"Tension-type" headaches are the most common type of headaches among adults. They used to be commonly referred to as muscle contraction headaches or stress headaches, but these old terms have been abandoned. Chronic tension-type headache means that you have a tension-type headache on most days, or on every day. The cause is not clear in most cases.
There is no single cause for tension-type headaches. This type of headache syndrome is not a trait that runs in families. In some people, tension-type headaches are associated with tightened muscles in the back of the neck and scalp. This muscle tension may be exacerbated by:
Typically, the pain is like tightness around the hat-band area. Some people feel a squeezing or pressure on their head. It usually occurs on both sides of your head, and often spreads down your neck, or seems to come from your neck. Sometimes it is just on one side. The pain is usually moderate or mild, but sometimes it is severe.
Many people with chronic tension-type headache put up with their headaches without seeing a doctor. In one study, two-thirds of people diagnosed with chronic tension-type headache had had daily or near daily headache for an average of seven years before consulting a doctor. Most continued to function at work or school, but their performance was often not as good as it could be. Almost half had anxiety or depression, possibly as a result of coping with their frequent headaches.
If you think you have chronic tension-type headache, it is best to see a doctor, as treatment can often help.
Source: Patient.co.uk, Cleveland Clinic
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