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Tension Headache

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.

What do I need to know about tension headaches?

Tension headaches are often caused by tense head or neck muscles. The headache can last anywhere from 30 minutes to several days. Tension headaches usually do not cause any serious problems.

Headache Types

What causes a tension headache?

The following can cause muscle tension and trigger a tension headache:

What are the symptoms of a tension headache?

How is a tension headache diagnosed and treated?

Your healthcare provider will examine you. Tell your provider about other health conditions you have and medicine you take. You may need any of the following to treat a tension headache:

What can I do to manage my symptoms?

Treatment options

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

What can I do to prevent a tension headache?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.