Tension Headache Symptoms

Headache Education > Tension Headaches > Symptoms

The classic tension type headache is intermittent. An individual headache can last anywhere from 30 minutes ot 7 days. Patients describe that it feels like your head is in a vice, or as though there is a band of pain around your head like a head band. Tension headache pain is even and does not have the throbbing quality associated with migraines. There is no nausea or excessive sensitivity to light or noise. A tension headache may interfere with your ability to function, but you are able to maintain mild or moderate activity. Tension headaches are bilateral, meaning they are not located on just one side of the head, and are not aggravated by walking stairs, similar routine or physical activity They are not typically associated with nausea.


This educational content was written by Brian D. Loftus, MD, a neurologist, headache specialist and a developer of iHeadache. The science and study of headaces is changing rapidly. If there is information on this page that is incorrect or needs revision, please contact us.

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