Diagnosis & Treatment for Tension Headaches
Tension Headaches are Caused by Muscle Contractions in the Head and Neck
One of the most common type of headache disorders we see at New Jersey Headache Institute is the tension headache. Before tension headaches were officially classified the term was used to describe any headaches brought on by muscle tension and muscles contractions in the head and neck.
In 1988 the International Headache Society defined classifications for episodic and chronic tension-type headaches. Episodic tension-type headaches, or ETTH, are recurrent headaches that last anywhere from 30 minutes to a full week. They are characterized by a bi-lateral, tightening, non-pulsing pain of moderate intensity. They are generally absent of nausea, vomiting, photophobia, phonophobia or other symptoms that accompany some other headache types, nor are they worsened by exertion or physical activity. Episodic tension-type headaches occur fewer than 15 times in a month.
Chronic tension-type headaches, or CTTH, have all the characteristics of episodic tension-type headaches but occur more than 15 times a month. The associated pain could be defined as severe. Many chronic tension-type headache are induced by the over usage of medications.
TENSION HEADACHE Treatment Includes Medication
At New Jersey Headache Institute we provide a variety of effective tension headache treatment options. Many medications are effective in treating tension-type headaches. Behavioral therapy could also be employed. Use of prescribed medications should be monitored closely for any indication of over use or conversion from episodic to chronic tension-type headaches.
- Relaxation therapy
- Stress management counseling
- Anti-inflammatories (Celebrex)
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (Naproxen, Ibuprofen)
- Analgesics (Fiorinal, Tylenol with Codeine)
- Mild analgesics (Acetaminophen, Aspirin)
- Stress reduction medication (Tranxene, Xanax, Buspar)