- What is a tension headache?
- What causes tension headaches?
- What are the symptoms of tension headaches?
- How can I prevent tension headaches?
- How are tension headaches treated?
- When should I call my doctor?
- How long do tension headaches last?
What is a tension headache?
This is a severe pain in one or more parts of the head, as well as the back of the neck. It is not caused by any underlying disease.
What causes tension headaches?
Tension headaches can be caused by the contraction of head and neck muscles, or because of stress, poor posture, alcohol and smoking, eyestrain or fatigue. Women may be prone to tension headaches just before or during their period.
What are the symptoms of tension headaches?
- Tightening of the head.
- Tense shoulders and muscles.
- Sleeping difficulties.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Symptoms aggravated by loud noise and bright light.
How can I prevent tension headaches?
- Maintain correct posture, especially in work.
- Exercise frequently.
- Practice relaxation techniques on a regular basis.
- Develop coping mechanisms to deal with anger.
- Avoid excessive use of alcohol.
- Get plenty of fresh air.
How are tension headaches treated?
It is a good idea to document the frequency and duration of headaches. This can assist your doctor in drawing up a treatment plan for you.
Over the counter painkillers and anti-inflammatories are helpful in relieving the symptoms of headaches. Prescription medication may be required in severe cases.
An ice compress or a heating pad may be useful. Massage tight areas of the neck and shoulders.
When should I call my doctor?
If headaches interfere with your daily routine, and become persistent, then you should consult your doctor. Medical advice is particularly important if you have headaches after a head injury. Always consult your doctor if headache is accompanied with vomiting or blurred vision.
How long do tension headaches last?
They can last anything from a few hours to an entire day.
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