Causes and Treatments of Migraine Headaches (cont.)
Robert Cowan, MD
Soma Sahai, MD
Joseph Carcione Jr, DO, MBA
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
James H Halsey, MD
IN THIS ARTICLE
Chronic tension-type headache
Chronic tension-type headaches are not associated with a history of migraine or cluster headaches. Patients report almost constant daily headaches of mild-to-moderate intensity. The headache is described as a feeling of tightness or pressure that is not worsened, and may actually be improved, by activity. Patients with chronic tension-type headaches can carry on their daily activities. Nausea and photophobia (sensitivity to light) may occur, but vomiting usually does not. A small group of patients may have head and neck tenderness.
Chronic tension-type headache, Treatment
Patients who are less responsive to previous treatment and those with conditions like depression and stress may be good candidates for psychological treatments. Biofeedback has been successful in patients with tension headache. They are taught how to relax their tense muscles. Thermal biofeedback, in which patients are taught to increase their body temperatures to improve their headaches, has also worked. Other less conventional treatments, such as relaxation training and stress-coping training, may be helpful in the long term.
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