Symptoms of a Tension Headache

Almost everyone has experienced headache pain, and some of us deal with it on a monthly or even weekly basis. Tension headaches occur often and are associated with pain in the head, scalp, or neck. While tension headaches aren’t of grave concern, they can cause significant discomfort and be difficult to endure.

Common Reasons for Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are the most common types of headaches. In the past, people thought that muscle spasms or tension in the neck were to blame. Others thought that changes in brain chemicals could be the culprit.  

If you experience headaches for 15 or more days in a month, you may be suffering from chronic headaches. If they occur less than 15 times a month, they are episodic tension headaches. 

The exact cause of tension headaches is unknown, but certain factors may contribute to the onset of a tension headache. These include:

  • Stress
  • Depression 
  • Dehydration
  • Hunger
  • Poor posture
  • Lack of physical exercise
  • Bright sunlight
  • Loud noise
  • Strong smells 

Most people will experience a tension headache at some point in their life. They can develop at any age but are commonly seen in adults and teenagers. 

What Does a Tension Headache Feel Like?

Unlike migraines, tension headaches are not accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or light sensitivity. You may feel that your head is under extreme pressure as if you were wearing a tight band or hat around your head. 

The pain is typically mild to moderate, but the pain can be more severe in some cases. Some people even report that the pain experienced during a tension headache interrupts their daily work or social life. 

You may also feel your neck muscles tighten and feel a sense of pressure behind your eyes. Tension headaches generally only last for 30 minutes to a few hours but can plague a person for several days.

Where Do You Feel Tension Headaches?

Tension headaches are felt on the sides of the head. You may also feel an aching sensation at the base of your neck or the back of your head. Some people report feeling tenderness on their scalp, neck, or shoulders.

Treatment for Tension Headaches

Although painful, tension headaches are not life-threatening and can often be treated by lifestyle changes.

If your work causes you significant stress, it’s recommended that you take time away from work to try and lower your stress levels. Try to get adequate amounts of sleep and rest every day, and exercise regularly. 

Some patients turn to yoga and massage techniques to encourage relaxation. Painkillers may also help relieve pain, but you shouldn’t take medicine excessively. Taking painkillers for more than ten days can eventually lead to medicine-induced headaches.

Find Relief for Tension Headaches at Spine Health & Wellness

If you’ve been experiencing tension headaches lately, perhaps it’s time to seek help at Spine Health & Wellness. We aim to provide patients with a range of treatment options to help them take control of their health once again. 

Contact us today to find relief from painful tension headaches and start living your life to the full once again.

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