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How can your doctor help with tension headaches?

ANSWER

If you’ve tried changes in lifestyle habits and still get tension headaches, tell your doctor. He or she may use a local anesthetic to relax trigger points. Your doctor may suggest taking a daily medication that can prevent chronic tension headaches, like:

  • Anti-anxiety medication (like buspirone)
  • Antidepressants (like amitriptyline)
  • Seizure medication (like gabapentin or topiramate)

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: “Rebound Headaches.”

Harvard Health Publications: “4 ways to tame tension headaches.”

Mount Sinai Hospital: “Tension Headache.”

National Headaches Foundation: “Tension-Type Headache.”

President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.”

University of California Berkeley: “Headaches.”

University of Michigan: “When Should You See a Doctor for Headache or Migraines?”

University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority: “Headaches: Should I Take Prescription Medicine for Tension Headaches?”

National Stroke Association: “Act FAST.”

UpToDate: "Tension-type headache in adults: Preventive treatment."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on November 07, 2017

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: “Rebound Headaches.”

Harvard Health Publications: “4 ways to tame tension headaches.”

Mount Sinai Hospital: “Tension Headache.”

National Headaches Foundation: “Tension-Type Headache.”

President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.”

University of California Berkeley: “Headaches.”

University of Michigan: “When Should You See a Doctor for Headache or Migraines?”

University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority: “Headaches: Should I Take Prescription Medicine for Tension Headaches?”

National Stroke Association: “Act FAST.”

UpToDate: "Tension-type headache in adults: Preventive treatment."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on November 07, 2017

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.