Tension-type headaches are widely recognised as the most prevalent form of headache. Individuals experiencing this condition often report a dual sensation of neck discomfort and a constricting pain that radiates to both temples or encompasses the entire head. This pain is frequently described as a feeling of intense squeezing.

The onset of symptoms is gradual, typically starting as mild pain and commonly intensifying during the afternoon or evening. Duration varies, with pain potentially lasting hours, days, or even longer, influenced by factors like stress levels and rest. Although not usually severe, the discomfort can significantly impede work performance and is alleviated by adequate rest or muscle relaxants.

Causes of Tension-type headaches

Tension-type headaches are often triggered by environmental shifts or changes in mental state, physical injuries, or illnesses that induce stress on the body and brain.

Particularly affected are the brain regions governing emotions, leading to an imbalance in the autonomic nervous system, and consequently, these types of headaches.

Self-Management and Treatment

During a Headache:

  • Rest: Sleeping is notably effective, as it allows the nervous system to recuperate.
  • Pain Relief: Over-the-counter pain medications can alleviate discomfort, though they don't eradicate the pain.


  • Regular Exercise: Engaging in exercises aimed at muscle relaxation can be beneficial.

Medical Consultation: Persistent symptoms should prompt a consultation with a healthcare professional.

It's important to remember that while pain medications offer temporary relief, they do not address the underlying cause. Regular use without addressing environmental or other contributing factors can lead to dependency.

Exercises for Neck Muscle Relaxation

  1. Shoulder Lifts: Gently elevate your shoulders towards your ears, breathe deeply, and then return to the starting position.
  2. Head Turns: Slowly turn your head to the right, then to the left, ensuring your body remains facing forward.
  3. Neck Tilts: Gently tilt your neck towards each shoulder and return to the center after each tilt.
  4. Chin to Chest: Slowly lower your head down until your chin touches your chest, then tilt back up.
  5. Neck Stretching: Place your hands behind your head, stand upright, and pull your elbows together and then apart, stretching as much as comfortable.