Introduction

  • Account for about 40% of all headaches
  • Symptoms usually bilateral
  • Tight band sensation
  • Pressure behind the eyes
  • May have a throbbing sensation
  • Not sensitive to head movement
  • No feeling of need to vomit
  • Generally – no neurological signs

Aetiology

  • Stress
  • Noise
  • Concentrated visual effort
  • Fumes / smells
  • There is little evidence for association with:
    • High BP
    • Refractive errors
    • Cervical spondylitis (inflammation of the vertebra)
These are the most common type of headache, and are thought to be caused by increased tension in scalp muscles, and neurovascular irritation.

Treatment

  • Reassurance
    • Some patients may be very persistent about investigations!
  • Avoiding perceived causatory factors (e.g. bright light)
  • Stress relief
  • Massage
  • Anti-depressants
  • Analgesia

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