Tension Headache is the most common type of headache among adults. Tension headache is often referred to as stress headache.Tension headache can appear periodically (called "episodic", ie less than 15 days per month) or daily (called "chronic," ie more than 15 days per month).Episodic tension headache, can be described as mild to moderate constant pain, or pressure around the forehead or back of head and neck. The headache may last from 30 minutes to several days. Episodic tension headache generally begins gradually, and often occurs during the day.The severity of the tension headache increases significantly as the frequency of occurrence increases. Chronic tension headache can arise and disappear for long periods of time. Generally the pain is throbbing and affecting the front, top, or side of the head. Although the intensity of pain throughout the day may vary, but the pain is almost always there. Chronic tension headache does not affect vision, balance, or strength.Tension headache generally does not cause a person to be obstructed in performing daily tasks.Who Can Suffer Tension Headache?
About 30% -80% of adults in America, occasionally experience tension headache, About 3% often have chronic tension headache. Women are twice as likely to experience tension headache as men.Most episodic tension headache sufferers experience tension headache no more than once or twice a month, but headaches can occur more frequently.Chronic tension headache tends to be more common in women. Many people with chronic tension headache commonly experience headaches for more than 60-90 days.What Causes Tension Headache?There is no major cause for tension headache. This type of headache is not a derived factor. In some people, tension headache is caused by tightening muscles in the back of the neck and scalp. Muscle tension can be caused by :
- Less rest
- Bad posture
- Emotional factors or mental stress, including depression
However, it should be noted that muscle tension is not always the cause of tension headache. Until now some people can experience tension headache and it is not known what causes it.Tension headache is usually triggered by environmental factors or internal stress. The most common sources of stress are family, social relationships, friends, work, and school.
Some examples of stressors are as follows:
- Having trouble at home / family life is difficult
- Have a newborn child
- Do not have any close friends
- Go back to school or training, prepare for a test or exam
- Go on vacation
- Start a new job
- Loss of a job
- Deadlines at work
- Compete in sports or other activities
- The perfect perfectionist nature
- Not enough sleep
- Excessive activity (too much involved in activities / organization)
Episodic tension headache is usually triggered by an isolated stressful situation or stress that accumulates. Daily stress can cause chronic tension headache.What are the Symptoms of Tension Headache?
Patients with tension headache commonly report complaints / symptoms as follows:
- Mild to moderate pain or pressure affecting the front, top or side of the head
- Headache that happens later
- Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep
- Chronic fatigue
- Concentration is disturbed
- Excessive sensitivity to light or sound
Tension Headache or Migraine?Tension headache is not the same as migraine. In tension headache patients there are no neurological symptoms, such as weak muscle or blurred vision. In addition, excessive sensitivity to light or sound, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting, is not a common symptom associated with tension headache.
How to Treat Tension Headache?The goal of tension headache treatment is to prevent further attacks and reduce the pain experienced.
Prevention of tension headache includes:
- Take the medicine recommended by your doctor, such as : Pain relief,Muscle relaxants,Anti depression
- Avoid or minimize the causes or triggers of tension headache
- Management of stress / relaxation exercises
Treating HeadachesPainkiller drugs (painkillers) are sold freely on the market, often the first recommended treatment for tension headache. Some of these painkillers can also be used to prevent headaches in people with chronic tension headache.If general painkiller medicine does not help, then your doctor may recommend painkiller medicine with a prescription or muscle relaxant.Preventive care is generally done by prescribing medications such as antidepressants, blood pressure medications, and anti-seizure medications. These drugs are consumed every day even though you are not experiencing headaches, so when you are right experience tension headache, not required high doses. The goal, over time, the dose will be reduced.But keep in mind that drugs do not cure headaches and over time, tinsel pain and other medications may lose its effectiveness. In addition, all drugs have side effects. If you take medication on a regular basis, including a drug that can be purchased freely, you should discuss the risks and benefits of the drug with your doctor. It is also important to remember that painkillers are not a substitute for recognizing and addressing the stressors that can cause your headaches.Tension headache is best handled when the first symptoms start and still mild, before it becomes more frequent and painful.