Tension Headache - Symptoms

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What are the symptoms of tension headache?

The pain associated with tension headache typically impacts the whole head, but may begin in the back of the head or above the eyebrows. Some people experience a band-like sensation which encircles their skull, while others describe pain as a muscle tension in their neck or shoulder regions. The pain is frequently described as constant and pressure-like. Most people who have a tension headache are able to continue their daily activities despite the pain. Tension headaches are not associated with nausea or vomiting, and do not have symptoms like flashing lights, blind spots, or numbness or weakness of the arms or legs which precede the headache. These symptoms can help distinguish tension headaches from other types of headaches. In some cases, people with tension headache report some sensitivity to light or sound. The pain of a tension headache tends to come on gradually and even at maximum intensity is not incapacitating.

While the pain of a tension headache is usually short-lived, lasting for several minutes to a few hours, in rare cases the headache may last for many days. Most tension headaches occur infrequently. However, in some cases, headaches may occur more than 15 days each month. When this occurs, the headaches are referred to as chronic tension headache. The pain of chronic tension headache tends to wax and wane in severity.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: makeitstop, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 05

It feels like my head is screwed on too tight. Sometimes it feels like a pulling sensation from eyebrows to neck. I am somewhat nauseated and sensitive to light and sound.

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Comment from: yv3tt3, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 04

I have suffered from tension headaches for quite a few years now, it always starts when I wake up, my symptoms are very tight neck muscles and always pain on the right side of my neck and head. The headaches last for 2 to 3 days. I sought the help of a naturopath and was told to take magnesium citrate and omega 3s. I have not had a tension headache in almost 6 months.

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