How Painful Can Tension Headaches Get?

Reviewed on 3/18/2021

Tension headaches usually cause mild to moderate pain in the forehead, temples, or the back on head and/or neck. Tension headache pain is usually dull, affects both sides of the head, and creates a “vice-like” tightening sensation around the neck and/or head.
Tension headaches usually cause mild to moderate pain in the forehead, temples, or the back on head and/or neck. Tension headache pain is usually dull, affects both sides of the head, and creates a “vice-like” tightening sensation around the neck and/or head.

Tension headaches usually cause mild to moderate pain in the forehead, temples, or the back on head and/or neck. 

Symptoms of tension headaches include head pain that:

  • Is dull, aching, and not throbbing 
  • Is not usually severe
  • Affects both sides of the head
  • Feels like a “vice-like” tightening band-like sensation around the neck and/or head

Other symptoms that may accompany a chronic tension headache include: 

What Are Tension Headaches?

The most common form of headache is a tension headache, which causes pressure or tightness on both sides of the head. 

The two main types of tension headache include: 

  • Episodic 
    • Occurs randomly 
    • Often triggered by stress, fatigue, anxiety, or anger
    • May go away after taking over-the-counter pain relievers, removing the source of stress, or a period of relaxation
  • Chronic
    • Continuous or daily or headache
    • Less common than episodic headaches
    • Intensity of pain may vary
    • Antidepressants may be used to treat chronic tension headaches

What Causes Tension Headaches?

Tension headaches may be caused by:

What Is the Treatment for Headaches?

Treatment for tension headaches may include: 

QUESTION

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Reviewed on 3/18/2021
References
https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/causes-of-headaches

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/tension-type-headache-in-adults-acute-treatment?search=headache%20treatment%27&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=1

https://headaches.org/2007/10/25/tension-type-headache/