Tension headache – Causes and treatment

Tension headache is one of the most common types of headaches that people suffer from. It generally causes a mild pain that transcends from the head to the neck and beyond.However, sometimes the pain is excruciating and may have a banging effect. A tension headache is usually described as a feeling of tight band fastened around the head.

People who suffer from tension headaches may experience it episodically. It is likely to occur a few times a month. In a few severe cases, tension headaches may go on to become chronic, a condition that disrupts one usual lifestyle. A large population of the world suffers from chronic headaches and although anyone may be susceptible, women are more likely to suffer from tension headache episodes.

Tension headaches are caused when the muscles in the head and neck contracts. The main causes that trigger the development of tension headaches include the following:

Eye strain – Today, most people work on screens such as computers or mobile phones. This leads to an excess of strain on the eyes and maybe a very common cause of a tension headache.

Alcohol – Consumption of alcohol in excess commonly causes a hangover. An individual who experiences a hangover experience immense pain in the head. This ache can go on for more than a day.

Stress – Stress is a factor that is usually not believed to have an effect but can be a major contributor to tension headaches. High levels of stress cause the muscles to contract and this can even lead to chronic stress.

Sinus infection or flu – When an individual suffers from a sinus infection or flu, one may experience moderate tension headache. This is a result of the stress exerted on the muscles in the head and neck.

Tension headache treatment usually includes popping over the counter medicines. Although this brings about relief in time, it can cause further damage if used in excess. In case, the headache rebounds, visiting the doctor for effective tension headache treatment is necessary. Here are a few types of tension headache treatments that may be prescribed:

Painkillers – Painkillers are effective in helping the pain subside. They also work in treating the condition until it reoccurs after a while. These tension headache medications popularly include opiates and ketorolac.

Other treatments – If a headache does not get better, the other tension headache treatments include stress and tension relieving, behavioral therapy, acupuncture, and talk therapy. This kind of tension headache treatment is usually used when one experiences a chronic headache.

If tension headaches are excruciatingly painful and go on for several days, the doctor may run tests to rule out any possibility of a brain tumor or other conditions. A CT scan or x-ray is typically performed to detect the actual reason that is causing tension headaches.

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