The tension headache as an isolated event is the most common kind of headache, with more than 200,000 U.S. cases each year. But the truth is that tension headache is a disease, not a one-off — a disease that can affect quality of life and socioeconomic wellbeing. Often described as feeling like a tight band around the head — a dull, aching pain with a sensation of prerssure across the forehead or on the side and back of the head — this kind of headache usually is mild to moderate in severity. Tenderness in the scalp, neck, and shoulder muscles may accompany a tension headache. Despite its name, tension headaches have no well-understood cause besides stress.
Fortunately, there’s hope; studies have shown physical therapy to be effective in treating tension headaches. And although a tension headache can be mistaken for a migraine, it generally is not accompanied by nausea.