Doctors base the diagnosis on symptoms and results of a physical examination and sometimes do imaging tests to rule out other disorders.
These headaches may be episodic or chronic.
A doctor's evaluation. Some mild migraines resemble tension-type headaches.
If tension-type headaches are chronic, some drugs used to prevent migraine, particularly amitriptyline (a tricyclic antidepressant—see Table: Drugs Used to Treat Migraines ), can help.
Pain in the jaw or neck may trigger these headaches.
No specific procedures can confirm the diagnosis. Sometimes computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the head is done to rule out other disorders that may be causing the headache, particularly if headaches have developed recently. Pain relievers.
Unlike migraine headaches, tension-type headaches are not accompanied by nausea and vomiting and are not made worse by physical activity, light, sounds, or odors.
The pain may vary in intensity throughout the day but is almost always present. Chronic headaches occur 15 or more days a month. Severity may increase as more headaches occur.
Find information on medical topics, symptoms, drugs, procedures, news and more, written in everyday language.
A tension-type headache is usually mild to moderate pain that feels like a band tightening around the head.
Many people occasionally have tension-type headaches.
Tap to switch to the Professional version.
Doctors ask the person about problems that may trigger the headaches. The diagnosis of tension-type headaches is based on the person’s description of the headache and the results of a physical examination.
Behavioral and psychologic interventions.
The Merck Manual was first published in 1899 as a service to the community. From developing new therapies that treat and prevent disease to helping people in need, we are committed to improving health and well-being around the world. Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. The legacy of this great resource continues as the Merck Manual in the US and Canada and the MSD Manual outside of North America. Learn more about our commitment to Global Medical Knowledge.
Thus, people need to work closely with their doctor to change the drugs and to use behavioral and psychologic interventions when possible. For some people, caffeine, an ingredient of some headache preparations, enhances the effect of analgesics. However, overuse of analgesics or caffeine (in headache preparations or caffeinated beverages) can lead to daily headaches. Headaches can also worsen or occur when the drugs being used to treat the headache are suddenly stopped. Such headaches, called medication overuse headaches, can be present when a person awakens in the morning.
These interventions include relaxation and stress management techniques. Behavioral and psychologic interventions are often effective, especially when drugs are also used.
Rarely computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging to rule out other possible causes.
If OTC analgesics are ineffective and the headaches are severe, the headache is probably not a tension-type headache. It may be a migraine.
Headaches may occur several or many days each month.
Most people with mild to moderate episodic headaches do not go to a health care practitioner. Massaging the affected area may help relieve the pain. For most mild to moderate tension-type headaches, almost any over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever (analgesic), such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen, can provide relief.
For chronic headaches, certain drugs used to treat migraines.
Tension-type headaches are rarely severe and usually do not interfere with daily activities.
The cause is not well-understood but may be related to a lower-than-normal threshold for pain. Stress may be involved. However, how stress is involved is not clearly understood, and it is not the only explanation for the symptoms.
The central nervous system includes the brain and which of the following? News HealthDay News HealthDay News HealthDay News HealthDay News HealthDay.
Pain relievers may help, as may relaxation and stress management.
It may last 30 minutes to several days. The pain is usually mild to moderate. They rarely awaken people from sleep. Episodic headaches occur fewer than 15 days a month. These headaches typically start several hours after waking and worsen as the day progresses.
Tap to switch to the Professional version.
Silberstein, MD, Professor of Neurology and Director, Headache Center, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. By Stephen D.
Tension-type headaches feel like tightening of a band around the head. They start at the front of the head or the area around the eyes, then spread over the whole head.
For example, sleep disturbances, a problem with the joint of the jaw (temporomandibular joint disorder), neck pain, or eyestrain may trigger a tension-type headache. Other problems may contribute to or trigger the headaches.Tramadol tension headaches