Headache, Tension

  • It is the most common form of headache (with 78% of the global population experiencing it)
  • It is caused by both muscular and psychogenic factors such as stress, posture, and depression
  • It is also known as muscle contraction headache, ordinary headache, essential headache, idiopathic headache, psychomyogenic headache, stress headache, and psychogenic headache
  • In most cases, it lasts between 30 minutes to seven days.

##Types of Tension headache (TH);

  • Infrequent episodic TH (1-2 or fewer episodes per month). It is associated with a stressful event.
  • Frequent episodic type TH (fewer than 15 episodes per month for 3 or more months)
  • Chronic TH (> 15 episodes per month for ≥ 3s months). It is associated with contracted muscles of the neck and scalp

##Complications of treatment of TH include:

  • Dependence on or addiction to narcotic analgesics and caffeine
  • GI bleeding from use of NSAIDs
  • Medical Overuse Headache (MOH)
  • Risk of epilepsy by a factor of up to 4 times
  • Mild to moderate intensity headache
  • Headache that is described as a “feeling like a tight band around the head”
  • Bilateral headache (i.e. it affects both sides of the head)
  • Headache accompanied by increased sensitivity to either light or sound (not both).
  • Headache that is not affected by routine activity
  • Headache that is NOT accompanied by nausea or vomiting.
  • The headache causes pressing or tightening pain (not throbbing or pulsing).
  • Clinical evaluation
  • Tests such as MRI or CT scan to exclude other suspected causes
  • Migraine
  • Cluster headache
  • Antidepressants such as amitriptyline
  • Taking a rest
  • Analgesics such as paracetamol, aspirin and ibuprofen among others
  • Antidepressants such as amitriptyline
  • Taking a rest
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