Tension headaches occur when the muscles of the neck and scalp tighten. Muscle contractions can be a response to stress, depression, head injuries, or anxiety. They can occur at any age, but are more common in adults and older adolescents. The cause of tension headaches is unknown.
Experts used to think that tension headaches were due to muscle contractions in the face, neck, and scalp, perhaps as a result of increased emotions, tension, or stress. However, research suggests that muscle contraction is not the cause. The exact mechanism that causes a tension headache is unknown. Several factors are thought to be involved, such as genetics and the environment.
Muscle contractions in the head and neck are considered an important factor in the development of a tension headache. Some people have tension headaches in response to stressful events or hectic days. Researchers have not identified a single cause for tension headaches. This type of headache is not hereditary (it runs in families).
Tension headache is the most common type of headache. May cause mild, moderate, or severe pain behind the eyes and in the head and neck. Some people say that a tension headache feels like a tight band around the forehead. Tension headaches are dull pain, tightness, or pressure around the forehead or back of the head and neck.
Some people say it feels like a clamp that squeezes their skull. They are also called stress headaches and are the most common type in adults. Tension headaches can occur when you also have migraine. Tension headaches are not associated with brain diseases.
This condition tends to develop in people who start with tension headaches more often, until they occur most days. However, the cause of tension headaches is not always clear and may be more than one thing. They may be due to tension in the muscles of the back of the head and neck, but now it is clear that this is not always the cause. Other causes reported by patients include stress, tiredness, hunger, and eye strain.
Many chronic tension headaches develop for no apparent reason. Working long hours leaning over a computer can trigger them. Medication overuse headache is caused by taking pain relievers (or triptan medicines) too often for tension headaches or migraine attacks. 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.
If tension headaches are life-altering or if you need to take medicine for headaches more than twice a week, see your doctor. However, a proportion of these patients may have developed medication overuse headaches (drug-induced headaches) as a result of their tension headaches. It should be noted that drug overuse headache (drug-induced headache) should be ruled out (described above), as it can often be confused with chronic tension headache. If tension headaches occur regularly or frequently, therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation therapy, or biofeedback can reduce or eliminate headaches.
Chronic tension headache is a condition in which you have a tension headache at least 15 days a month for at least three months. Because tension headaches are often caused by specific triggers, identifying the factors that cause headaches is one way to prevent future episodes. While chronic tension headaches can disrupt your life, tension headaches usually don't cause serious health problems. Some studies have estimated that about 1 in 30 adults have chronic tension headaches, which means they have a headache more than half of every day for three months or more.
If tension headaches occur frequently, therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation therapy, or biofeedback can reduce or stop headaches. .