This is the most common type of primary headache, accounting for almost 90 percent of all cases of headaches. The pain one feels can radiate from the back of the head, the neck, the eyes, or facial muscles. While the pain levels for tension-type headaches are usually mild to moderate, there are some cases when the pain is severe. There are two types of tension-type headaches. First is an episodic type. These occur less than 15 days in a whole month. On the other hand, the second type, which is chronic, happens more than 15 times in a month for a period of at least 6 months. Tension-type headaches are caused by a lot of factors. Los Angeles Pain Clinic provides expert medical advice, as well as various treatment options, for individuals who suffer from this type of headache. These kinds of headaches can last from minutes to days, weeks, months, even years. Typically, tension type headaches last for four to six hours.
What Causes Tension Type Headaches?
There are many causes of tension type headaches. This happens when the muscles in the neck or head become tense. These symptoms are felt because of stress, injuries, as well as physical activities where the head is in a strenuous position for an extended period of time. Alcohol, caffeine, the clenching of one’s jaw or teeth, as well as fatigue, can cause potential headaches. So to avoid tension-type headaches, make sure to avoid the following:
- Bad posture
- Staying in one position for a long time
- Working in an awkward position for a long time
- Continuous and too much clenching one’s jaw
- Too much caffeine intake
Treatment for Tension Headaches
Since tension-type headaches are caused by built up tension in the neck muscles as well as the scalp, the best way to address it is to ease up the tension and get those muscles relaxed. Massages and acupuncture can do a great job in helping get those muscles relaxed. A hot shower, use of a heating pad, or the application of a hot compress can help loosen the tightness of the muscles in the area. You can also take the following medicines to treat and address the pain you are feeling:
- Pain killers
- Muscle relaxants
Moreover, there are long-term solutions in avoiding these kinds of tension headaches. A change of lifestyle is a must to minimize the chances of suffering from this condition. Straightening up one’s sleeping habits, getting more active by exercising, doing some stretching exercises for the jaw, neck and shoulders will be very helpful.