There are many different types of headaches in their causes and symptoms, so knowing the type of headache that a person suffers from helps in determining the appropriate treatment and cases that require a doctor’s visit. It can be said that headaches are divided into two main types; They are primary headaches, which are a health problem in themselves that is not caused by another disease, and secondary headaches, which are caused by exposure to another disease or medical condition. The different types of primary headaches include migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches. Secondary headaches include medication-overuse headaches, caffeine-related headaches, menstrual headaches, and many others.
As for tension headaches, they are the most common type of headache, affecting nearly three quarters of the general population. Symptoms of tension headaches range from mild at times to daily headaches that can disable the person’s abilities in some cases. Tension headaches have been known for years by various names, including stress headache, regular headache, and psychological headache. The prevailing belief was that tension headaches are related to psychological factors only and are caused by the mind or emotions, but studies strongly indicate the existence of psychological and biological causes at the same time for this type of headache.
Tension headache symptoms
Tension headaches cause dull pain in the head, in addition to a feeling of tightness or pressure on the forehead, sides or back of the head, and pain when touching the scalp, muscles and shoulder. It can be said that tension headaches are divided into two main types; They are episodic tension headaches, whose symptoms last from half an hour to a week, and which occur on a rate of less than 15 days per month, and for a period of not less than three months. As for the second type, it is a chronic tension headache whose symptoms last for hours and may be continuous, and it recurs more than 15 days in one month and for a period of at least three months. It may be difficult to distinguish tension headaches from migraines, but tension headaches are not usually accompanied by visual disturbances, nausea or vomiting, as in migraines, and physical activity does not increase the symptoms of tension headaches, as is the case with migraines. It can be said that tension headaches may be accompanied by increased sensitivity to light or sound, but these symptoms are not common.
Tension headache treatment
Options for treating tension headaches include:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers: Tension headaches can be treated by taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or aspirin. It should be noted that overuse of painkillers may cause rebound headaches that result from excessive use of painkillers.
- Prescription analgesics: These medications are used if previous medications weren’t helpful in relieving tension headaches, especially if the headaches are frequent. Examples of these analgesics are indomethacin, ketorolac, naproxen, and opiates.
- Muscle relaxants: Muscle relaxants can be used if painkillers are not effective in getting rid of tension headaches, as these medications work to relax the muscles.
- Antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), help boost levels of serotonin in the brain, improving the ability to better handle stress and reducing symptoms tension headache;
- Stress and stress management lessons: These lessons can help teach a person how to deal with stress and how to relieve it.
- Biofeedback: A relaxation technique that helps manage pain and stress.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): It is a type of modern therapy that helps the patient to identify situations that cause stress and anxiety, and enable him to overcome them.
- Acupuncture is a type of alternative medicine that reduces stress by applying small needles to specific areas of the body.
- Nutritional supplements: Some nutritional supplements can help relieve tension headaches, but it should be noted that these supplements may interfere with different medications, so you should consult your doctor or pharmacist before starting to use them. Dietary supplements that help prevent tension headaches, according to the recommendations of the National Center for Complementary Health, include betasites, Coenzyme Q10, chrysanthemum, magnesium and riboflavin, known as vitamin B-2.
- Home remedies include the following:
- Put a compress, a hot water bottle, or a bag filled with ice on the head for 5-10 minutes several times a day.
- Take a hot bath or shower to relax and reduce muscle tension.
- Adjusting the position of the body.
- Take frequent breaks from looking at the computer to prevent eye strain.
Tension headache symptoms video
Stress not only affects our psyche, but also makes us suffer from painful headaches!
- ↑ “What different types of headaches are there”, www.medicalnewstoday.com, Retrieved 28-12-2018. Edited.
- ↑ “Tension-type Headache”, americanmigrainefoundation.org, Retrieved 28-12-2018. Edited.
- ↑ “Tension headache”, www.mayoclinic.org, Retrieved 28-12-2018. Edited.
- ↑ “Tension Headaches”, www.healthline.com, Retrieved 28-12-2018. Edited.
Tension headache symptoms