Tension headaches are considered as the most common headache. It accounts 90% of all the headaches and already afflicted many people at some point in their lives.
People who have tension headaches experience pain (ranges from mild to severe) and tightness which extends from the back, neck, muscle groups of the face, and the eyes. This condition can last for half an hour or sometimes can even extend for several days. But on the average, it can last between four and six hours.
A person with a tension head experiences bilateral pain (a pain that is distributed even on the sides of the head) and feels that their head is being squeezed continuously. Tension headaches do not disturb a person's life. However, if this headache becomes chronic or severe, it can lead a person to become incapacitated.
The cause of tension headaches remains unclear. Experts before believed that tension headaches are caused by spasm of neck and head muscles while present experts theorized that it can be caused by certain changes made in the brain chemicals.
Even if the experts can not clearly point out the cause of this condition, the good thing is that, the factors that can trigger it are known. Physical and emotional stress, eye and neck strain because of poor body posture or caused by an injury, overexposure to bright light, and strain of the jaw (caused by nail-biting, gum chewing, and teeth-clench) are said to trigger tension headaches.
Tension headaches can easily be distinguished from other types of headaches. First, the pain is consistent which means, there's no pulsing or throbbing that happened. Second, the pain experienced in the forehead is tight and the top portion of the head seemed to be squeezed. Other manifestations include pain felt from the head's back down to the neck as well as the temples. Since this condition is caused by stress, people who are between 30-39 years of age are the ones who are commonly affected. It is said that these age range is the most stressful stage in one's life. Those people whose lifestyle has fewer trials and those who are getting old have lower chance of getting tension headaches.
There are three ways to cure tension headaches. The first solution is to buy over-the-counter medications such as aspirin. The second one is to try the non-medication forms like undergoing therapy such as acupuncture, stress management, biofeedback, and meditation. The third and most practical solution to this problem is to know what triggers this condition (ie, stress, hunger, anger, tiredness) and avoid them. Chronic headboards that continue to pop up can be appreciated by knowing its underlining causes like anxiety and depression.
In general, tension headaches are not that serious. But one should remember that a simple pain can be a symptom of a more serious health condition. It is therefore advisable that when such symptoms persist, go to a professional to seek for a medical advice and help. After all, prevention is still better than cure.