Chronic Tension Headaches
There are so many sorts of headache and headaches are so familiar, that there is a very good probability that everyone you know has had them or still gets them. The reasons why people have headaches are just as wide-ranging. It could be stress, over-medication, migraine, lack of calories or tension. One of the worst kinds is chronic tension headaches.
A standard tension headache feels as if a strap is being done up tightly around your forehead, but they do not tend to last very long and they are few and far between. A chronic tension headache is the same, but it may come every day or even a couple of times a day. A headache is classified as a chronic tension headache if you get a tension headache more than fifteen times in a month for several successive months.
Therefore, if you suspect that you are suffering from this type of headache, start to write notes in a diary. When? Where? How severe? How long it lasted? And anything else that you believe could be relevant, like what you have eaten or done that day and the day before. You may notice a connection to work or diet.
Some sufferers explain the pain as like having a very tight belt wrapped around their head, others say the sensation of constriction goes down as far as their shoulders. In general, sufferers of tension and chronic tension headaches are in agreement, that the pain is worst in the forehead, then along the sides of the head and sometimes at the back as well.
They say that the typical level of pain is a dull ache which can be mild to moderate in strength. It is more of a nagging, always-on pain than a sharp, distracting pain.
CTH’s seem to be early risers, that is, some people wake up with them and others say that they begin just after they get up in the morning. It is as if the thought of the day ahead is just too much too bear. The pain can get worse at certain periods of the day, or it can simply slowly slip away practically unobserved.
Chronic tension headaches are nowhere near as common as normal tension headaches, but they are twice as common in women as in men.
The main issue with these headaches, besides the pain itself, is that they become a routine occurrence. You wait for it to happen, you are that certain that it will accompany you throughout the day as normal. The pain can just become one continuous drag on your life.
For this reason, sufferers of CTH are often vulnerable to depression and anxiety and it is difficult to know which came first, the CTH or the depression / anxiety and which is causing which. If you think this could be your trouble, do not try to treat the headaches yourself, go to see a doctor about the depression or anxiety, have that sorted out and the chronic tension headaches may disappear too without any further medication.