Headache, tension: A headache caused by contracting of the muscles in the back of the neck, on the scalp, and sometimes in the jaw. Tension headaches are usually related to stress. Treatment is via stress reduction, massage, and analgesic medication, such as aspirin (in adults only), acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium. Analgesics containing caffeine may be stronger. For chronic tension headaches, some doctors recommend tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, which work to defuse stress and to lessen pain. Also called muscle tension headache, stress headache.
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Reviewed on 12/27/2018