Tension headaches or muscle tension headaches are often caused by emotional problems or stress. However, it can also be caused by maintaining an incorrect posture for a long time, for example during work or exercise. This puts too much strain on the neck and shoulder muscles, which can lead to a tension headache. This form of headache occurs at all ages and is most common in women.
Tension headache, what is that?
Tension headaches are also called muscle tension headaches . The main cause is increased tension in the muscles in and around the head. Psychological problems can also cause tension headaches. The headache usually occurs due to fatigue, lack of sleep or during a stressful period. You get a feeling of pressure in or on the head or a feeling that there is a band around the head. Sometimes people get hair pain or a sensitive scalp. The headache can last for hours to days, and then disappear on its own. Tension headaches can also become chronic. This is the case if it is present more than 15 days per month. It also makes some people nauseous. Tension headaches are more common in women than in men. This form of headache can occur at any age, but it mainly occurs in people with a job or a busy social life.
Causes of tension headaches
- Increased muscle tension in and around the head
- Wrong working posture
- Standing or sitting in the same position for a long time
- Cold and damp weather can work on the muscles
- Emotional problems
- Genetic predisposition
Stress and tension headaches
Stress or emotional problems increase muscle tension in the body. For some people, this is a reason for tension headaches. Sufficient relaxation and ensuring good fitness can help prevent or reduce headaches. In some people, however, the headache after a stressful period only occurs as soon as they rest. An example of this is when people always get a headache at the weekend after a busy working week. The stress that the neck and back of the head muscles undergo can also be caused by sitting in the wrong chair, sitting in the wrong position at the computer or sitting tensely in a car.
Sleep problems and tension headaches
People who do not sleep well do not feel very good, their body is still tired from the previous day. This can increase muscle tension again, which can lead to tension headaches. Finding out what the cause of poor sleep is is then important. This can be due to emotional problems, but also due to a wrong position in bed or the wrong pillow. Insomnia is also often due to dealing with problems during the day.
Exercise and tension headaches
Some people suffer from tension headaches due to intensive exercise, or a migraine attack occurs. For many people, exercise has a relaxing effect, which prevents or reduces an attack. So it is different for everyone whether exercise has a positive or negative effect. It is also good to see whether someone adopts a wrong posture while practicing the sport, which causes muscle tension in the neck and shoulder muscles.
Influence of the weather on headaches
Headache attacks of migraine and tension headache can be triggered by weather influences. An approaching storm, a change in the weather or a lot of wind could be the cause. Oppressive weather or high temperatures in combination with bright sun can also be the ‘tricker’. Neck and shoulder muscles are often sensitive to fluctuations in the climate and in cold weather these muscles can be more difficult to relax. Facial pain is also often provoked by cold weather or a cold gust of wind.