Tension headache
Tension-type headache / muscle tension headache

Approximately half of the world's population will suffer a muscle tension headache at least once in their lives. Tension-type headache is the most common form of headache. Approximately 48 percent of all forms of headache can be attributed to muscle tension headache.

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Other forms of headache include migraine, medication-induced headache, cluster headache and cervicogenic headache.

Description of the condition

A distinction is made between chronic tension headaches and episodic tension headaches. The chronic form causes headache on at least 15 days per month. The episodic form results in tension headaches on a maximum of 15 days per month, with a minimum of 1 day per month.

Cause and origin

We suspect that increased muscle tension in the muscles of the neck causes the headache. These muscles are located at the back of the neck.

Signs & symptoms

The pain is present continuously and can feel like a tight band around the head. The pain is located on both sides of the head and is not present on only one side. The headache can radiate to the forehead.

Diagnosis

Treatment

Treatment consists of postural instructions, muscle strengthening exercises and mobilisation techniques for the neck.

Advice


You can check your symptoms using the online physiotherapy check or make an appointment with a physiotherapy practice in your area.

References
Nugteren, K. van & Winkel, D. (2012). Onderzoek en behandeling van de nek. Houten: Bohn Stafleu van Loghum.

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