What are treatment options for tension type headache?

What are treatment options for tension type headache?
What are treatment options for tension type headache?

What are treatment options for tension type headache is a common question we get as neck health experts.

A tension-type headache is a common type of headache characterized by a dull, aching pain that typically affects both sides of the head.

Treatment for tension type headache focuses on addressing the underlying cervical spine issues and relieving the associated signals from myofascial trigger points.

Treatment options for tension-type headaches are typically aimed at relieving pain, preventing future episodes, and addressing contributing factors like stress and poor posture. Here are common treatment approaches for tension-type headaches:

Treatment options for tension type headache

  1. Over-the-Counter Pain Medications:
    • Non-prescription pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Aleve) can help alleviate mild to moderate tension-type headache pain.
    • Follow the recommended dosage and guidelines on the medication label.
  2. Prescription Medications:
    • For severe or frequent tension type headache, a healthcare provider may prescribe stronger pain relievers or muscle relaxants.
    • Tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline) or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be prescribed as preventive medications for chronic tension-type headaches.
  3. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT):
    • CBT can help individuals manage stress and anxiety, which are common triggers for tension-type headaches. It teaches coping strategies and stress reduction techniques.
  4. Physical Therapy:
    • Physical therapists can provide exercises and stretches to improve posture, neck and shoulder muscle tension, and overall musculoskeletal health.
  5. Stress Management:
    • Stress reduction techniques such as relaxation exercises, deep breathing, mindfulness, and yoga can help prevent and manage tension-type headaches.
  6. Lifestyle Modifications:
    • Practicing good posture, maintaining regular sleep patterns, staying hydrated, and reducing caffeine and alcohol consumption can be beneficial.
  7. Trigger Point Release:
    • Myofascial trigger point therapy or massage can help relieve muscle tension and trigger points in the neck and shoulders, reducing headache frequency and intensity.
  8. Dry Needling:
    • Some individuals find relief from tension-type headaches through dry needling, which involves inserting thin needles into specific myofascial trigger points on the body.
  9. Joint mobilizations:
    • Physical therapists use joint mobilizations to improve the mobility, flexibility, and function of the cervical and thoracic spine joints.
  10. Diet and Hydration:
    • Ensuring a balanced diet, avoiding skipping meals, and staying adequately hydrated can help reduce headache frequency.

Conclusion for tension type headache treatment options

Interventions that address the myofascial trigger point in key cervical and cranial muscles as part of a more comprehensive treatment plan is beneficial in the management of tension type headache. However, treatment success often involves a combination of therapies and lifestyle modifications to manage tension type headache effectively.

Patients presenting with tension type headache should consider specialized physical therapy.   We provide a comprehensive treatment approach through our Headache Relief Program.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today so we can help you!