Headaches are a common and frustrating part of life that occur as a result of many different factors. Most people have experienced some form of headache throughout their lifetime and have felt the sometimes-debilitating nature of them.
There are many different types of headache such as migraine or a cervicogenic headache all best diagnosed by a physiotherapist. However, the most common of headache in the population is a Tension type headache. Two thirds of the population will experience at least one tension type headache in their lifetime. The prevalence of tension type headaches is 36% in men and 42% in women and they are commonly described as a tight band of tension or pressure across the forehead.
There are many causes and drivers of tension type headaches. They can be caused by both physical and emotional stressors. Commonly, they are associated with increased stress at work or school, increased social pressures or stress at home. While, it is also common for a tension type headache to occur following a physical injury that has impacted on these areas of a person’s life.
A recent report on tension type headaches by the world health organisation found that the most common time for the onset of tension type headaches is during the teenage years. This is thought to be related to stress at school and social pressures during this age bracket. It is thought that tension type headache occurrence peaks at around the age of 40 and has a slow decline following this.
People with tension type headaches generally experience tightness and stiffness through the neck and jaw muscles, symptoms can be both physical and emotional and a reduction in social activities and work capacity is often associated with the onset of a tension type headache.
If you think that you or a loved one is suffering from a tension type headache, the best available treatments are changes in lifestyle. This includes things such as a gradual increase in exercise and improving heart health, dietary improvements and stress management. Tension type headaches can be diagnosed and treated by our expert team of Physiotherapists with potential for further input from Dietitian Michelle or Psychologist Harley to help you reach the optimal version of you.
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