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Tension Headaches: Causes, Symptoms, Relief

Updated on May 13, 2016
Stress and Anxiety is number one cause of tension headaches.
Stress and Anxiety is number one cause of tension headaches.

Tension headaches are the most common type of headaches among adults. They are commonly referred to as stress headaches.

Chronic tension headaches come and go over a prolonged period of time.

Who Are Affected by Tension Headaches?

Close to 90 percent of women and 70 percent of men experience tension headaches during their lifetimes, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Symptoms of Tension Headaches:

  • Constant pain, in one area or all over the head
  • Sore muscles with trigger points in neck and upper back
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Disturbed concentration

What Causes Tension Headaches?

Episodic tension headaches are usually triggered by an isolated stressful situation or a build-up of stress.

Daily unmanaged stress or chronic stress can lead to chronic tension headaches.

Tension Headache Relief

Important - medications don't cure tension headaches and that, over time, pain-relievers and other medications may lose their effectiveness.

Besides medication addresses symptoms only but never the CAUSE.

Fortunately, there are many natural options that can help to relieve tension headaches safely, effectively and for good.

1. Cleanse your body. This is huge – before any other treatment you have to cleanse your body. Body toxins not only trigger tension headaches but also add to an overall stress picture.

I had suffered from very severe headaches years ago. After total body cleanse my headaches just disappeared.

2. Manage your stress. Stress management is one of the most essential components of tension headache relief.

3. Lead a healthy lifestyle. Healthy lifestyle basic pillars include regular physical exercises, eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep and avoiding too much caffeine.

4. Recognize and manage negative emotions and negative thoughts which are standing in your way to low stress, pain-free and balanced life.

5. Take herbs that halt headaches.

6. Try aromatherapy essential oils. Ginger, peppermint and wintergreen essential oils may help relieve tension headaches when rubbed into your temples or inhaled via aromatherapy.

7. Take supplements of vitamin C with bioflavonoids, bromelain, magnesium, primrose oil, and ginger for relief muscle spasms.

8. Practice deep breathing exercises and progressive muscle relaxation.

9. Use Acupressure Mat for pain relief.

10. Relax your muscles. Muscle tension can trigger and worsen headaches, and there are a number of ways to relieve it. You can use a heating pad, a hot-water bottle or take a hot shower or bath if you find the warmth soothing. An ice pack wrapped in a washcloth can also be effective,

11. Try Indian Head massage. This is an excellent option is massaging your head, neck and shoulders (or having someone do it for you)

12. Watch your posture. Poor posture can lead to muscle strain and tension. Be careful to hold your shoulders back and your head high when standing and sit with your things parallel to the ground and your head upright (not slumped forward). Watch your posture when working at your desk as well.

13. Try Biofeedback.


Regardless of the treatment, tension headaches are best treated when the symptoms first begin and are mild, before they become more frequent and painful.

About the Author

Dr.Inese Millere , M.D. is wellness and mindful eating coach for busy women after 40 who want to be Fit, Balanced and Ageless: to manage stress, stress eating, have a healthy and joyful relationship with food and enjoy healthy living and longevity.


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