Tension-type headaches tend to have the following symptoms:
- The pain is commonly described as a tight feeling, as if the head were in a vise. It usually occurs on both sides of the head and is often experienced in the forehead, in the back of the head and neck, or in both regions. Soreness in the shoulders or neck is common.
- The pain is of mild-to-moderate intensity and is steady, not throbbing or pulsating
- The headache is not accompanied by nausea or vomiting
- The pain is not worsened by routine physical activity (climbing stairs, walking)
- Some patients may have either sensitivity to light or sensitivity to noise, but not both
Review Date: 11/15/2010
Reviewed By: Harvey Simon, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.