Tension Headaches

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Tension Headaches

A Tension Headache is the most common primary headache and typically presents as a tight band around your head.

What are Tension Headaches?

A Tension Headache (also known as stress headaches) can cause mild, moderate, or intense pain behind your eyes and in your head and neck. As the symptoms are not as severe as a migraine, Tension Headaches are a problem if they becomes frequent or chronic.

Types of Tension Headaches include:

  • Infrequent - one or less Tension Headache per month 
  • Episodic or Frequent - less than 15 Headaches per month
  • Chronic - at least 15 Tension Headaches per month
Tension Headaches

Signs and Symptoms of Tension Headaches

Symptoms of Tension Headaches include:

  • Dull head pain
  • Pressure around the forehead
  • Tenderness around the forehead and scalp

A common finding in many Tension Headache sufferers is also the presence of myofascial trigger points. Trigger points are hypersensitive taut bands of muscle that follow a specific pattern of referred pain, and classically refer to the temple regions as well as around and behind the eye. These referral pains often accompany Tension Headaches.

Tension Headaches are often confused with migraines as they can present with symptoms such as sensitivity to light and sound, as well as other visual disturbances. However, an important distinction of Tension Headaches is that they do not cause nausea or limit your day-to-day activities.

Causes of Tension Headaches

Tension Headaches are typically caused by overactive neck and shoulder muscles. High levels of stress and poor sleep can further exacerbate these headaches and increase the likeliness for them to become a chronic problem.

The tight muscles found with a tension headache are also often associated with poor posture and prolonged sitting. 

Statistics and Epidemiology related to Tension Headaches

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