Tension-type headache

Headaches are very common and around half of all adults will have experienced at least one headache in the last year. Most are short-lived and rarely a cause for concern. The International Classification of Headache Disorders defines more than 150 different types of headaches, all with varying causes and symptoms.

Tension-type headaches are very common, presenting as a dull, constant pain on both sides of the head. Other symptoms can include:-

# tenderness of the face, head, neck and shoulders

# pressure behind the eyes

# light and sound sensitivity

Symptoms can last from 30 minutes to several hours. The cause of tension headaches is unclear, however, triggers can include stress, anxiety and depression. Other possible triggers include:-

# dehydration

# loud noise

# lack of exercise

# insufficient quality of sleep

# posture

# skipped meals

# eye strain

Treatment can include over the counter pain killers and anti-inflammatories. Lifestyle changes such as getting enough sleep, regular exercise, stress and anxiety management, improving posture and acupuncture have shown to help sufferers.