Tension Headaches - Topic Overview
How are tension headaches diagnosed?
A doctor can
usually diagnose tension headaches by asking you questions about your health
and lifestyle and by examining you.
How are they treated?
Most people can treat their
tension headaches with
over-the-counter pain relievers
like acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or aspirin (such as Bayer).
But if you take
these pain relievers more than 3 times a week, you may get
rebound headaches. These are
different from tension headaches. Rebound headaches usually start after pain
medicine has worn off, which leads you to take another dose. After a
while, you get a headache whenever you stop taking the medicine.
Your doctor may prescribe medicine if
you get chronic tension headaches.
Can you prevent tension headaches?
Even with treatment, most people still have some headaches. But with
treatment, you will probably have them less often. And when you do get them,
they probably won't be as bad.
Home treatment may help you avoid headaches. You can:
- Try to reduce stress.
- Make sure you sleep, exercise, and eat on a regular
- Make sure you practice good posture. Stand and sit up
- Try not to strain
your eyes when you use your computer.
- Get treatment for depression
or anxiety if you have those health problems.
- Try using a headache diary. Every time you get a headache, write down the date, the time, and what
you were doing and feeling before your headache started. This may help you and
your doctor find out what is causing your headaches. Then your doctor can use
the diary to plan your treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions