Tension-Type Headache

Tension-type headache is the most common type of primary headache with a lifetime prevalence of up to 78%. However, episodic tension-type headache requires little intervention from medical professionals as it rarely produces significant disability. It usually presents as a low impact, mild to moderate band-like featureless headache.

Patients with frequent episodic tension-type headache (1-15 days of TTH per month) often have co-existing Migraine without aura. Patients should be educated to differentiate between the two disorders and encouraged to use a Headache Diary to record individual episodes so that treatment can be maximised and medication-overuse headache avoided.

I.H.S. Criteria for diagnosing episodic tension-type headache.

A. At least ten episodes occurring < 15 days per month on average and fulfilling criteria B-D.

B. Headache lasting from thirty minutes to seven days.

C. Headache has at least two of the following characteristics:

  • Bilateral location
  • Pressing, tightening (non-pulsating) quality
  • Mild to moderate intensity
  • Not aggravated by routine physical activity

D. Both of the following:

  • No nausea or vomiting
  • No more than one of photophobia or phonophobia

E. Not attributed to another disorder

Tension-Type Headache

Tension-type headache is the most common type of primary headache with a lifetime prevalence of up to 78%. However, episodic tension-type headache requires little intervention from medical professionals as it rarely produces significant disability. It usually presents as a low impact, mild to moderate band-like featureless headache.

Patients with frequent episodic tension-type headache (1-15 days of TTH per month) often have co-existing Migraine without aura. Patients should be educated to differentiate between the two disorders and encouraged to use a Headache Diary to record individual episodes so that treatment can be maximised and medication-overuse headache avoided.

I.H.S. Criteria for diagnosing episodic tension-type headache.

A. At least ten episodes occurring < 15 days per month on average and fulfilling criteria B-D.

B. Headache lasting from thirty minutes to seven days.

C. Headache has at least two of the following characteristics:

  • Bilateral location
  • Pressing, tightening (non-pulsating) quality
  • Mild to moderate intensity
  • Not aggravated by routine physical activity

D. Both of the following:

  • No nausea or vomiting
  • No more than one of photophobia or phonophobia

E. Not attributed to another disorder