Treatment options may include:
- Avoid causes and triggers
- Home remedies (hot bath, ice packs, better posture)
- Muscle relaxant
- Painkillers (over-the-counter and prescription)
- Relaxation techniques
- Stress management
- Dull pain, tightness, and/or pressure in the forehead or back of neck, shoulders, and/or jaw
- Headache that begins in the latter part of the day
- Mild sensitivity to light, noise, and/or smell
- Muscle aches
- Trouble focusing
Diagnostic tests include:
- Blood tests (to check for underlying issues)
- Computed tomography scan (CT or CAT scan)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Sinus X-rays
Forms of tension headaches include:
- Episodic tension headaches occur less than 15 days per month.
- Chronic tension headaches occur more than 15 days a month.
There is no single cause for tension headaches. Some triggers include:
Stress (work, family, school, friends, or relationships)
Muscle tension (from alcohol use, anxiety, fatigue, jaw problems, insufficient rest, other reasons)
- Tension headaches can last from 30 minutes to a few days.
- They often start in the middle of the day.
- About 3% of adults have chronic daily tension headaches.
- Women are twice as likely to get them as men.