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Tension headaches – A brief overview

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Tension headaches or tension type headaches are primary headache suffered commonly by men, as well as women. A person suffering from tension headache will experience pain radiating from the eyes, the back, neck and various other muscle groups in the body. It is estimated that 905 of all headaches are tension headaches.

Tension headaches - An idea

These headaches could either be chronic or episodic. If the occurrence of your tension headache is limited to less than 15 days a month, it's called an episodic tension headache. On the other hand, if it occurs for more than 15 days in a month over a six month period, it's called chronic tension headache. Typically, a tension type headache lasts for around 4-6 hours. But, there are tension headaches that last for just a minute and others that can last for days, months or even years.

Symptoms and causes

Tension headaches are characterized by head pain. The pain is such that the sufferer feels a constant pressure in the head region; he/she feels as if the head is being squeezed in a vise. Usually, the person experiences this pain on both sides of the head, at once. In the usual course of events the pain associated with tension headaches is mild to moderate. However, in some cases people might suffer from severe pain. There are various causes of tension headaches, the most common being stress. Stress related tension headaches commonly occur in the afternoon post a stressful work session. Other reasons for tension type headaches include eyestrain, sleep deprivation, keeping irregular meal times, and bad posture. People suffering from caffeine withdrawal are also proven to suffer from tension headaches.

Candidates for tension headaches

A large number of people are ideal candidates for tension headaches. Women are more likely to suffer from such headaches as compared to men. Persons susceptible to environmental or internal stress are likelier to suffer from tension type headaches. A person who has no close friends can suffer from these headaches, and so can a person who is constantly worried about his weight. The frenetic planning that goes behind a vacation or the nervousness a person suffers from while starting a new job can also lead to tension headaches.

It must be understood that headaches can affect anybody and everybody at any given point in their lives. If your headaches are of a recurrent nature it's advisable that you get in touch with your doctor. You also need to complement your intake of headache medication by making certain healthy changes to your lifestyle. Addiction to harmful substances must also be done away with. Adoption of a healthy lifestyle with respect to diet and exercise will go a long way in treating your headaches.


By John Linney
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