Tension headaches or tension headaches are a type of headache that is often described as feeling like a tightly tied rope around the head. But, now, many home remedies for tension headaches. Well, this condition can be experienced by anyone and at any age but is more common in adult women. Although quite disturbing, most tension headaches are not too severe, so that sufferers can still carry out daily activities.
The type of tension headaches
Tension headaches or tension headaches are divided into 2 groups, namely:
- Episodic tension headaches. This is a headache condition where the sufferer will feel constant pain that is mild to moderate. Headaches can last a short time (about 30 minutes) or a long time (days). Episodic tension headaches generally occur gradually and strike more frequently during the day.
- Chronic tension headaches. Usually, a chronic tension headache is described as a throbbing pain affecting the top, front, and both sides of the head. The pain can go away and come on for a long time.
Causes and Trigger Factors for Tension Headaches
The cause of tension headaches is not yet known with certainty. However, this condition is thought to occur when the muscles of the face, scalp, and neck become tense or experience contractions. Several factors can trigger muscle tension or contraction, including:
- Stress or pressure, both physically and mentally.
- Lack of rest or fatigue.
- The sun’s rays.
- Certain scent.
- Bad posture.
- Lack of exercise.
- Excessive alcohol consumption.
Symptoms of tension headaches
The tension headache’s main symptom is a pain like getting forehead pressure, either the head sides or the head back. The pain mainly arises when getting up from a lying position.
The pain can also extend to the temples, back of the neck, or shoulders. The duration of the headaches that occur varies, can last as short as 30 minutes or hours, and occur once or recur for up to 3 months.
Apart from headaches, other symptoms that can arise are:
- Muscle ache.
- Restlessness and disturbed concentration.
- Difficulty sleeping or easily waking up during sleep.
However, in tension headaches, physical activity does not make this condition worse.
Tension Headache Diagnosis
Tension headaches do not require further examination if they occur only occasionally. However, you must consult directly to your doctor if this pain occurs or comes with some conditions, such as:
- Occurs after getting an accident, moreover if you have a collision to your own head.
- Comes suddenly and causes a severe headache.
- Accompanied by nausea and vomiting, stiff neck, fever, and confusion.
- Accompanied by weakness, slurred speech, and numbness.
The doctor will ask about the symptoms experienced by the sufferer, such as the characteristics and location of the headache, and how often the sufferer experiences the pain. Next, the doctor will perform a physical and nerve examination to determine the type and find out the cause of the headache.
To determine the cause of tension headaches, doctors may order additional tests with scans, such as MRI and CT scans. Through this examination, the doctor can detect the cause of the headache.
Tension Headache Medication
Pain in tension headaches can be felt as mild pain, it can be severe and interfere with activities. Generally, the symptoms can be treated by home remedies for tension headaches:
Rest in a Dark Room
Rest in a dark, quiet room can be a way to deal with tension headaches. The reason is that people with tension headaches are generally sensitive to light and sound. In a dark area, let the muscles of tense relax by the way they are.
Stress can also trigger tension headaches. Therefore, try to overcome stress first. We can do many things to calm the mind. Starting from meditation, deep breathing exercises, or trying sports such as yoga. Most importantly, try to learn to identify and avoid stressors that can trigger headaches.
Massaging the temples and small stretches
When a tension headache strikes, try taking a few minutes to massage the temple area and do small stretches. In the National Institutes of Health – MedlinePlus, massage can help reduce the symptoms of tension headaches. Relaxation in the form of massage is intended so that tense muscles can relax again. Also, do massage or stretching the muscles that feel tense, such as the neck and hands.
Record the Time
Try keeping a diary about the tension headaches we experience. This method is very helpful, you know. For example, when did it occur, the food or drink that was consumed before the tension headache appeared, or the activities that were done before the headache started. These simple things can help your doctor identify triggers for tension headaches.
Compress with warm or cold water
Just try using a hot compress to relax the shoulder and neck area. This aims to reduce muscle tension that causes headaches. For cold water compresses, do not apply ice directly to the scalp. Try wrapping the ice in a clean towel or applying it to the affected part of the head.
Assertion headaches can also be triggered by habits that we are not aware of. Now, some habit changes might help to relieve this headache. For example, using pillows that are softer and more comfortable, and change sleeping positions. Also, if you spend a lot of time at the computer, try taking some time off to rest. You can stretch your neck, back, and shoulders in between work.
Potassium can be a natural pain reliever, including headaches. Remember, potassium deficiency can cause headaches or other complaints. Potatoes are high in potassium, so they can be used to relieve tension headaches. We recommend that you consume boiled, not fried potatoes.
Finally, the way to deal with tension headaches can be through relaxation. These activities can help relieve tension headaches caused by stress. How to? There are many relaxation techniques that we can try, from yoga, meditation to head massages.
If a tension headache is gripping and makes you feel very uncomfortable, even interfering with your activities, you can take a pain reliever to relieve it. Painkillers are a common way to treat tension headaches. People with tension headaches can take a combination pain reliever. To be sure, still, consult a doctor!
When to see a doctor?
If you often experience tension headaches that interfere with activities and do not go away even after taking medication, see your doctor immediately. Sometimes a headache indicates a serious health condition. You should also get checked out if you notice a change in headache pattern. For example, it feels heavier or more frequent. Seek emergency help immediately if you experience:
- Sudden headache
- Headache that is accompanied by stiff neck, fever, confusion, double vision, seizures, weakness or even paralysis, numbness or a difficulty in speaking
- Headache after injury, especially if the headache becomes worse
Those are some explanations related to causes, symptoms, and even home remedies for tension headaches.