Tension Headaches

Woman with a tension headaches

Headaches are very common, and tension headache is the most commonly diagnosed type of headache. The symptoms of tension headaches consist of pain in the head, neck and behind the ears. They are often described as a tight band around the forehead of the patient.

What Does a Tension Headache Consist of?

Tension headaches occur in both adolescent and adult patients, and may be acute or chronic. When you are suffering from tension headache, the muscles of the scalp and neck may contract or tighten. These contractions are usually in response to stress, injury, or anxiety.

Performing any activity that requires your head to stay in one position for a long period of time may trigger a tension headache.

The pain of a tension headache is normally dull and feels like pressure, unlike the throbbing pain of a migraine. The symptoms may occur all over your head. In comparison, a migraine headache is typically on one side of the head.

Furthermore, tension headaches may occur rarely or constantly, with pain lasting from short periods to up to week. The symptoms of nausea and vomiting or visual changes seen with a migraine headache are not seen with tension headaches.

If you suffer from moderate or mild headaches that are not associated with other symptoms and that responds to mild analgesics and rest, you may not require further diagnostic studies. Tension headaches may be diagnosed by tender muscle points in the neck or shoulders. Imaging studies are usually unremarkable.

If you are experiencing severe headaches that do not resolve with home treatment, or headaches that are more severe than you normally experience, accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including sleep disturbance, you should see a physician to rule out more serious causes of headache. Additionally, if you are experiencing frequent and chronic tension headaches, your physician may be able to tailor a therapeutic program to assist you with relieving the frequency and severity of these headaches. We offer weekday and weekend appointments. You can find us at our conveniently located clinics in West OrangeAberdeen, and Lyndhurst.