A headache is a common headache that can be due to several causes. One way of manifesting is the tension headache due to the tension of the neck or head muscles that cause this pain. Tension headache is usually the result of a muscle contracture that tightens the muscles in the area, or it may be due to stress or poor cervical posture. It is an ailment that can occur at any age since it is not due to any disease.
People who suffer from it may have an isolated or constant headache and may even have trouble falling asleep. If it happens to you, you should know that it is not alarming or a severe problem, but there is a treatment to alleviate the pain, or you can even avoid it to some extent. This FastlyHealarticle will discuss tension headaches: symptoms, causes, and remedies.
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What is a tension headache, and why does it occur?
Tension headaches are caused by muscle tension in the neck and head area or the face. These pains can occur at any age since they are not due to disease and are very common. It is estimated that around 90% of people have suffered from it at some point in their life. However, women are more prone to it. The pain may last a long time – for 30 minutes – or even all day. They can also be episodic cases if the pain appears from time to time (even if it lasts a week) or something chronic if it is constant. In the latter case, it may be due to a more significant cause, such as a mental illness such as depression that keeps us in tension. If the tension headache is chronic, it is essential to see a doctor to examine it for any significant cause.
Tension headache is caused by the tension or stiffness of the muscles in the area, which can be due to several causes. Let’s see why it occurs:
- Psychosomatic causes such as stress or a situation that creates anxiety. This causes the muscles to tense, such as those of the face, even if we do not realize it or the neck.
- Lack of sleep: not sleeping properly causes us a lack of sleep and fatigue that can cause headaches. It can also happen if you have sleep apnea. You will probably not have a restful sleep, and you will be tired throughout the day, causing some muscle tension and irritability.
- Lousy posture for a long time. Some jobs, such as office work, require being in the same position for a long time, and if we talk about the computer, it is even worse. Being in the same posture for a long time makes our muscles tense and remain rigid, such as those of the neck that has to be anxious, holding the head all the time without supporting it.
- Jaw clenching: It is known as bruxism, and it may happen to you without realizing it. It occurs at night most of the time, but it can also happen to you during the day. Without realizing it, you clench your jaw, bringing your teeth together tightly. This can cause not only big tension headaches but also problems with your teeth. If you realize that it is happening to you, it is best to go to the dentist. There are dental splints as if they were transparent appliances placed on the teeth and the palate so that instead of clenching the teeth, you will be tightening the sling. Not only will you not damage the enamel of your teeth, but the pressure will be less.
- Sinusitis: This is a condition in which the sinuses become inflamed, and this can lead to tightness of the area or congestion that causes a tension headache to occur. People who suffer from sinusitis often have headaches.
- Substances such as alcohol or caffeine in excess.
Symptoms of tension headache
To know if you have a tension headache or another type of headache, there are some symptoms that you can take into account. Like these:
- When you suffer from a tension headache, the pain is a dull ache-like pressure and does not occur on one side of the head but the entire; it is a generalized pain. People who suffer from it describe it as the feeling of having a tape around the forehead and neck that tightens. It is usually most vital in the area of the temples or the back of the head. It is not a stabbing pain but more like pressure. It is essential to differentiate the type of pain from one headache to another to diagnose it.
- The neck or shoulders can also hurt simultaneously as the head.
- The pain can last about 30 minutes or a week and worsen for a few days. Then it usually doesn’t happen for a while.
- Tension headache does not cause vomiting or nausea.
- You can have photosensitivity, that is, feel hypersensitivity to light; sometimes, it also happens with sounds.
- Difficulty sleeping at times.
- The tension headache does not worsen if you exercise daily, like climbing stairs or walking.
Treatment and remedies for tension headache
To find out if you have a tension headache, the doctor will ask you some questions about your life in general or recent situations. They will also ask you about the type of pain and its intensity. If it is determined that it is a tension headache, the only treatment they can give you are analgesic pain medications, but there is no treatment as such since it is not a disease but an ailment.
However, depending on whether it is some other cause, such as stress, anxiety, or depression, the doctor will treat this disease that is causing this tension headache.
It is essential to know what the causes are to treat them and thus be able to solve them and prevent the headache from becoming chronic. However, as we have mentioned, for the pain, you can take analgesics or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
There are also some tips that you can follow at home to avoid this type of headache, such as:
- Control or avoid stress
- Do not take pain relievers or anti-inflammatories too often or too much, as their abuse ends up causing more headaches.
- Avoid lousy posture or being in the same position for a long time. If you work sitting in front of a computer, get up and walk from time to time, even if only to go to the bathroom. The computer screen should be at head level.
- You can do stretching exercises or self-massage to relieve tension.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Tension headache: symptoms, causes, and remedies , we recommend that you enter our Brain and nerves category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.