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Tension Headache Triggers - Topic Overview

The most common triggers for tension headaches are physical and emotional stress.

Sometimes stress is caused by conditions such as anxiety and depression. If you think you may have anxiety or depression, talk with your doctor. If you treat these conditions, you may get tension headaches less often.

Recommended Related to Migraines/Headaches

Understanding Headache -- Treatment

Most headaches can be diagnosed by a medical history and physical exam. Rarely, to rule out other causes of headaches such as an aneurysm, tumor, or structural abnormality, a doctor may call for vision tests, X-rays, a CT scan, MRI, a lumbar puncture, or an EEG.

Read the Understanding Headache -- Treatment article > >

If you have tension headaches, ask yourself if you are:

  • Having conflicts within your family or at work or school.
  • Not getting enough sleep or relaxation.

Other possible tension headache triggers include:

  • Eyestrain from working at a computer.
  • Neck strain from poor posture, your work environment, or injury.
  • Strain in the chewing muscles of your jaw. This can happen if you grind or clench your teeth.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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