A tension headache is precisely what it sounds like; headache pain brought on by stress and tenseness. The most common type of headache, it is suffered equally by men and woman. Most people will suffer at least one tension headache sometime in their lives.

This headache, like many of the others, still has many unanswered questions about the reason they occur. One belief is that the tension causes the muscles in the head and neck to constrict and that this may be the source of the pain. Some researchers disagree and think that there is more than one source of tension headaches.


There is some proof that these headaches may be caused when the wrong messages get sent to the brain. Scientists think that the muscles tensing send a message of pain to the brain wrongly. They believe this is proven by the fact that treating tension headache sufferers with antidepressants has been successful. Others feel that the cause for these headaches has more to do with the teeth. That people who grind their teeth are more likely to suffer tension headaches because this aggravates certain muscles in the head.

The pain of tension headaches is different from the one sided migraine and is usually across the entire forehead. It will typically be only a light headache, but can by moderately bad. Its uncommon, but sometimes they can be very painful. Doing physical activities does not make it worse.

These headaches can be episodic, meaning they occur less often, and that there are periods of being free of them. Or they can be chronic, which means that the person will have at least fifteen days of headaches out of each four-week period, and that this pattern will continue for period of at least a six months. Once they occur they can be brief, only a matter of minutes, or they can last hours.

Tension Headache Relief

If you are suffering from episodic tension headaches there are two things you can do. One is take over the counter pain relievers. They will give some temporary relief. The other is trying to find things that will help to ease the tension you are dealing with. Some of those things might be to take yoga classes and learn to medicate. This can be a good way to ease tension.

Or treat yourself and go get a professional massage, these can be very relaxing. See if acupuncture can help. This ancient method does have good headache relief outcomes. Try joining a gym; the physical exercise may be a good outlet for your tension. Or perhaps you are going to need to make some serious life changes to get rid of the excessive tension in your life.

That may include employment or relationship changes that will be very difficult to make, but could mean you would no longer have to deal with the constant headache pain. If these are not possible then at least you should know that tension headaches, no matter how uncomfortable, are not dangerous.

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