Headache - Causes

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

What causes your headaches?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver


* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!


I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the white circle:

What causes tension headaches?

While tension headaches are the most frequently occurring type of headache, their cause is not known. The World Health Organization estimates that in the developed world, 80% of women and 67% of men will experience this type of headache. The most likely cause is contraction of the muscles that cover the skull. When the muscles covering the skull are stressed, they may become inflamed, go into spasm, and cause pain. Common sites include the base of the skull where the trapezius muscles of the neck insert, the temples where muscles that move the jaw are located, and the forehead.

There is little research to confirm the exact cause of tension headaches. Tension headaches occur because of physical or emotional stress placed on the body. For example, these stressors can cause the muscles surrounding the skull to clench the teeth and go into spasm. Physical stressors include difficult and prolonged manual labor, or sitting at a desk or computer for long periods of time concentrating. Emotional stress also may cause tension headaches by causing the muscles surrounding the skull to contract.

Return to Headache

See what others are saying

Comment from: Linda, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 30

I had sinus headaches in the past which were caused by allergies. Most recently, I started with migraines again but was migraine free for about 15-20 years. I don't know what causes it. They have always occurred at night after 5 and before midnight. First migraine at age 60 after being migraine free for 15-20 years, I went to the emergency room for treatment; I had the usual treatment of a shot for pain and a shot for nausea. I was referred to a primary care physician by the emergency room doctor. She put me on sumatriptan 50 mg. I have had to take it once, one pill, and migraine symptoms of headache and slight nausea resolved. I don't know what has caused me to get migraines again.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: singer, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

My headaches are triggered when I get the slightest bit upset about anything, mainly worrying about my son. They start in my two neck muscles then crawl up and up; it goes in my ears then my temples and all over my head. The pain is so I cannot stand noise, light, or anything. I can't read watch TV or be bothered to talk pain killers, even the strong ones they have given me; nothing touches it. I've had these headaches every day for the last year since my son moved out of home. I can't even wash and do my hair now but the muscles in the neck go and that's my day destroyed. It stops me from ever leaving the house, I've had physiotherapy for it too.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

STAY INFORMED

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!