How to Get Relief from Tension Headaches

 By: Sarah E. Young
Causes of Tension Headaches

Tension headaches, just as the name suggests, are headaches that result from being overly tense or stressed out. People overworked at their jobs, or simply have too many things going through their minds, are more prone to getting tension headaches.

Often referred to as stress headaches, tension headaches usually commence around noontime when a large portion of the day has already passed. Like a volcano, the quiet built up of tension and anxiety in an average individual start to take its toll. Many people say that tension headaches begin with a throbbing on both sides of the head and progress to rigidity of the muscles in the neck and head.

Getting a Diagnosis

Most doctors can easily make a positive diagnosis for tension headaches based solely on a physical examination and the patient's narration of the symptoms they are experiencing. No special tests or medical procedures such as CAT scans or blood tests are usually necessary.

Treatments for the Different Types of Tension Headaches

You can treat mild or sporadic cases of tension headaches by taking ordinary pain medications bought over-the-counter. Although a doctor's prescription is not required to purchase these drugs, you do need to exercise care in choosing your pain relievers. Some of these medications may produce undesirable results when taking together with other medications. If unsure, you can always consult your physician or simply ask the pharmacist.

If your tension headaches seem to last longer than usual, or if you notice that the headaches are occurring too frequently, please visit your doctor for a proper check-up. You should also consult your physician if over-the-counter pain medications do not producing the desired effect.

Serious cases of tension headaches require a treatment approach that is more drastic than taking common pain relievers. Prescription medication can help to curb the pain and prevent the headache from getting worse. When left untreated, even the mildest cases can progress to something as serious as a migraine. It is always best to address a headache its early stages.

Alternative Ways of Treating Tension Headaches

Some individuals may not be too keen in taking medications. If you are one of those people, there are many other methods you can approach to relief your headache.

Here are some simple and effective ways to prevent and relief tension headaches.

* Make sure you get 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
* Exercise regularly for about half an hour daily.
* Provide immediate relief by applying an ice pack on your head and neck.
* Use acupressure techniques. Massage the areas above and around your ears, temples and back of your neck.
* Go on a leisurely vacation to recharge yourself and escape the stresses associated with your daily hectic lifestyle.
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