Tension Headaches Treatment Woodstock
Generally, a tension-type headache (TTH) is a mild to moderate pain that is often described as feeling like a tight band around the head. A tension headache is the most common type of headache, yet its causes are not well understood. There are various forms of tension headaches treatment Woodstock. Managing a tension headache is often a balance between practicing healthy habits, finding effective non-drug treatments, and using medications appropriately.
What Are Tension Headaches?
Tension headaches are dull pain, tightness, or pressure around your forehead or the back of your head and neck. They are also called stress headaches and are the most common type for adults. Some people describe it as feeling like a clamp squeezing their skull.
There are two types:
- Episodic tension headaches happen less than 15 days per month.
- Chronic tension headaches happen more than 15 days a month.
These headaches can last 30 minutes to a few days. The episodic tension-type headache usually starts slowly, often in the middle of the day.
Chronic tension-type headaches come and go over a longer period. However, the pain may ease up or get stronger through the day, but it is almost always there.
Although your head hurts, tension headaches usually don’t prevent you from doing your daily activities, and they do not affect your strength, balance, or vision.
Where Does It Hurt?
Tension headaches can:
- Start at the back of your head and spread forward
- Affect both sides of your head equally
- Become a band of squeezing pain or dull pressure around your entire head
- Make the muscles in your jaw, neck, and shoulders feel tight and sore
Symptoms of Tension Headache
Common symptoms include:
- A headache that starts later in the day
- Mild to moderate pressure or pain in the front, top, or sides of your head
- Feeling very tired
- Trouble sleeping
- Trouble focusing
- Muscle aches
- Mild sensitivity to light or noise
Unlike with migraine, you will not have other nerve symptoms, such as blurred vision or muscle weakness. And tension headaches don’t usually cause severe sensitivity to light or noise, nausea, stomach pain, or vomiting.
Causes of Tension Headache
There is no single cause of tension headaches. They do not run in families. Some people get them because of tight muscles in the back of the neck and scalp.
Tension Headache Triggers
Tension headaches are usually triggered by stress from family, work, school, friends, or other relationships. Episodic ones are usually triggered by a single stressful situation or a buildup of stress. Daily stress can cause a chronic kind.
Tension headache triggers may include:
- Poor posture
- Not enough rest
- Mental or emotional stress, including depression
- Low iron levels
- Straining your eyes
- Jaw or dental problems
- Skipping meals
- A cold, the flu, or a sinus infection
When to See A Doctor
Schedule an Appointment with Your Doctor
If tension headaches disrupt your life or you need to take medication for your headaches more than twice a week, see your doctor for proper tension headaches treatment Woodstock.
Even if you have a history of headaches, see your doctor if the pattern changes or your headaches suddenly feel different. Occasionally, headaches may indicate a serious medical condition, such as rupture of a weakened blood vessel (aneurysm) or a brain tumor.
When to Seek Emergency Care
If you have any of the following signs or symptoms, seek emergency care:
- Abrupt, severe headache
- Headache after a head injury, especially if the headache gets worse
- Headache with a stiff neck, fever, mental confusion, double vision, weakness, seizures, numbness, or speaking difficulties
If you have recurrent or chronic headaches, your doctor may conduct physical and neurological examinations to try to determine the type and cause of your headaches using the following approaches:
Your pain description
Your doctor can find a lot of information about your headaches from your description of the pain you’re experiencing. Ensure to include these details:
- Pain intensity – A good indicator of the severity of your headache is how much you can function while you have it. Are you able to work? Do your headaches prevent you from sleeping or wake you?
- Pain characteristics.Does your pain pulsate? Or is it constant and dull or sharp or stabbing?
- Pain location.Do you feel pain all over your head, on only one side of your head, or just on your forehead or behind your eyes?
If you have unusual or complicated headaches, your doctor may order some tests to rule out serious causes of head pain, such as a tumor. Two common tests that can be conducted to image your brain include:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – An MRI scan combines a magnetic field, radio waves, and computer technology to produce clear images.
- Computerized tomography (CT) – A CT scan is a cutting-edge procedure for diagnostic imaging that uses a series of computer-directed X-rays to provide a comprehensive view of your brain.
Some people with tension headaches don’t seek tension headaches treatment Woodstock and, instead, they go for over-the-counter drugs to try to treat the pain on their own. Unfortunately, repeated use of pain relievers without a prescription can cause another type of headache: medication overuse headache.
A variety of both nonprescription and prescription medications are available to reduce the pain of a headache, including:
- Pain relievers – Simple, nonprescription pain relievers are usually the first line of treatment for reducing headaches. These include the drugs aspirin, naproxen sodium (Aleve), and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others).
- Combination medications – Combination drugs may be more effective than single-ingredient pain relievers. Aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or both are usually combined with caffeine or a sedative drug in a single medication. Many combination drugs are available without a prescription.
- Triptans and narcotics – For people having both migraines and episodic tension headaches, a triptan can effectively relieve the pain of both headaches. Opioids, or narcotics, are rarely used because of the potential for dependency and their side effects.
Because tension headaches are so common, their effect on the overall quality of life and job productivity is considerable, particularly if they are chronic. The frequent pain may render you unable to do your everyday activities. You might need to stay away from work for some time, or if you go to your job, your ability to function may be impaired.
In addition to regular exercise, techniques such as relaxation therapy and biofeedback training can help reduce stress.
- Biofeedback training – With this technique, you will learn how to control certain body responses that help reduce pain. During a biofeedback session, you are connected to devices that monitor body functions such as muscle tension, blood pressure, and heart rate and give feedback. You then learn how to slow your breathing and heart rate and reduce muscle tension yourself.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy – This type of talk therapy may help reduce the severity and frequency of your headaches after learning how to manage stress.
- Other relaxation techniques – Anything that makes you relax may help your headaches, including deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation. You can learn relaxation techniques in classes or at home using books, apps, or videos.
Using medications along with stress management techniques may be more effective than either treatment alone in reducing your tension headaches.
Additionally, living a healthy lifestyle may help prevent headaches:
- Avoid smoking
- Limit alcohol, caffeine, and sugar
- Get enough, but not too much, sleep
- Exercise regularly
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat regular, balanced meals
Tension Headaches Treatment Woodstock
Are you suffering from tension headaches? Advanced Health Solutions – GA Spine & Disc offers high-quality, safe, and effective tension headaches treatment Woodstock. Call us now at (770) 212-3991 or feel free to contact us online to book an appointment.
Tension Headaches Treatment Woodstock