection
  • Caffeine
  • Bad posture position
  • Emotional stress

Tension type headache indications

Tension type headache indications
Tension type headache indications
Experts state that stressful headaches that can be very painful are:
  • Severe pain in the head region
  • Pressure sensation in forehead area
  • Sensitivity to forehead or head skin
Pain is usually mild or moderate, but sometimes it can be too intense to withstand. In such cases, patients can often confuse tension-type headaches with migraines. A tension-type headache may have a severe throbbing effect on one or both sides of the head region.
Despite all this, tension-type headaches do not show signs of migraine, such as nausea and vomiting. In some rare cases, however, sensitivity to light and high humidity can occur, just as in migraine.

Tension type headache test

If the pain becomes unbearable, your doctor will have to consider the possibility of certain diseases, such as brain tumors. Among the tests made for this are usually CT scanning. In these tests performed with X-rays, images of internal organs are obtained. Your doctor may also request an MR image to examine the soft tissues.

Stress type headache treatment

Tension type headache treatment - Acupuncture
Tension type headache treatment – Acupuncture
It is possible to treat tension headache with the help of non-prescription pain medication without going to the doctor. Medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin may be preferred for this. However, it is useful to avoid using these drugs too often.
According to Mayo Clinic, overuse of pain relievers can cause even more severe headache recurrence. Sometimes, however, medications can be inadequate to relieve pain. If this happens, you will need to see the doctor and have an examination. Your doctor may prescribe more severe medicines than ordinary painkillers. The use of indomethacin, ketorolac, naproxen or opium-containing drugs is possible in tension-type headache treatment.
If the painkillers do not work, your doctor may decide to prescribe a muscle relaxant. Antidepressant medications containing selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) as well as muscle relaxants that improve muscle contractions and shrinkage may also be recommended to the patient. The SSRI regulates the level of serotonin in the drugs and reduces stress.
In addition to medication and muscle relaxant treatment, you can also experience some other alternative treatments that may be the answer to the question “What is good for tension type headache”.
Struggle against stress: With this training you can get from centers that offer personal development courses, you can control the stress that causes tension.
Bio-feedback: This type of calming technique can be effective in reducing pain and stress.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) CBT is a kind of speech therapy that can help you identify situations that cause stress, anxiety, and tension.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture, which is preferred in the treatment of many diseases, is one of the popular alternative therapies. It is aimed to reduce stress with the help of small needles applied to certain areas of the body.
Rebuildings: Some nutritional supplements may relieve tension-type headaches. However, since alternative medicines may cause interactions with regular prescription medicines, your doctor will advise you before taking this decision.
On the other hand, besides nutritional supplements containing cough herb, it is also possible to consume Koenzim Q10, Feverfew and magnesium and ripoflavin (Vitamin B-2).

What is good for tension headache?

What is good for tension type headache
What is good for tension headaches
In addition, the following methods may also help to relieve tension-type headache:
  • Apply cold or warm compresses to your head. It can be painful to do it several times within the day and 5-10 minutes intervals.
  • Take a hot shower or take a bath. On this count your muscles will loosen.
  • Improve your position while sitting on the computer or steering wheel.
  • Often stand up from the computer to rest your eyes.
However, these techniques may give temporary relief, they do not promise permanent solutions.

How to prevent tension type headache?

How to prevent tension type headache
How to prevent tension type headache
As it is known, tension-type headache usually occurs by a specific trigger. Identifying these factors may be effective in preventing future headache attacks.
For this, the illness is a recommended “headache diary”. It may be useful to record the consumption of consumed foods, the activities performed, or any incidents that trigger stress on the days of tension-type headaches. You can make a connection between the movements you make within a few weeks or months after you repeat it every day, and the emergence of headaches.
For example, your diary may show that your headache is on the day you consume a particular food. You can avoid tension type headache by not consuming this food.

An overview of tension type headache

An overview of tension type headache
An overview of tension type headache
Stress-type headache can often respond to treatment, but seldom can lead to permanent neurological damage. Chronic tension-type headaches significantly affect the quality of life of a person in a long term. This discomfort, which can also make it difficult to participate in physical activities, may even cause some people to be unable to go to school or work. If serious conditions such as these often start to occur, patients should definitely see a doctor.
On the other hand, it is imperative not to ignore some important statements. If the headache suddenly appears or is accompanied by the following conditions, you will need medical assistance as soon as possible:
  • Speech impairment
  • Loss of balance
  • High fever
These symptoms can be a sign of very serious diseases such as stroke, tumor or aneurysm.


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