Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. These headaches occur when the muscles of the neck and scalp are stressed or contract.
These muscle contractions can be a response to stress, depression, head trauma or anxiety.
The Medline Plus website explains that the goal is to provide timely treatment for headache symptoms. And the key to achieve this is to learn how to manage tension headaches at home by keeping a headache diary in order to identify what triggers them, so that the patient, with the help of their physician, may make the necessary adjustments to their lifestyle; by learning what to do in order to relieve headaches once they begin, and by taking medications correctly.
According to the World Health Organization, one out of every 20 adults suffers from headache every day or almost every day. It is up to three times more common in women than in men, and it can cause considerable pain to those who suffer them. Even repeated episodes and the often-constant fear of experiencing a new episode can upset an individual’s family, social and work life.
In most cases the effective treatment of headaches does not require specialists, or equipment, or expensive tests. However, it is advisable to consult a specialist if the pain is frequent and unmanageable. Based on their diagnosis, a physician will determine the most appropriate course of treatment so that the patient does not have to change their lifestyle.
Five ways to prevent tension headaches:
- Keep warm if the headache is associated with cold.
- Use a different pillow or change sleeping positions.
- Watch your posture when reading, working or engaging in other activities.
- Exercise your neck and shoulders frequently when working on computers or doing other work in confined spaces.
- Get enough sleep and rest.
- Learn and practice how to manage stress. Some people find that relaxation exercises or meditation can be helpful.