This is the most common of all headaches. It has the greatest impact on life, is the least studied, and has no special defining characteristics. We diagnose it when nothing else seems to fit. The pain is likely felt on both sides of the head (often all over), is not severe, usually described as “pressure,” with no symptoms to suggest Migraine or Cluster headaches, much less anything that could be dangerous.
Tension Headaches can be brief, or last for weeks. The word “tension,” might imply muscle tension, or nervous tension, nobody really knows. It’s just a headache.
We treat with general pain medicines, although too much of those can cause Medication Overuse Headache. There are other classes of medicines, safer, that may work as prevention, with a lot of trial & error. If a patient with Tension Headache is also diagnosed with Depression or Anxiety, treatment of those conditions may relieve the headache.