Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Tension Headache Evaluation

The evaluation of a tension headache begins with a history and physical exam.

Physical findings in someone with a tension headache may include:

  • Neck tenderness:
    • Along the neck muscles
    • Along the spine
  • Scalp tenderness:
    • Over the back of the skull
    • Across the forehead
  • Muscle spasms in the neck

Tests are not necessary to make the diagnosis of a tension headache.

Tests that may be used to evaluate a tension headache include:

Continue to Tension Headache Treatment

Last Updated: Jan 5, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Tension Headache References
  1. Anttila P. Tension-type headache in children and adolescents. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2004 Dec;8(6):500-4. [15509465]
  2. Bag B, Karabulut N. Pain-relieving factors in migraine and tension-type headache. Int J Clin Pract. 2005 Jul;59(7):760-3. [15963200]
  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. [15705127]
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