I am 30 years old. For the past two years, I have been waking up with terrible headaches (about 85% of the time). The pain is felt all over the head in that it is not localized to one area. I wonder if it could be a muscular problem because my headaches are tender to the touch. If I touch my head, there are sensitive areas all over. By mid morning, my headaches are just annoying - not so intense. I don’t typically medicate for these headaches as it really hasn’t helped in the past. I do not think it is related to caffeine withdraw or teeth grinding at night. And the eye doctors don’t see any pressure problems in my eyes. I do experience some stress with my job. On really bad days, the pain extends into my spine in my middle upper back. Any suggestions on how to alleviate this problem? Is it probably related to muscle tension? Amy.
Many so-called tension type-headaches can be migraines, in reality. Plus, tension-type headaches can trigger Migraines. Just because the presenting symptom is tightness of the back, that does not rule out a migraine disorder. I don’t know what medications have been tried by your physicians. Scalp sensitivity is common with migraines and if you have a pulsing quality to your headache, nausea, light or sound sensitivity, you may be experiencing a migraine regardless of where it is located on the head. Have migraine-specific medications been tried? My strongest suggestion is to visit with your area headache specialist. Depending on accompanying symptoms, such as poor sleep quality, there may be medications that can help a frequent headache disorder that presents in the early morning.
John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert
If you need to find a headache and Migraine specialist, please see our listing of patient recommended specialists.
About Ask the Clinician:
Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert. If you have a question for this section of our site, please click HERE. Accepted questions will be answered by publishing the answers here. No questions will be answered privately.
Please note: We cannot handle emergencies or diagnose via the Internet. Please do not ask us to diagnose; see your physician for diagnosis.
We hope you find this general medical and health information useful, but this Q & A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. For all personal medical and health matters, including decisions about diagnoses, medications and other treatment options, you should always consult your doctor. See full Disclaimer.
Do you have questions about Migraine? Reader questions are answered by UCNS certified Migraine and headache specialist Dr. David Watson, and award-winning patient educator and advocate Teri Robert. Questions may be submitted via our submission form. Accepted questions will be answered by publishing the answers in our Ask the Clinician column. For an overview of how we can help and questions we can and can’t answer, please see Seeking Migraine and Headache Diagnoses and Medical Advice.