Tension Type Headache
Tension Type Headache
The tension type headache is the most common of the headache types. They affect women more than men and it is estimated that approximately three-fourths of the general population will experience this type of headache. Tension headaches can last from 30 minutes to several days and is described as mild to moderate pain. This type of headache occurs on both sides of the head and feels like a “tight band” around the head, and is created by a tightening or spasm of the neck and scalp muscles. They can occur daily, more that once per day, or periodically and can cause irritability, lack of concentration, and poor sleep habits. There are no definitive tests to diagnose tension headaches, but taking a proper medical and family health history, as well as a review of symptoms can help diagnose this type of condition. Tension headaches differ from migraine headaches in that, tension headaches are not made worse by physical activity and are not typically associated with nausea and/or vomiting. There are many different causes of tension headaches. Among them are stress, neck and back problems, poor posture, vision problems, depression, head and neck muscle spasm, dental issues, muscle trigger points, lack of sleep, hunger, blood sugar issues, hormonal changes, and food allergies. Identifying what triggers are responsible for your headaches are paramount to finding a treatment plan that works best for you.
Fortunately, tension type headaches respond very well to over-the- counter medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, and acetaminophen. Caffeine, and caffeine compounded medications can also provide excellent relief by dilating the blood vessels. Some of the more advanced medical procedures that Dr. Leopold can provide include trigger point injections with lidocaine, corticosteroids, Botox therapy, and myofascial protocols. Less invasive treatments that have proven to be very effective in treating tension type headaches include massage therapy, stretching, acupuncture, physical therapy, and moist heat. Perhaps the best way to reduce stress and tension type headaches, is to adopt better lifestyle changes including better sleeping habits, proper diet, exercise, time with family and friends, a new hobby, yoga and meditation. Our goal is to help our patients find the best options for them to create a stress-free life, thus reducing the
frequency of your headache patterns.