top of page

What are tension headaches?

If you've ever experienced a tight, constricting band-like sensation around your head, you may have encountered the most common type of headache known as a tension headache.

In this blog post, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and effective treatment options for tension headaches, helping you find relief and regain control over your well-being.

What Are Tension Headaches? Tension headaches are characterized by a dull, aching pain that often feels like a tight band or pressure around the forehead, temples, or back of the head. They are typically caused by muscle contractions in the head and neck region, leading to tension and discomfort.

Causes of Tension Headaches:

  1. Stress: High levels of stress and anxiety can contribute to the development of tension headaches. Learning stress management techniques can help reduce the frequency and severity of these headaches.

  2. Poor Posture: Maintaining improper posture for extended periods, such as sitting at a desk with rounded shoulders, can strain the neck and head muscles, triggering tension headaches.

  3. Eyestrain: Prolonged periods of intense concentration or extended use of digital devices can strain the eyes, leading to tension headaches.

  4. Sleep Issues: Lack of quality sleep or irregular sleep patterns can increase the likelihood of experiencing tension headaches.

  5. Jaw Clenching: Habitual teeth grinding or clenching, often associated with stress, can strain the muscles in the jaw and contribute to tension headaches.

Symptoms of Tension Headaches:

  • Dull, aching pain or pressure around the head

  • Tenderness in the scalp, neck, or shoulder muscles

  • Sensation of a tight band or pressure around the forehead

  • Mild to moderate intensity, not usually accompanied by nausea or vomiting

young man with a headache

Effective Treatment Options for Tension Headaches:

Lifestyle Modifications:

  • Stress management techniques, such as relaxation exercises and mindfulness meditation.

  • Maintaining good posture and ergonomics.

  • Taking regular breaks from prolonged computer or device use.

  • Prioritizing restful sleep and establishing a consistent sleep routine.

Non-Pharmacological Approaches:

  • Physical therapy to address muscle imbalances and improve posture.

  • Heat or cold therapy to relax tense muscles.

  • Massage therapy to release muscle tension and improve circulation.

man getting a massage
Massage therapy can be very helpful for tension headaches


  • Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can provide temporary relief.

  • Prescription medications, including muscle relaxants or tricyclic antidepressants, may be prescribed in severe cases.

  1. Interventional Procedures:

  • Trigger point injections or nerve blocks may be considered for targeted pain relief and muscle relaxation.

Tension headaches can significantly impact your quality of life, but with the right knowledge and treatment, you can find relief and manage the frequency and intensity of these headaches. At Cardinal Headache Center, our experienced team is dedicated to providing personalized care and effective solutions to help you overcome tension headaches. Don't let tension headaches hold you back—reach out to us today and take the first step towards a headache-free life.

13 views0 comments


bottom of page