What do you think is the most common type of headache? by Dr Winnie Lim Khoo

According to a study conducted by The World Health Organization and International Headache Society; Tension-type headaches (TTH) are the most common form of headache. Up to 78% of the population experiences this type of headache, and 60% of TTH sufferers experience reductions in social activity and work capacity.

Tension-type headaches have been called by various names over the years, including tension headache, muscle contraction headache, psychomyogenic headache, stress headache, ordinary headache, essential headache, idiopathic headache, and psychogenic headache. In the Philippines, It is commonly known as “tension headaches”.

As you can see from the names TTH have been know by, it was at one time thought that the cause of TTH was primarily psychological, caused by the mind or emotions. There have now been studies that strongly suggest a physical (neurobiological) cause. The pain is commonly described as “a band around the head” or vise-like. The headache has at least two of these characteristics:

  • Mild to moderate in intensity.
  • Occurs on both sides of the head (bilateral).
  • Is not made worse by routine activity such as bending over or climbing stairs.
  • The pain has a pressing or tightening quality, not throbbing or pulsing.
  • There are no diagnostic tests to confirm TTH. Diagnosis is accomplished by reviewing the patient’s personal and family medical history, studying their symptoms, and conducting an examination. TTH is then diagnosed by ruling out other causes for the symptoms.

At times, it can be difficult to distinguish between tension-type headache and a migraine attack. TTH is not made worse by physical activity. It is not accompanied by vomiting, and if nausea is present, it is mild. A migraine attack may be accompanied by increased sensitivity to both light and sound; TTH is accompanied by one or neither. It is, however, possible for a TTH to trigger a migraine attack

Unless they become chronic, tension-type headaches are usually more an annoyance than a big problem. They can often be treated with an over-the-counter medication and a bit of rest. Still, headaches should always be diagnosed by a neurologist to be on the safe side, and be sure we’re treating them appropriately. More frequent TTH may require daily preventive medications or complementary therapies to restore health and quality of life. #headache #migraine #treatment #clusterheadace #tensionheadache #medicine #migrainespecialist #headacahespecialist #medicalspecialist #specialist #winnielimkhoo #neurologist #neurologistinmanila #health #tip #advise #consulation #healthtip #manila #philippines