You may also feel your neck muscles tighten and a feeling of pressure behind your eyes. A tension headache is usually not severe enough to prevent you from doing daily activities. Tension headaches can last a few hours, several days, weeks, or even months. The average tension headache, the most common type of headache, lasts about four hours.
But for some people, severe headaches go on much longer, sometimes for several days. And these “endless headaches” can even provoke anxiety. The International Headache Society has suggested that doctors use the term tension headaches because many different names have been used for tension headaches. Tension headache usually causes mild to moderate pain, usually on both sides of the head.
There is a feeling of pressure or tension. It is not pulsating and is not accompanied by nausea. The headache does not get worse with routine physical activity. In one study, two-thirds of people diagnosed with chronic tension headache had had a daily or almost daily headache for an average of seven years before seeing a doctor.
Finding and avoiding the things or triggers that cause tension headaches can reduce how often you have headaches and how severe they are when you have them. However, a proportion of these patients may have developed drug overuse headaches (drug-induced headaches) as a result of their tension headaches. Other names for tension headaches are common headaches, muscle tension headaches, and headaches Write down when you have a headache and how severe it is, along with details like what you ate and what you were doing before the headache started. You may be able to prevent or reduce tension headaches by learning what causes your headaches and try to avoid those triggers.
Your seasonal headache may be a cluster headache in spring, a summer migraine, or an allergy headache. If tension headaches occur regularly or frequently, therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation therapy, or biofeedback can reduce or eliminate headaches. Botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) is sometimes injected into the muscles of the face and head to treat headaches. Medication overuse headache is caused by taking pain relievers (or triptan medicines) too often for tension headaches or migraine attacks.
Write down when you have a headache and how bad it is, along with details like what you ate and what you were doing when the headache started. Because tension headaches recur in some people for years and because continued use of medications can cause serious side effects, prevention is a key aspect in the treatment of tension headaches. Chronic tension headache is a condition where you have a tension headache at least 15 days a month for at least three months. They are also the type of pain reliever that is most likely to cause medication overuse headache if used regularly.
If over-the-counter medicines don't stop your headaches well enough or if you have a lot of headaches, your doctor may prescribe medicines to prevent headaches. If tension headaches are life-altering or if you need to take medicine for headaches more than twice a week, see your doctor.