What is tension headache?
With tension headache there is a pressing, squeezing pain in the head, near the temple or near the neck. The headache can last for several minutes to several days. The headache is probably caused by the muscles in the neck, shoulders and back, which are too tense.
Common causes of tension headaches are:
- Sitting or sleeping in a certain position for a long time
What are symptoms of tension headache?
- Pressing headache
- Pain on both sides of the head
- The pain is nagging and not too severe
- No nausea or vomiting
- Lights and sounds don't aggravate the headache
- Physical exercise doesn't aggravate the headache
- Muscles in the neck, shoulders and on the head are extra sensitive
Is tension headache serious and should I see a doctor?
The cause of tension headache is most likely strain on the muscles on the head, neck and shoulders, definitely not inside the skull and isn't a serious condition. 90 percent of all people suffer from headaches once in a while. Everyone has stress sometimes or has spent the night sleeping in a wrong position.
Contact a doctor:
- When the headache persists for weeks, rather than days
Immediately contact a doctor:
- When you feel dazed or confuesd
What can I do about tension headache myself?
To relieve a tension headache the most important thing is to find rest and to try to live a healthy lifestyle:
- Get at least 30 minutes of physical exercise each day
- Get enough sleep, sleep is very effective against tension headache
- Try to resolve any stress or tensions you have
- Try to relax the muscles in your neck, shoulders and back through massage, a hot shower, sauna or hot compresses
- Try to avoid stressful situations and noise
- You can take Paracetamol or Tylenol to relieve the pain. Always read the patient information leaflet before you use medication
- Keep a diary to try to find out the cause of the tension headache
How does tension headache affect my body?
With tension headache the cause is probably muscles in the neck, shoulders and back that are too tense. That means the problem lies outside the skull, not inside. Strain, from bad posture, bad sleeping position or from strain, can cause pain which in this case radiates to the head, causing a headache.