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Tension type headache (TTH) is a common type of headache that is characterized by mild to moderate pain that feels like a tight band around the head. It is the most common type of primary headache disorder and affects up to 78% of the general population at some point in their life. TTH is often referred to as a stress headache because it is commonly associated with stress, anxiety, and tension.

Symptoms of Tension Type Headache

The symptoms of TTH can vary from person to person, but typically include a dull, aching pain that feels like pressure or tightness around the forehead, temples, or back of the head. The pain is usually bilateral (on both sides of the head) and is described as mild to moderate in intensity. Some people may also experience sensitivity to light or sound, as well as muscle tension in the neck and shoulders.

Causes of Tension Type Headache

The exact causes of TTH are not well understood, but it is believed to be related to muscle tension and stress. TTH can be triggered by a number of factors, including:

·         Emotional stress

·         Physical stress, such as poor posture or repetitive strain injuries

·         Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep

·         Skipping meals or eating irregularly

·         Caffeine withdrawal

·         Hormonal changes, such as those associated with menstruation

Diagnosis of Tension Type Headache

TTH is typically diagnosed based on a patient's symptoms and medical history. A doctor may also perform a physical examination to rule out other possible causes of the headaches, such as a migraine or a more serious medical condition.

Treatment of Tension Type Headache

The treatment of TTH depends on the severity and frequency of the headaches, as well as the underlying causes. Some common treatment options include:

Pain relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, may be effective in relieving the pain associated with TTH. For more severe headaches, prescription-strength pain relievers may be necessary.

Muscle relaxants: These medications can help to reduce muscle tension in the neck and shoulders, which may be contributing to the headache.

Stress reduction: Stress management techniques, such as relaxation exercises, meditation, or yoga, may be helpful in reducing the frequency and severity of TTH.

Physical therapy: If poor posture or muscle tension is contributing to the headaches, physical therapy may be recommended to help improve posture and reduce muscle tension.

Counseling: For some people, TTH may be related to emotional or psychological stress. Counseling or psychotherapy may be helpful in managing stress and reducing the frequency of headaches.

Prevention of Tension Type Headache

Preventing TTH often involves identifying and managing triggers. Some tips for preventing TTH include:

Managing stress: Stress reduction techniques, such as meditation or yoga, can help to reduce the frequency and severity of TTH.

Practicing good posture: Maintaining good posture, especially when sitting or working at a computer, can help to prevent muscle tension in the neck and shoulders.

Getting enough sleep: Ensuring that you get enough restful sleep each night can help to reduce the likelihood of developing TTH.

Eating regularly: Eating regular meals and staying hydrated can help to prevent TTH triggered by skipped meals or dehydration.

Limiting caffeine: Gradually reducing caffeine intake can help to prevent TTH triggered by caffeine withdrawal.

In conclusion, tension type headache is a common primary headache disorder that is often associated with stress and muscle tension. While the exact causes of TTH are not well understood, there are a number of effective treatments available, including pain relievers, muscle relaxants, stress reduction techniques, physical therapy, and counseling.

Symptoms of Tension Type Headache