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What causes tension type headaches?

by Fred Dekker / Oct 12, 2016 / category : headache / 12134 views
What causes tension type headaches?

What causes tension type headaches?

Until relatively recently, it has long been believed that tension type headaches were generally caused by tension in the muscles around the neck area and in the head. For instance, it had long been suggested that a primary cause of tension type headaches was excessive clenching of the teeth which causes a serious contraction of the temporal muscle.

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However, more recent research has suggested that many tension type headache patients do not have excessive tension in their muscles at all, so this theory now carries less weight than it did previously.

Another theory that seems to have more credibility is the idea that tension type headaches may have something to do with a temporary malfunction in the area of the brain which is responsible for sensing and controlling pain. The theory has it that due to some kind of malfunction involving neurotransmitters like serotonin, the brain misinterprets ordinary signals from the muscles as being pain, hence the presence of the headache.

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What is not disputed is that there are many different causes that can bring on headaches of this type. Amongst these causes are the following:
• Stress;
• Lack of sleep;
• Eyestrain;
• Caffeine withdrawal;
• Improper or bad posture;
• Irregular meals or eating food that triggers the headache.

However, you should note that these are just the widely accepted and well-known causes that often bring on tension type headaches and that what actually triggers an attack in any individual can be as personal as the severity of the attack itself. In effect, every individual who suffers tension type headaches will do so for their own different reasons.

It is therefore imperative that if you are either an episodic or chronic tension type headache sufferer, you need to isolate exactly what it is that is causing your problem before attempting to deal with it.

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For instance, many women will suffer tension type headaches just prior to the onset of the menstrual cycle, often associated with premenstrual syndrome.

In other examples, loud noises or bright, flashing lights can trigger headaches in some people, so there really is no way of listing every possible cause of tension type headaches because every individual is different.

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