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Tension-type headaches

A tension-type headache is the most common type of headache.

The main symptom of a tension-type headache is pain on both sides of your head. Your neck may also ache.

Tension-type headaches are usually treated with painkillers. Putting a cool flannel on your forehead or a warm flannel on your neck may help.

Tension-type headaches can be triggered by things like stress, tiredness, dehydration and loud noises.

Read more on the NHS website.

The main symptom of a tension-type headache is pain on both sides of your head. Your neck may also ache.

Symptoms of tension-type headaches

It may feel like a constant ache that affects both sides of the head. You may also feel the neck muscles tighten and a feeling of pressure behind the eyes.

A tension headache normally is not severe enough to prevent you doing everyday activities.

It usually lasts for 30 minutes to several hours, but can last for several days.

Read more on the NHS website.

Tension-type headaches are usually treated with painkillers. Putting a cool flannel on your forehead or a warm flannel on your neck may help.

Self-care

Tension-type headaches are not life threatening and are usually relieved by painkillers or lifestyle changes.

Lifestyle changes

Relaxation techniques can often help with stress-related headaches.

This may include:

  • yoga
  • massage
  • exercise
  • applying a cool flannel to your forehead or a warm flannel to the back of your neck

Painkillers

Painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can be used to help relieve pain. Aspirin may also sometimes be recommended.

If you're taking these medicines, you should always follow the instructions on the packet.

Paracetamol is usually the best choice if you're pregnant. Do not take ibuprofen during pregnancy without speaking to a GP, midwife or pharmacist first.

Children under 16 should not be given aspirin.

Medicine should not be taken for more than a few days at a time.

Medicines containing codeine, such as co-codamol, should be avoided unless recommended by a GP.

Read more on the NHS website.

Tension-type headaches can be triggered by things like stress, tiredness, dehydration and loud noises.

Read more on the NHS website.