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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  • Screening
  • Medications
  • Prevention
  • Treatment
  • Alternative Treatment
  • Care Guide
  • Questions for Your Doctor
  • When to Contact a Doctor
  • Find a Doctor
  • Resource Guide

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.


Learn what Tension Headache is
What It Is
Learn the basics of this condition. Find out what you're dealing with.
Tension Headache Causes
What causes Tension Headache? Learn what the medical community has uncovered.
Tension Headache Risk Factors
Risk Factors
Are you at risk of getting Tension Headache? Inside you'll find known risk factors for the condition.
Tension Headache Diagnosis
How will your doctor diagnose you with this condition? Learn about the tests, process, and more.
Tension Headache Symptoms
What are the Tension Headache symptoms? Are you showing any? Learn more today.
Tension Headache Complications
Can this condition lead to other health problems? Learn more about the known complications.

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Screening for Tension Headache
Learn more about the specific tests or exams given by your doctor to screen for Tension Headache.
Tension Headache Medications
What medications offer relief or help with this condition? Are there side effects? Risks? Learn more.
Tension Headache Prevention
How can you prevent Tension Headache? Read what the medical community suggests for prevention methods.
Tension Headache Treatment
Can this condition be treated? What Tension Headache treatment options are available?
Tension Headache Care
Learn more about the day to day care of this condition. Changes to your activity, diet, exercise, and more.
Tension Headache Doctors
Find a Doctor
Do you need to contact a doctor about Tension Headache? Select a location to find a specialist in your area.

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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