Tension headaches: where do they come from and what can help

In the meantime, stressed to the work or duties at home, which everyone knows really. This Stress is the norm, this can have an impact, sooner or later, a very negative effect on physical health.

In particular, headaches are often caused by an increased stress level. This tension caused or increased headaches are called tension headaches.

Every second adult is affected

The pain occurs on both sides of the head in the Form of a sharp, dull, pressure feeling. Because they occur without the usual side effects such as Nausea, vomiting, and visual disturbances, you are draw a clear distinction between a migraine headache.

The German society for neurology (DGN) notes that more than half of adults and about one in five children and adolescents suffers at least once in a year under this kind of headache.

The majority of the people are affected for the first Time at the age of 20 to 40 years.

Tension headaches can last for days

The complaints can occur both in the head as well as neck and muscle tension associated with it. The nasty thing about the pain: can last from 30 minutes to 72 hours.

To get a correct diagnosis is often difficult. “A people must have lived at least ten of these head pain attacks through,” explains the assistant Professor of clinical neurology at Weill Cornell Medical College, Dr. Susan Broner, to the Portal ‘Health’.

The pain occurs in a period of three months to more than 15 days per month, is it a chronic tension headache.

Stress as a Central factor

Pain can be triggered by Stress, must be taken logically against this, the discomfort to get rid of again.

“The exact mechanisms are not known, but it is believed that Stress, physiological changes occur in the body,” explains Dr. Broner.

Thus, an increased cortisol level, as well as the resulting fight or flight response can trigger the pain. Other factors can worsen these complaints also require or at least. These include:

  • Consumption of alcohol, caffeine, or nicotine
  • Diseases such as colds or the flu
  • Tooth and jaw problems
  • Eye strain due to incorrect light setting in the workplace
  • Fatigue and Overexertion
  • Sitting and Working in an incorrect posture, and insufficient movement
  • psychological discomfort such as anxiety or sleep disorder, depression, panic disorders

For Stress and tension headaches approach

Depending on the Severity and duration of the pain can disappear by itself by simply a break from the activity is loaded, which is causing the Stress.

Active relaxation exercises, Meditation or light Yoga are excellent ways to let the body come to rest. But also the simple relaxation after work or a Power Nap can do wonders.

This is why: the Smartphone aside, and something out there with the loved ones company, or the head, with a slight round sports free get.

Moderate exercise is, unlike a migraine, it’s possible. Because tension-type headaches are not generally enhanced by physical activity.

Anyone who has to regularly fight with the pressure in the head, can proceed through a concerted exercise plan even against this. Endurance sessions but also the targeted Training of shoulder and neck muscles can help, according to the DGN.

In the gallery: The 11 best tips to fight Stress

The health comes first

First, if these natural methods do not cause improvement, can be resorted to also for the pain – however, this should not be a habit.

“If medicines are taken more than once per week on a regular basis, should be spoken with a doctor about what is causing the headaches,” says Dr. Broner.

Other neurological abnormalities such as paralysis, numbness to the headache, double want to See or loss of vision, call a physician immediately.

Pain should not be a habit

Although stress-induced headaches can occur, these should be not be tolerated and endured. They are, if there are no other serious stuck diseases behind it, usually a clear Signal of the body that you are overwhelmed.

Also, to Keep the tension, can form even a painful memory – the body remembers then, unaware of the complaints. Affected already true the smallest of stimuli sensitive and react sometimes violently to this.

This pain is a stress factor and the vicious cycle begins again. The own health as well as physical well-being should always be top of mind – even when it gets stressful.

If the daily Workload and affect mood or sleep, you should seek help to find a method to better with this deal.

Important note: The information in this article contains only General information. For the diagnosis of a health problem we recommend visiting by trained and recognised Physicians.


  • German society for neurology: treatment of episodic tension-type headache, and other chronic daily headaches, and chronic retrieved on 22.07.2020 https://www.dgn.org/leitlinien/3019-ll-56-ll-therapie-des-episodischen-und-chronischen-kopfschmerzes-vom-spannungstyp
  • Taylyn Washington-Harmon (2020): What Is a ‘Stress’ Headache and How Can You Treat It?, archived from the original on 22.07.2020 https://www.health.com/condition/headaches-and-migraines/stress-headache

Cornelia Bertram

*The article “tension headache: where they come from and what can help” is published by FitForFun. Contact with the executives here.