Tension headaches are dull pain, tightness, or pressure around your forehead or the back of your head and neck. Some people say it feels like a clamp squeezing the skull. Often called stress headaches, they're the most common type for adults.

There are two types:
1. Episodic tension headaches (less than 15 days per month).
2. Chronic tension headaches (more than 15 days a month).

These headaches can last from 30 minutes to a few days. The episodic kind usually starts gradually, often in the middle of the day. Chronic ones come and go over a longer period of time. The pain may get stronger or ease up throughout the day, but it's almost always there. Although your head hurts, tension headaches usually don't keep you from your daily activities, and they don't affect your vision, balance, or strength.

What are the symptoms ?

  • Mild to moderate pain or pressure in the front, top, or sides of the head
  • Headache that starts later in the day
  • Trouble in sleeping
  • Feeling very tired
  • Irritability
  • Trouble in focusing
  • Mild sensitivity to light or noise
  • Muscle aches
  • Unlike migraine headaches, you won't have other nerve symptoms, such as muscle weakness or blurred vision. And they don't usually cause severe sensitivity to light or noise, stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting.

Where does it hurt

    This type of headache can :

  • Start at the back of your head and spread forward
  • Become a band of dull pressure or squeezing pain around your entire head
  • Affect both sides of your head equally
  • Make the muscles in your neck, shoulders, and jaw feel tight and sore

What causes tension headaches ?

There's no single cause for them. Most of the time, they're triggered by stress, whether from work, school, family, friends, or other relationships.
Episodic ones are usually set off by a single stressful situation or a buildup of stress. Daily stress can lead to the chronic kind.
This type of headache doesn't run in families. Some people get them because of tightened muscles in the back of the neck and scalp. This muscle tension can come from

  • Not enough rest
  • Bad posture
  • Emotional or mental stress, including depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Hunger
  • Low iron levels
  • Alcohol use
  • Caffeine
  • Jaw or dental problems

How are they treated ?

It's best to treat tension headaches when they first begin and the symptoms are still mild. The goal is to prevent more of them from happening and to relieve any pain you're already in. For prevention, you can:

Lifestyle changes may also help. Consider these:

  • ☛ Try to identify and avoid situations that cause tension or stress.
  • ☛ Take breaks from intense tasks.
  • ☛ Get regular exercise.
  • ☛ Get enough sleep.
  • ☛ Try not to push yourself too hard.
  • ☛ Eat regular meals.
  • ☛ Don't smoke.
  • ☛ Avoid alcohol or drink only in moderation.
  • ☛ Keep your sense of humor - it reduces tension.