Tension headache is a spreading, steady head pain that can be mild or severe. It may happen often or only once and a while. They do not get in the way of daily activities.
They are treated with medicine. Some people may turn to natural therapies to prevent headaches or further ease pain.
These therapies may be effective:
These therapies may not provide benefit:
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.
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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
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M3. Fernández-de-Las-Peñas C, Alonso-Blanco C, et al. Are manual therapies effective in reducing pain from tension-type headache?: a systematic review. Clin J Pain. 2006 Mar-Apr;22(3):278-285.
N1. France S, Bown J, et al. Evidence for the use of dry needling and physiotherapy in the management of cervicogenic or tension-type headache: a systematic review. Cephalalgia. 2014 Oct;34(12):994-1003.
O1. Kanji N, White AR, et al. Autogenic training for tension type headaches: a systematic review of controlled trials. Complement Ther Med. 2006 Jun;14(2):144-150.
P1. Lenssinck ML, Damen L, et al. The effectiveness of physiotherapy and manipulation in patients with tension-type headache: a systematic review. Pain. 2004 Dec;112(3):381-388.
Last reviewed December 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board
Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 6/29/2020