HA tension headache can be described as a feeling of mild to moderate pain that feels as a tight band around your head. This is the most common and worst type of headache. Some people confuse them with migraines. Managing this requires a balance among healthy habits and finding effective nondrug medications.
Some of the common symptoms of a tension headache include dull and aching head pain, sensation of tightness across forehead along with feeling of tenderness on the scalp and neck.
Tension Headaches can be of Two Types:
Episodic Tension Headaches
Episodic tension headaches can last from 30 minutes to a week. Episodic tension headaches occur less than 15 days a month for at least three months frequently. The increase in frequency makes them chronic.
Chronic Tension Headaches
This type of tension headache lasts for hours and may be for a longer time period. If headaches occur 15 or more days every month for at least three months, then they are considered as chronic.
Tension Headaches vs. Migraines
Some people interpret tension headaches as migraines. But migraine pain tends to aggravate with physical activity.
If you have a tension headache that won’t go away on its own, keep reading to learn reasons that might be causing it and how to get relief.
Stress is dreaded feeling of being overwhelmed and gives no way to escape. According to a survey, more than 77 percent people suffer from stress. This leads to many side effects including tension headaches. Such type of stress can be relieved by using essential oils, cold compress, drinking tea and doing yoga and meditation.
Many people drink alcohol to numb the pain but it gives short term relief only. Excessive use of alcohol leads to side effects like tension headaches and migraines. People suffering from migraine also reported that use of alcohol acts as a trigger. You can get relieved from this by limiting your alcohol consumption, drinking lot of water and taking over the counter medicines and magnesium supplements. Tension headaches when caused by drinking alcohol increase the headache.
Cold and Flu
Cold and Flu makes a person feel very sick and gives you aches and chills and might give you tension headaches. Although it’s difficult to avoid getting sick but still you can do some minor things to decrease the effect of cold and flu on your overall health. Try a decongestant and drink ginger tea to get some relief from cold. Ginger proves to be very effective due to its anti-inflammatory properties and gives relief from painful headaches too.
Caffeine is a common denominator for tension headaches. In some cases, caffeine becomes the cause of the headache while some people take caffeine to get rid of headaches. In actual, caffeine is an addictive substance that might lead to headaches by withdrawal. Such type of headaches can be relieved by removing caffeine from your diet slowly, increasing the water intake, adding vitamin-B supplements and normal tea to your diet.
Try to slowly wean off caffeine rather than complete elimination as it might give a trigger to headaches. You can try other alternatives like low caffeine tea in the morning to get a boost to your energy levels.
Depression and Eye Strain
Depression is a disorder that contributes to tension headaches. More than 40 percent of individuals having migraines suffer from depression. Self-care plays an important role to get relief from depression. Use anti-depressants and make a routine of exercise and yoga for better results.
In some cases, excessive screen time also leads to tension headaches. Take frequent breaks if your work involves long hours in front of screen.
Any form of headache limits the productivity and damper your routine. If you are experiencing symptoms of tension headache for a longer period of time then consider the causes and start working on it to prevent it.