Looking for ways to relieve tension headaches? Well, you can try home remedies or opt for over-the-counter medications.

Tension headaches are one of the most common types of headaches that can be chronic or occur every day, depending on their causes. This mainly occurs due to muscle tension or excessive stress, but several other factors can contribute to this type of headache.

Tension headaches can be of two types, episodic or chronic. Episodic tension headaches occur less than 15 days per month and usually start slowly, while chronic tension headaches occur more than 15 days per month and can last a long time, intensifying throughout the day. In either case, the pain can last 30 minutes or more.


Are there any common symptoms to watch out for?

A major symptom of tension headaches includes pain on the sides of the head.  (Photo via Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)
A major symptom of tension headaches includes pain on the sides of the head. (Photo via Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)

Yes, there are some tension headache symptoms that you can watch out for. These include:

  • a mild headache that starts later in the day but increases throughout the day
  • mild to moderate pain in the top, sides, and front of the head
  • difficulty concentrating on work
  • muscle pain or cramps
  • to feel irritated
  • dizziness (rare)

What causes a tension headache?

Although there is no single cause for this type of headache, certain things can trigger it. Most of the time it is triggered by stress, but there are other triggers as well, including:

  • hunger
  • fatigue
  • bad position
  • excessive consumption of alcohol
  • iron deficiency in the body
  • dental problems
  • anxiety and fatigue
  • Sinus infection
  • dehydration
  • smoking

Tension Headache Relief: What Are the Remedies for Tension Headaches?

Getting rid of tension headaches is easy and includes some medications and natural home remedies. In severe cases, however, it is important to see a health care provider.

To get relief from tension headaches, it’s best to start remedies as soon as the headache starts and when the symptoms are manageable. Here are some treatment options for tension headache relief:

Medications

Taking over-the-counter medications can relieve tension headaches.  (Photo via Pexels/JESHOOTS.com)
Taking over-the-counter medications can relieve tension headaches. (Photo via Pexels/JESHOOTS.com)

One of the best ways to get rid of tension headaches is to opt for over-the-counter pain relievers. However, always remember to take the medicine prescribed by the doctor, as excessive use can lead to rebound headaches and worsen your condition.

Some common over-the-counter medications for tension headache relief include acetaminophen and NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as naproxen and ibuprofen.

Use a cold compress

Using a cold compress can help relieve tension headaches and reduce uncomfortable symptoms. Applying cold compresses to the affected area can slow nerve conduction and reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and help you feel much better.

To make a cold compress, soak the washcloth in cold water and place it on your head and neck. You can also use an ice pack. Repeat the remedy several times a day.

keep moving

Another very easy way to get relief from tension headaches is through exercise or any type of physical activity. Studies suggest that practicing certain exercises can significantly reduce the frequency and duration of headaches.

Stay hydrated

Dehydration is a major cause of tension headaches, and staying hydrated is the best way to prevent it. So drink plenty of water and other healthy liquids like green tea to get rid of tension headaches.

Practicing yoga

Practicing yoga can reduce tension headaches.  (Photo via Pexels/cottonbro studio)
Practicing yoga can reduce tension headaches. (Photo via Pexels/cottonbro studio)

Research suggests that yoga is an amazing way to reduce tension headaches. Practicing certain poses regularly can help reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches and keep them from coming back.

Try Herbal Remedies

Herbal remedies like chamomile, butterbur, and curcumin can also relieve tension headaches and relieve symptoms. Although these herbal products are safe and effective, it is important to consult a doctor before adding them to your routine.


Remember that tension headaches are usually nothing to worry about, but if the pain persists for a long time or is frequent, it is important that you see a doctor and seek medical attention. Sometimes these headaches can be a symptom of serious health problems, including a blood clot or tumor.

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