Tension headache

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What is tension headache?

A common primary headache disorder, characterized by a dull, non-pulsatile, diffuse, band-like (or vice-like) pain of mild to moderate intensity in the head; scalp; or neck. There is no clear cause even though it has been associated with muscle contraction and stress.

Common symptoms reported by people with tension headache

Common symptoms
How bad it is
What people are taking for it

Reports may be affected by other conditions and/or medication side effects. We ask about general symptoms (anxious mood, depressed mood, fatigue, pain, and stress) regardless of condition.
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Treatments taken by people with tension headache

Treatment name(s)
Type
How many have tried
Tried for
Treatment name(s)

(Tylenol)
Type
Over the Counter Drug
How many have tried
42
Tried for
tension headache (37) Pain (26)
Treatment name(s)

(Ultram)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
30
Tried for
Pain (29) tension headache (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Neurontin)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
24
Tried for
Pain (24)
Treatment name(s)

(Advil)
Type
Over the Counter Drug
How many have tried
24
Tried for
tension headache (15) Pain (13)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Elavil)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
22
Tried for
tension headache (13) Pain (12)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Flexeril)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
17
Tried for
Pain (16) tension headache (2)
Treatment name(s)

(Cymbalta)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
15
Tried for
depressed mood (15) Pain (2)
Treatment name(s)

(Norco)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
14
Tried for
Pain (14) tension headache (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Lyrica)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
14
Tried for
Pain (14) anxious mood (1)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Ativan)
Type
Prescription Drug
How many have tried
11
Tried for
anxious mood (11)

Data from patients with tension headache, who reported starting treatments within the last 5 years.
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Compare treatments taken by people with tension headache

Treatment name(s)
Perceived effectiveness
Side effects
Total evaluations
Tried for
Treatment name(s)

(Tylenol)
Perceived effectiveness
for tension headache (14 evaluations)
Side effects
balance problems
Total evaluations
22
Tried for
tension headache (37) Pain (26)
Treatment name(s)

(Ultram)
Perceived effectiveness
for Pain (17 evaluations)
Side effects
nausea sleepiness 15 more
Total evaluations
20
Tried for
Pain (29) tension headache (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Neurontin)
Perceived effectiveness
for Pain (18 evaluations)
Side effects
dizziness balance problems 24 more
Total evaluations
19
Tried for
Pain (24)
Treatment name(s)

(Advil)
Perceived effectiveness
for tension headache (7 evaluations)
Side effects
acid reflux burning in stomach 3 more
Total evaluations
13
Tried for
tension headache (15) Pain (13)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Elavil)
Perceived effectiveness
for tension headache (10 evaluations)
Side effects
dry mouth constipation 21 more
Total evaluations
25
Tried for
tension headache (13) Pain (12)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Flexeril)
Perceived effectiveness
for Pain (17 evaluations)
Side effects
drowsiness constipation 11 more
Total evaluations
18
Tried for
Pain (16) tension headache (2)
Treatment name(s)

(Cymbalta)
Perceived effectiveness
for depressed mood (25 evaluations)
Side effects
tension headache brain fog 5 more
Total evaluations
25
Tried for
depressed mood (15) Pain (2)
Treatment name(s)

(Norco)
Perceived effectiveness
for Pain (3 evaluations)
Side effects
constipation dry mouth 1 more
Total evaluations
4
Tried for
Pain (14) tension headache (1)
Treatment name(s)

(Lyrica)
Perceived effectiveness
for Pain (22 evaluations)
Side effects
dizziness weight gain 28 more
Total evaluations
26
Tried for
Pain (14) anxious mood (1)
1 more
Treatment name(s)

(Ativan)
Perceived effectiveness
for anxious mood (7 evaluations)
Side effects
addiction depressed mood 2 more
Total evaluations
7
Tried for
anxious mood (11)
  • Major
  • Moderate
  • Slight
  • None
  • Can't tell
  • Severe
  • Moderate
  • Mild
  • None

Data from patients with tension headache, who reported starting treatments within the last 5 years.
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Who has tension headache on PatientsLikeMe?


Age
Age Proportion # of patients
<20 9
20s 216
30s 402
40s 386
50s 284
60s 129
70+ 28
Age at first symptom
Age at first symptom Proportion # of patients
0-19 years 278
20-29 years 175
30-39 years 87
40-49 years 37
50-59 years 15
60-69 years 4
70+ years 2

Sex

Distribution of sex

75% Female
25% Male

Diagnosis status
Diagnosis status Proportion # of patients
Diagnosed 531
Not Diagnosed 289

These charts show data from tension headache patients who have completed their condition history
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