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Tension Headaches

Basics

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Definition

A tension headache is a condition involving pain or discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck, usually associated with muscle tightness in these areas.

Symptoms

The headache pain may be described as:

  • Dull, pressure-like
  • A tight band or vise on the head
  • All over (not just in one point or one side)
  • Worse in the scalp, temples, or back of the neck

The pain may occur as an insolated event, constantly, or daily. Pain may last for 30 minutes to 7 days. It may be triggered by or get worse with stress, fatigue, noise, or glare.

There may be difficulty sleeping. Tension headaches usually do not cause nausea or vomiting.

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