The NeuroMedical Center | Patient Education Library | Tension Headaches

A tension headaches is a common type of headache that can be painful and frustration for many people. It tends to start in the back of the head and then moves forward to surround your head.


The exact cause of tension headaches is not fully understood. They were once believed to be caused by tense, contracted muscles in the neck and head. But research has shown they may be linked to a heightened sensitivity to pain and stress. This may stem from changes in brain chemicals called “neurotransmitters.”

A tension headache can be triggered by stress, anxiety or fatigue. It can result from eye strain. It can be triggered by holding your head in one position for a long time. This can be a problem if you work with a computer all day, especially if your desk and chair are not set up comfortably for you. Medications can cause tension headaches. Alcohol and drug use can, too. Some other triggers include overexertion, depression, arthritis, hormonal changes and certain foods.

The most common symptom of a tension headache is mild to moderate pain in your head. This pain is dull and aching. It can feel like a tight band surrounding your head. The muscles of your neck and shoulders may feel tense and tender. Your pain may last for a short time or for days. It may recur, and become a chronic problem.

At The NeuroMedical Center, treatment options for tension headaches depends on the cause and the severity of your headaches. Your physician may recommend medications to reduce your pain and frequency of your headaches. You may also benefit from relaxation techniques and a healthier lifestyle.  Your physician at The NeuroMedical Center will design a treatment plan based on your needs.