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Head and NeckneurologyPain and management

Tension Headache, Headache due to Tension or Stress, Treatment

Tension headache, headche due to stress or tensionTension is one of the major causes of all headaches. Tension headache is mild to moderate in intensity and feels like something is pressed inside the head. It is very uncomfortable and gives a grim look on the face of the sufferer. Other people can easily recognize him that he is suffering from some kind of tension or stress

Types of Tension Headaches:

1. Episodic Tension Headache.

Episodic tension headache occurs in episodes and between the episodes the person feels no symptom at all. Each episode lasts from 30 minutes to a week. Episodic tension headache occurs for less than 15 days a month for consecutive three months.

2. Chronic Tension Headache.

Tension headache becomes chronic if it occurs more than 15 days a month for consecutive three months.

Risk factors:

Female sex is a risk factor because most of the females suffer from a tension headache. Middle age is another risk factor.


Stress, tension or unsolved problem cause tension headache.


  1. Over the counter painkillers, such as aspirin and acetaminophen are the first line of treatment.
  2. If the first line fails, then combination drugs are used. Usually, a combination of acetaminophen or aspirin with caffeine is used.
  3. If you suffer from both migraine and tension headache then triptans are also added.
  4. Narcotics or opioids are the last choices because of side effects and strong potential for dependence.

Preventive medicines:

  1. Tricyclic antidepressants are used to prevent tension headaches in chronic cases.
  2. People also suffer from neck ache and muscle tightness, so muscle relaxants and anti-convulsant are also prescribed. Topiramate an anti-convulsant drug has shown potential benefits in research studies.

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