Headaches are defined as “pain in various parts of the head, not confined to the area of distribution of any nerve,” according to MediLexicon’s medical dictionary. There are different types of headaches, each type presents with its own set of symptoms and causes. Headaches are the most widespread pain complaints and often times the causes of headaches are benign while other causes can be considered as medical emergencies. A common type of headache is a tension headache and this generally affects adults and adolescents and can rarely affect younger children as well. When someone has a tension headache there is muscle tightness in precise areas of the head, scalp and/or neck. The pain associated with tension headaches are usually dull, and occupies most of the head. Tension headaches are commonly believed to be predominantly caused by tension built up in the scalp and neck muscles as a result of stress, depression, anxiety or a head injury, but the exact cause or causes are still unknown. Some factors that attribute to tension headaches are stress, depression, poor posture, anxiety, staying in one position for a long time, clenching one’s jaw, and working in an awkward position for a long time.
Keeping a diary of your symptoms is useful in diagnosing such headache management; this way it is easier to identify what triggers your headache. For instance you can start by writing when your headache started, write about what you drank and ate the previous 24 hours, note how much you slept and whether it was a good night’s sleep and when you slept. It can also be helpful to record what kind of stress you were going through in your life immediately to the onset of your headache and how long the headache lasted and also what made it stop.