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"Understanding Tension Type Headaches: Cause and Symptoms"

Tension headaches

Tension headaches, also known as tension-type headaches, are the most common type of headache experienced by people. They are often described as a dull, aching pain that can feel like a tight band around the head. Here are the clinical signs and symptoms commonly associated with tension headaches:

Location: Tension headaches typically cause pain or discomfort that is bilateral (affecting both sides of the head) and often feels like a band or pressure around the head. The pain may be focused in the forehead, temples, back of the head, or neck.

Intensity: The pain associated with tension headaches is usually mild to moderate, although it can vary from person to person. It is often described as a steady, pressing or tightening sensation rather than a sharp or throbbing pain.

Duration: Tension headaches can last from minutes to days, but they typically last for several hours. They are considered episodic if they occur fewer than 15 days per month and chronic if they occur 15 days or more per month for at least three months.

Additional Symptoms: Some individuals with tension headaches may experience additional symptoms, such as:

  • Mild sensitivity to light or sound

  • Tenderness or stiffness in the neck or shoulder muscles

  • Fatigue or irritability

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Mild nausea

Triggers: Tension headaches can be triggered or exacerbated by various factors, including:

  • Stress

  • Poor posture

  • Eyestrain

  • Lack of sleep

  • Dehydration

  • Muscle tension in the neck and shoulders

  • Jaw clenching or teeth grinding

Chronic Tension Headaches: In cases of chronic tension headaches, individuals may experience headaches for more days than not, which can significantly impact their quality of life. Chronic tension headaches may require medical evaluation and management to address underlying causes and provide effective treatment.

It's essential to differentiate tension headaches from other types of headaches, such as migraines or cluster headaches, as the treatment approaches can vary. If someone experiences frequent or severe headaches, they should consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and management.


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