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How to Spot a Tension Headache

headache pain

>9 in 10

adults will experience a headache at some point

2 in 3

children will have a headache by the age of 15

Knowing how to spot a tension headache, the most common type of headache, can help you treat and maybe even avoid them in the future.

Tension Headache Checklist

  • Dull, aching head pain
  • Sensation of tightness or pressure across your forehead or on the sides and back of your head
  • Tenderness on your scalp, neck and shoulder muscles
  • The feeling of being stressed, depressed or anxious (happens to us all sometimes)


What Causes a Tension Headache?

Not sleeping enough.

Skipping a meal.

Drinking Alcohol.

Stress, depression or anxiety.

Clenching your jaw.

neck strain

Straining your head or neck muscles.

When to call the doctor about your headache

  • +2 headaches per week.
  • A sudden, severe headache possibly accompanied by a stiff neck/fever
  • You feel confused, short of breath, weak, are experienceing loss of vision or lose consciousness
  • Your pain get worse over a period of time past a few days
  • If you have a headache after a head injury
  • Your headache is triggered by exertion, coughing or bending
  • You have persistent/severe vomiting not caused by another disease
  • If you have a persistent, nonstop headache (and usually don't get them)


Not every tension headache means you have to call your doctor, but they can be a sign of a more serious issue that needs care. Please talk to your physician about your symptoms to get the treatment you need.

Pain relief you can count on.
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