640 South State StreetDover, Delaware 19901
21 West Clarke AvenueMilford, Delaware 19963
401 North Carter RoadSmyrna, DE 19977
640 S. State StreetDover DE 1990121 West Clarke AvenueMilford DE 19963
301 Jefferson AveMilford, DE 19963
1275 S. State StreetDover, Delaware 19901
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. Stress and muscle tension are often factors in tension type headaches. Tension headaches typically don’t cause nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light. They are the most common type of headache. They typically cause a steady ache, rather than a throbbing one, and tend to affect both sides of the head. Tension headaches may be chronic, occurring frequently or every day.
The exact mechanism that causes a tension headache is not known. Several factors, such as genetics and environment, are thought to be involved. Muscle contractions in the head and neck are considered a major factor in the development of a tension headache. Some people get tension headaches in response to stressful events or hectic days.
While symptoms may differ, the following are common symptoms of a tension type headache:
The symptoms of tension headaches may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis.
Tension headaches are diagnosed primarily based on the symptoms you report.A thorough medical exam, which may include other tests or procedures, may be used to rule out underlying diseases or conditions.
Tracking and sharing information about your headache with your health care provider helps with the process of making an accurate diagnosis.
Questions commonly asked during the exam may include, but are not limited to, the following:
If the history is consistent with tension-type headaches and the neurological exam is normal, no further diagnostic testing may be necessary. However, if the headache is not found to be the primary problem, then other tests may be needed to determine the cause.
Tests which may be used to determine the cause of a tension headache may include:
Specific treatment for headaches will be determined by your health care provider based on:
The ultimate goal of treatment is to stop headaches from occurring. Adequate headache management depends on reducing stress and tension. Some suggestions for tension headache management include:
Identifying and avoiding headache triggers may prevent a tension headache. Maintaining a regular sleep, exercise, and meal schedule is also beneficial. If tension headaches occur regularly or frequently, therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation therapy, or biofeedback may reduce or eliminate headaches. Medications are also available to prevention tension headaches and should be discussed with your health care provider.
A severe headache that is the “worst headache ever” requires immediate attention.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your health care provider:
Bayhealth is Southern Delaware’s healthcare leader with hospitals in Dover and in Milford. Bayhealth provides a wide range of medical services, including cardiovascular, cancer, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, pediatrics, respiratory care, sleep care, surgical weight loss and women’s services.