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Tension Headache

Tension Headache

Tension headache, which is increasingly prevalent in the high tempo of urban life, are more common, especially in women.

70% of people experience headaches at any time in their lives.

Headaches are the leading causes of referral to a doctor all over the world.

It is more common in people who are prone to stress and stress.

Tension-type headache: It is mainly expressed as weight, pressure, compression. The pain usually arises from the neck to the top of the head, spreads to the temples and is compressive.

There is an underlying psychosocial tension that usually arises from the constant tension of the face, head and neck muscles. These patients make a diagnosis of migraine. However, the mechanism and treatment of tension headaches are different from migraines. Visual impairment and other symptoms before migraine pain are absent in tension-type headache and they want to go outdoors instead of looking for a dark and silent environment like migraine patients.

Tension-type headache has an episodic and chronic form.

Symptoms in chronic tension headache last for 3 consecutive months and more than 15 days.

In episodic form, the number of days of headache is small. Only chronic tension headaches may have mild nausea or sensitivity to light or sound. Vomiting or physical activity also does not increase pain. These symptoms are more characteristic of migraines.

Episodic headache is very common. It usually does not affect the quality of life and responds well to simple analgesics.

Chronic tension headache is rarer and almost always develops after the episodic form.

In chronic tension headaches, genetic factors are involved and the family risk increases threefold if found in the family.

According to epidemiological studies, depression, panic attacks or anxiety disorders are statistically higher in chronic tension headache patients.

Characteristics of tension-type headache

  • Pressure, compression, weight, blunt pain, not throbbing
  • Moderate pain to prevent daily activity
  • Bilateral diffuse
  • Does not deteriorate during physical activity
  • Nausea and vomiting during pain
  • No disturbance of sound or light
  • Headache attacks last for 30 minutes to 7 days.
  • Pain severity increases with increasing frequency of headaches.
  • It may coexist in one or more of the frontal, temporal, occipital, or parietal regions.
  • The attack may change frequently. Occipital location is less common than frontal and temporal locations.
  • Unilateral headache can be seen in 10-20% of patients.
  • Some patients may have neck and jaw pain or have serious problems with the temporomandibular joint.
  • Emotional stress, tension, fatigue, insomnia, meal jumping, and menstruation can trigger or intensify tension-type headache as in migraine.
  • In a prospective, community-based study, it was shown that moderate to severe non-migraine headache was a risk for depression.

Diagnosis of tension-type headache:

The presence of trigger points in the muscles of the head, neck and shoulder region and the emergence of pain reflected by applying pressure to these muscles is an important finding.

Tension Headache Treatment

Painkillers and muscle relaxants, as well as drugs used for depression, are effective, but not therapeutic.

In addition to drugs, various non-drug methods have been frequently used in the control of headaches. Psychological interventions such as relaxation training are among the leading methods. Patients are taught how to relax. This method is particularly effective in the treatment of muscle contraction headaches. In pain resistant to drug therapy and relaxation training, it is possible to relax the muscles by applying various injections to the trigger points detected in the head, neck and shoulder region and thus to permanently control the pain.


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