Chronic Tension Headaches by Jackie Manning, ARNP

Chronic tension headaches are no fun at all!

When you think of chronic pain and headaches, migraines may come to mind. Although migraines are one common type of recurring headache, there are others.

You may have experienced chronic tension headaches at a time in life when you were stressed or perhaps when sleep was continuously interrupted or harder to come by. You may even be going through it now! Between the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and 2020 as a whole, the relentless stresses of daily life have become amplified for many. Plenty are experiencing physical manifestations of intense stress and fatigue. Pinpointing stress as a culprit, however, can offer peace of mind and empower us to work together to find a solution for relief.

Chronic tension headaches are defined as a condition in which a tension headache occurs at least 15 days per month for at least three months. Patients often describe this ongoing situation as both “tiring” and “depressing.”

Chronic tension headaches are felt on both sides of the head, and many report feeling like a tight band is encircling and squeezing their head. Pain is often felt at the base of the skull and on the neck as well. Unlike migraine headaches, tension headaches do not pulsate or leave you feeling nauseous.

While even specialist don’t exactly know the cause of chronic tension headaches, studies have shown that stress is a common factor. In addition to stress—anxiety, depression, and poor posture—have been identified as contributors as well. Those coping with busy schedules and sleep deprivation seem to be most affected.

What is the way forward?

Treatment ranges from stress management, to medication, to trigger point injections—a treatment that injects pain medication directly into the muscles of the head or neck. The soothing anesthetic and medication may prevent tension headaches for weeks, months, or even years at a time and can be repeated as needed. If you suffer from chronic pain due to any condition or injury, our dedicated team will work with you to treat your pain, increase your functionality, and enhance your quality of life. Relief is one call away. Give us a buzz!