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What is Tension Headache?

Tension headaches can last anywhere from 30 minutes to several days. The discomfort is frequently described as "a band around the head" or vice-like and is experienced on both sides of the head (bilateral). The majority of people with tension-type headaches carry on with their regular daily activities despite their headache because the pain is often low to moderate intensity, and does not get worse with usual physical activities. Due to pain, they may self limit their activities or avoid social activities.

A tension headache might be prevented by recognizing and avoiding headache triggers. Keeping a consistent routine for your meals, exercise, and sleep is can be beneficial in managing headaches. Physical therapy may help to stop tension headaches if they happen frequently or on a regular basis.

Diagnostic Criteria for Tension Headache

Headache location

Bilateral headache,  described as a "band around the head" or a vice grip.

Headache Intensity

mild to moderate intensity pain. Does not worsen with physical activity. 

other Symptoms

Pericranial tenderness, sensitivity to light or sound.

How We Treat Tension Headache

A thorough musculoskeletal examine is performed. During the examination process we focus particular attention to the head, neck, and upper back. By identifying the source of your discomfort, this evaluation will assist in identifying the structures that might be contributing to the issue. After the examination I'll take time to educate you on each structure and which ones are thought to be responsible for your headache attacks!

Treatments include hands-on techniques like joint mobilizations and massage, as well as neck strengthening, proprioceptive exercises, and mobility interventions to enhance movement and relieve musculoskeletal causes of headache. Over the course of treatment these methods will assist in lowering the triggers specific to your condition.

The primary goal is to address musculoskeletal causes of your headache and reduce the frequency of attacks so that you can have fewer days limited by pain!

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