TENSION-TYPE HEADACHE IN ADULTS
DEFINITIION: Headache is defined as a pain in the head felt in the forehead, temples, scalp, behind the head or back of the upper neck.
SYMPTOMS: Symptoms can include all or some of the following: pressure or tightness around both sides of the head or neck (band-like pattern), mild to moderate pain that is steady and does not throb, pain that is not worsened by activity and tenderness in the muscles of the head, neck or shoulders. The onset of the headache is gradual and may increase or decrease in severity over the course of the headache.
CAUSES: The most common precipitants are stress and mental tension. Muscle contraction, fatigue and missing meals can also trigger tension-type headaches.
TREATMENT: Treatment includes aspirin, acetaminophen or NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen or naproxen) to relieve acute pain. Excedrin©, which contains a combination of aspirin, acetaminophen and caffeine, can also be used. Rest, massage and listening to relaxing music also help to relieve acute pain. Stress reduction and regular exercise decrease incidence of tension-type headaches. If headaches occur more than two to three times per week, then prescription medication may be required.
*Always consult your physician before initiating any over the counter treatment.