Tight muscles can be the cause of tension-type headaches. To ease tight neck and shoulder muscles, you can use heat or ice. Low-temperature heating pads, a hot water bottle, a hot shower or bath, a warm compress, or a warm towel are all good options. Alternatively, you can apply an ice pack (wrapped in a cloth) or a cold cloth to the forehead.
If you suffer from tension headaches more than once or twice a week, there are some strategies that can help you get rid of them. Most headaches are not life-threatening, but in rare cases they can be a sign of a serious condition. Triptans are one option for treating tension headaches. These are selective serotonin receptor agonists, which means they stimulate serotonin in the brain to reduce inflammation and contract blood vessels, thus stopping the headache or migraine attack.
It's important to note that the same treatments used to relieve pain from tension headaches may not be effective for other types of headaches, such as those caused by hangovers, sinus infections, COVID-19, brain aneurysms, or other serious conditions associated with neurological changes such as weakness or loss of consciousness. Seasonal headaches may include cluster headaches in spring, summer migraines, and allergy headaches. Lack of sleep can lead to a headache or trigger a migraine attack, and chronic lack of sleep caused by sleep apnea can also cause headaches. One effective treatment for headaches associated with migraine is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
This type of therapy helps identify triggers that cause headaches and teaches strategies to prevent future episodes. Additionally, it is important to be aware that overuse of medications for acute or symptomatic headache can lead to another type of headache known as headache from overuse of medications. This type of headache occurs 15 or more days of the month as a result of regular overuse of medications.