Treatment for Tension Headaches

Chronic Tension Headache Relief
Chronic tension headaches (headaches more than 15 times per month) can be difficult to treat. They may require stronger pain medicines or even preventive headache medications. The treatment regimen that your healthcare provider recommends will be based on what you have tried in the past and other medical conditions that you have.

 

One type of medication your healthcare provider may recommend is an antidepressant. Antidepressants are especially effective for tension headaches when a person also has depression or anxiety. Mixed tension and migraine headaches are sometimes treated with barbiturate-containing pain medicines which slow down nerve function in the brain and spinal cord.

 
Rebound Phenomenon Concerns
People who take headache pain medications (prescription or over-the-counter) on a daily or near-daily basis (more than two or three times per week) may be at increased risk for rebound phenomenon. With rebound phenomenon, the medication initially relieves the pain; however, over time the response may gradually decrease, leading to a gradual use of more medication. As this cycle continues -- and worsens -- the person may ultimately develop chronic tension headaches or daily headaches.
 

Other Treatments for Chronic Tension Headaches

When tension headaches are occurring on a daily or near-daily basis, non-drug therapy may be recommended. There are several options, including biofeedback, relaxation training, and counseling.
 
Biofeedback
Biofeedback is a technique that involves reducing the effects of pain and stress on your body by learning how your body reacts to pain and stress. Biofeedback does this through monitoring instruments that can detect and display internal bodily function. This can give people better control over body function indicators such as blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, muscle tension, and brain waves. Biofeedback is a type of complementary and alternative medicine known as mind-body therapy.
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Tension Headache

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