What Causes A Tension Headache And How To Relieve It


A tension headache, which is sometimes referred to as a stress headache, is a common occurrence. Between 1% and 3% of all people experience a tension type headache at least once a month. If you get tension headaches, then it’s important to understand what they are, what causes them, and how you can get tension headache relief.

What is a Tension Headache?

Tension headaches are common but the precise causes of them are not known. What we do know is that there are three primary triggers for a tension type headache.

  1. Stress
  2. Lack of sleep
  3. Skipping meals

People may experience pain in the head or neck, which explains why some people will refer to a neck tension headache. With a tension headache, back of head pain is also common and can range from mild to intense.

Other factors that may contribute to a tension headache include eye strain, vision problems, overexertion during physical activity, and muscle strain in the neck or shoulders. If you strain a muscle in your neck or shoulder, you may be able to prevent a tension headache by icing the area and taking anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen.

While anybody can get a tension headache, women are twice as likely to experience tension headaches as men are. We don’t know why that is.

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