Benign Headache Treatment
Most people with tension headaches treat themselves at home. A wide variety of treatments have been used for tension headaches, such as cold compresses, relaxation techniques, therapeutic massage, chiropractic therapy, acupuncture, and the use of medications. Acetaminophen, aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications are among the most commonly used to treat muscle tension headaches.
Specific treatment for a tension headache may include:
- Cold compresses
- Warm shower
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Ibuprin, Nuprin)
- Naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn)
- Ketoprofen (Oruvail, Orudis, Actron)
- Acetaminophen for pain
- Aspirin for pain
- Acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine (Excedrin)
- Antidepressant medications for the treatment of tension headaches:
- Nortriptyline (Pamelor, Aventyl HCl)
- Amitriptyline (Elavil)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac)
- Sertraline (Zoloft)
- Paroxetine (Paxil)
- Muscle relaxants:
- Narcotic pain medication:
- Nerve blocks for tension headache:
- Medication is injected around nerves that lie under the skin of the scalp.
- Acupuncture for tension headache
- Chiropractic manipulation for tension headache
- Relaxation techniques:
- Therapeutic massage for tension headache
- Improve posture
Benign Headache Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of tension headache.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for tension headaches?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Benign Headache Specialist
Continue to Benign Headache Home Care
- Anttila P. Tension-type headache in children and adolescents. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2004 Dec;8(6):500-4. 
- Bag B, Karabulut N. Pain-relieving factors in migraine and tension-type headache. Int J Clin Pract. 2005 Jul;59(7):760-3. 
- Fernandez-de-Las-Penas C, Alonso-Blanco JC, Cuadrado ML, Miangolarra JC, Barriga FJ, Pareja JA. Manual therapies in the management of tension-type headache. Headache. 2005 Feb;45(2):169-71.