Tension Headache Treatment

Can this condition be treated? What Tension Headache treatment options are available? Learn more below about the current treatments available to patients.


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How to Treat Tension Headache

Tension headaches are managed , rather than cured. Therapies aim to stop the headache and reduce the frequency of future episodes.

Treatment may include:


Medications may include:

  • Over-the-counter pain pills-Continuous use of some over-the-counter medication may create rebound pain when you stop taking the drug. Pain medications are most effective when taken at the first sign of pain and before it becomes severe.
  • Prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or muscle relaxants
  • Drugs to prevent headaches, if you suffer from daily tension headaches
  • Antidepressant medications, even if you are not clinically depressed
  • Botulinum toxin injections (Botox)

Self-care During the Headache

Self-care may include:

  • Rest.
  • Put an ice pack or heat pack on your head or neck to ease discomfort.
  • Take a warm shower, with water running over tense muscles.
  • Massage your temples and neck.
  • Practice relaxation techniques.

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes may include:

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Improve your posture.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Take breaks from tasks.
  • Learn and practice stress management and relaxation techniques.
  • Consider seeing a counselor to:
    • Develop new coping skills.
    • Identify events that trigger the headaches and work toward resolution.

Additional Therapies

Additional therapies may include:

  • Acupuncture -Acupuncture may help you to have more headache-free days and lessen the intensity of headaches when they do occur.
  • Physical therapy-Physical therapists can help you develop a home-exercise program.
  • Massage therapy if the pain is in your neck and shoulders

If you are diagnosed with a tension headache, follow your doctor's instructions.

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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright ©2014 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved. Source: EBSCO