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How do tension headaches happen?

ANSWER

Tension headaches happen when the muscles in your neck, shoulders, and scalp tense up. You may not be able to avoid them completely. But if you can make changes in your daily life, it may help stop these headaches before they start.

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

NEXT QUESTION:

What is the treatment for tension headaches?

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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.