tension headache


: bilateral headache marked by mild to moderate pain of variable duration that typically is accompanied by contraction of the neck and scalp muscles

Examples of tension headache in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This is often related to either chronic migraine symptoms or the most common type of headache - a tension headache, says Dr. Amaal Starling, an associate professor of neurology at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Daryl Austin, USA TODAY, 20 Feb. 2024 The most notable symptom of a tension headache is mild to moderate pain on both sides of your head. Kim Peiffer, Glamour, 30 June 2023 So what's the difference between a tension headache and migraine? Kim Peiffer, Glamour, 30 June 2023 Or perhaps a tension headache. Washington Post, 26 July 2021 There are a few other things that separate migraine headaches from run-of-the-mill tension headache trouble. Alice Oglethorpe, Men's Health, 21 Oct. 2022 However, a tension headache is also the most common type of headache, so the important distinction is that there are no classic migraine features present. Eleesha Lockett, SELF, 8 Feb. 2022 This most often happens when chronic headache or migraine sufferers use OTC medicines more than a few times a week, but even the occasional, run-of-the-mill tension headache can benefit from a more holistic approach. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, 16 Feb. 2021 That's because some experts believe that what people call allergy headaches may actually be a different type of headache—like a migraine or tension headaches—independent of a person's allergies. Maggie O'Neill, Health.com, 28 Apr. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tension headache.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1953, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tension headache was in 1953

Dictionary Entries Near tension headache

Cite this Entry

“Tension headache.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tension%20headache. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Medical Definition

tension headache

: headache marked by mild to moderate pain of variable duration that affects both sides of the head and is typically accompanied by contraction of neck and scalp muscles
Nearly half of all women with tension headaches unknowingly clench their chewing muscles, oral-facial pain experts report.Prevention
Such headaches once were blamed on contraction of scalp muscles, but many dispute that idea. The name "tension headache" persists, however, since the problem is frequently found as part and parcel of general emotional stress.Paul G. Donohue, The Springfield (Massachusetts) Union-News

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