Types Of Headaches Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are caused by muscle contractions around the neck, scalp and jaw. The pain is often described as a dull pressure, or as if a tight “hat band” is strapped around the head. Unlike migraines, which generally cause pain only on one side of the head, this type affects both sides of the head.

Tension Headaches - Types of Headaches

Treatment often centers on prevention. Stress, depression and anxiety can all aggravate muscle tension. Stress management and relaxation exercises may help reduce muscle tension. While antidepressants are not a direct treatment, if depression or anxiety aggravates muscle tension, antidepressants may help. Research indicates that combining antidepressants with stress management is very helpful in treating chronic tension headaches.

The most common medications used, however, are over-the-counter analgesics. Painkillers, such as naproxen and ibuprofen, work well to reduce both pain and muscle tension. Excessive use of analgesics can, however, lead to a rebound headache.

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