What is it?

Tension headaches are very common – almost everyone will have a tension headache at some time. The pain is often dull and persistent. It often starts at the back of the head or temples, then spreads, becoming like a band around the head. It may feel like pressure or tightness. A tension headache may last for days.

What are the symptoms?

Signs and symptoms of a tension headache include:

  • Dull, aching head pain.
  • Sensation of tightness or pressure across your forehead or on the sides and back of your head.
  • Tenderness on your scalp, neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Tension headaches are divided into two main categories — episodic and chronic.

Episodic tension headaches

Episodic tension headaches can last from 30 minutes to a week. Frequent episodic tension headaches occur less than 15 days a month for at least three months. Frequent episodic tension headaches may become chronic.

Chronic tension headaches

This type of tension headache lasts hours and may be continuous. If your headaches occur 15 or more days a month for at least three months, they’re considered chronic.

Tension headaches or. migraines

Tension headaches can be difficult to distinguish from migraines. Plus, if you have frequent episodic tension headaches, you can also have migraines. Unlike some forms of migraine, tension headaches usually aren’t associated with visual disturbances, nausea or vomiting. Although physical activity typically aggravates migraine pain, it doesn’t make tension headache pain worse. An increased sensitivity to either light or sound can occur with a tension headache, but these aren’t common symptoms.

What to expect?

Tension headache can be managed at home. You can try the following things:

  • Pain relievers might help in relieving pain.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids.
  • One of the best ways to cure a headache naturally is to engage in relaxation therapy. You can do this in various ways such as deep breathing and meditation. These are helpful when done regularly.
  • Massage therapy can also be used to relieve headaches as it helps to relax the head, neck, shoulders and back muscles.
  • Aromatherapy makes use of different essential oils. Oils such as lavender, chamomile, peppermint and rosemary induce a sense of relaxation and thus help to reduce pain and discomfort.
  • Avoid a bad posture.

Seek consult with your GP if the following occurs:

  • Headaches occur frequently (at least 5 times in a month).
  • The pattern and severity of the headache has changed.
  • Symptoms such as weakness of one side of the body, change in level of consciousness and significant difficulty walking occurs.
  • The headache is constant and never goes away.

Think you might have Tension headache?

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Think you might have Tension headache?