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Where does the muscle tension in tension headaches come from?

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This type of headache doesn’t run in families. Some people get them because of tightened muscles in the back of the neck and scalp. This muscle tension can come from:

For others, tightened muscles aren’t part of tension headaches, and there’s no clear cause.

  • Not enough rest
  • Bad posture
  • Emotional or mental stress, including depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Hunger
  • Low iron levels

From: Tension Headaches WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "Headache: Hope Through Research."

National Headache Foundation: "Tension-Type Headache."

MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: "Tension headache."

American Headache Society: "Types of Headaches."

University Health Services, University of California, Berkeley: "Tension Headache Fact Sheet."

Reviewed by Neil Lava on May 6, 2018

SOURCES:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "Headache: Hope Through Research."

National Headache Foundation: "Tension-Type Headache."

MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: "Tension headache."

American Headache Society: "Types of Headaches."

University Health Services, University of California, Berkeley: "Tension Headache Fact Sheet."

Reviewed by Neil Lava on May 6, 2018

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How do you know what to call your tension headaches?

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