Answers to Common Headache Questions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about headaches.

Describe a tension headache.

Dr. Richard Kim discusses tension headaches. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

Describe a tension headache.

A tension headache is a headache that lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to seven days. It's usually on both sides of the head. Not severe, so mild to moderate in intensity. Not aggravated by physical activity and usually has a pressing or tightening quality to it. It doesn't have any associated nausea or vomiting and if present there's usually only one of lighter sound sensitivity. Often times it's described in terms of what migraine is not. So, it's not one-sided. It's not pulsating or throbbing, it's not severe and not aggravated by movement.

   

A tension headache lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to seven days. Pain is usually felt on both sides of the head. The headache is mild to moderate in intensity. Tension headaches are not aggravated by physical activity and usually have a pressing or tightening quality to them. Patients may experience light or sound sensitivity. There is no associated nausea or vomiting. People often describe a tension headache in terms of what a migraine is not. A tension headache is not one-sided. It's not pulsating or throbbing. It's not severe and movement does not aggravate it. 

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Source: Richard Kim, MD, The Clinical Neuroscience Institute; Aaron Block, MD, Franklin Family Practice

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