Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. It can cause mild to moderate pain in the neck, head and eyes.
Patients describing these headaches all tend to agree that it feels like a tight band around the head.
The majority of people who suffer from tension headaches actually suffer from episodic headaches, which occur 1 or 2 times a month.
Tension headaches may also be chronic for some individuals. Chronic headaches affect 3% of the population, with headache episodes that last for more than 15 days per month. Women are also twice as susceptible as men.
Causes Of Tension Headaches
Muscle contractions in the head and neck are the main cause of tension headaches.
Certain foods, activities, and stress may also cause these types of contractions.
Below are some of the factors that can trigger a tension headache.
- Eye strain
- Drinking alcohol
- Sinus infection
- Cold or flu
- Poor posture
- Emotional stress
- Sitting staring at a computer or laptop screen for long hours
- Driving for long periods at a time
- Cold temperatures may also cause tension headaches in some people
Please read How To Improve Your Migraines In 5 Minutes if you would like more information on quick headache treatments.
Symptoms Of Tension Headaches
Tension headaches are often confused with migraines, but they do not share the same symptoms.
Migraines lead to nausea and vomiting, while tension headaches cause sensitivity to light and noise.
The most common symptoms include:
- Dull head pain
- Pressure around the forehead
- Tenderness around the forehead and scalp
Treating Your Headache
There are many natural treatments which can be utilized to deal with common tension headaches.
- Apply a heating pad or ice pack on your forehead for 5 – 10 minutes several times a day.
- Take a hot shower to relax tense muscles.
- Don’t sit in a lazy, slouched posture. Sit in a natural, relaxed position, with the natural curves of your spine supporting your back and neck.
- If you sit at a laptop or computer desk, take regular breaks to prevent eye strain.
Since headaches are often caused by specific triggers, identifying the problems that cause headaches is the best way to prevent future re-occurrences.
Keeping a headache notebook will help you to determine the cause of your headaches by allowing you to document and recognize a pattern.
Start off by keeping a record of:
- daily beverages
- when headache starts
- duration of headache
It’s important that you make a note for each day you have a headache, so be sure to flag it in your notebook. After several weeks or months you may be able to identify a pattern or similarities and be able to link them together. Find the trigger and you’ve found the solution.
For more information on headaches, please read Alternative Treatments For Chronic Headaches.