Of all the types of headaches, the tension-type is the most common. About 80 percent of people who suffer frequent headaches are victims of tension headaches. In most cases, a tension headache is a dull, steady ache or a feeling of tightness or pressure on both sides of the head. The symptoms may be felt in the back of the neck and the head, in the temples, or as if there were a too-tight band circling the forehead. There appears a diffused, dull pain in the head. Homeopathic medicines for tension headache give relief during an acute attack and also helps treat the chronic tendency of such headaches. The top homeopathic medicines used to treat tension headaches include Kali Phos, Cimicifuga Racemosa,and Gelsemium Sempervirens.
Tension headaches are also known as stress headaches and are triggered by stress. People of any age group can be affected, but a headache due to stress is commonly seen in late teens and adults.
Tension headaches are divided into two groups- episodic tension headache and chronic tension headache.
When tension headaches appear for less than 15 days in a month for three months, they are called episodic tension headache. Chronic tension headaches are the ones that occur for 15 or more than 15 days every month for three months.
Top Homeopathic Medicines for Tension Headache
Homeopathy carries an excellent scope to treat tension headaches. Initially, homeopathic medicines help provide relief in an acute attack of a tension headache. Following this, these medicines help treat chronic tendencies of tension headaches. Homeopathy medicine for tension headache can reduce the intensity and frequency of the symptoms. The medicines are selected individually for every case of a tension headache based on the characteristic symptoms and the triggering factors.
1. Kali Phos – Top Homeopathic Medicine for Tension Headache
Kali Phos is top grade medicine for tension headache triggered by stress, anxiety and emotional disturbances. It also works well in case a tension headache is linked to depression. Symptoms like sadness, excessive weeping, weakness, exhaustion, a sensation of a heavyweight in the back of the head and sensitivity to noise indicate the need for Kali Phos.
2. Cimicifuga Racemosa – For Tension Headache with Contracted Neck Muscles
Cimicifuga Racemosa is a medicine prepared from the roots of a plant named ‘black cohosh’ of natural order Ranunculaceae. It is a well indicated homeopathic medicine for a tension headache with contracted neck muscles. The pain is present in the entire head and radiates to back of the neck and the shoulders. This is attended with soreness of the neck and shoulders.
3. Gelsemium Sempervirens – For Tension Headache with a Band Sensation around the Head
Gelsemium Sempervirens is a natural medicine prepared from the plant yellow jasmine. This plant belongs to family Loganiaceae, and bark of its root is used to make the medicine. This medicine is used for tension headaches where the person feels as if a band is tied tightly across the forehead. Along with this, there is a dull pain in the head. A sensation of weight, pressure, and heaviness in the head is also present. In most cases, pain begins in neck muscles that extend over the entire head. Applying pressure and sleeping tends to relieve the headache.
Other Significant Medicines
4. Epiphegus – For Tension Headache Triggered by Overexertion and Fatigue
Epiphegus is a medicine prepared from the fresh plant named ‘beech drop’ of the order Orobanchaceae. It is a prominent medicine to treat a tension headache triggered by overexertion and fatigue. A headache appears in the temples of the head. Hunger may precede a headache. A peculiar feature is increased salivation with constant spitting. Good sleep may bring relief from the headache.
5. Glonoinum – For Tension Headache Triggered by Sun
Glonoinum is a beneficial medicine for tension headache triggered by sunlight. A headache in the front, back of the head and also behind the ears appears. In some cases, there is a pain in the nape of the neck that extends to the top of the head. Congestion, heat, and soreness are felt in the head. The headache may get better after sleep.
6. Nux Vomica – For Tension Headache Triggered by Alcohol
Nux Vomica is a highly recommended medicine for tension headache triggered by alcohol intake. The pain appears on the forehead, vertex (top of head) and occiput (back of the head). Mental irritability, scalp sensitivity on touch, and mental strain triggering a tension headache are the main symptoms indicating the need for Nux Vomica. This medicine is also suitable for treating tension headache that gets triggered by the intake of coffee.
7. Ignatia Amara – For Tension Headache Triggered by Smoking
Ignatia Amara is a suitable medicine for a tension headache triggered by smoking. Sometimes smelling tobacco may also trigger a tension headache. The pain from the head may extend down the neck. This may be attended with a tender scalp. Stooping may worsen a headache. Sleeplessness may also be present. Ignatia Amara is also recommended for tension headaches associated with depression.
8. Belladonna – For Tension Headache from Cold and Sinus Infection
Belladonna is a natural medicine prepared from a plant named ‘deadly nightshade.’ The natural order of this plant is Solanaceae. It is a very useful medicine for tension headache that develops from cold and sinus infections. Fullness in the head, pain in forehead, back and side of the head, fluent coryza (inflammation of the mucous membrane in the nose) and sneezing are the characteristic symptoms. Light and noise may worsen the headache, while pressure tends to relieve the headache.
9. Lycopodium Clavatum – For Tension Headache Triggered by Skipping Meals
Lycopodium Clavatum is a medicine prepared from the plant ‘club moss’ belonging to the family Lycopodiaceae. It works well for tension headaches triggered by skipping or missing meals. Symptoms include a headache in the back of the head and over the eyes. Pain from the head may extend down the neck with weakness. This is attended with soreness of the scalp. It may get better by lying down.
10. Ruta Graveolens – For Tension Headache due to Eye Strain
Ruta Graveolens is a medicine recommended for tension headaches triggered by eye strain. It is a plant-based medicine prepared from the plant ‘garden rue’ belonging to the family Rutaceae. Pressure in the forehead, pain in the forehead that extends to the temples, aching eyes, a pressure in the eye orbits, heat in the head, anxiety, and restlessness are the characteristic symptoms that indicate towards this medicine.
11. Coffea Cruda – For Tension Headache Triggered by Noise
Coffea Cruda is a well-indicated medicine for tension headache triggered by noise. The head feels tight, and there is a heaviness in the forehead above eyes. Motion and light tend to worsen the headache. A tension headache that is triggered by certain smells is also treated with Coffea Cruda.
12. Carbolic Acid – For Tension Headache with Scalp Tenderness
Carbolic Acid is a prominent medicine for tension headache attended with scalp tenderness. There is a headache with a sensation as if a tight band is stretched over the forehead from temple to temple. There is fullness in the head with dull aching. The scalp is tender to touch, and there may be a pain in the neck.
Main Causes of Tension Headaches
The exact reason behind a tension headache is not clear, but tensed or contracted muscles of head, scalp, and neck is thought to be a reason. They usually result from the contraction of neck and scalp muscles. One cause of this muscle contraction is a response to stress, depression or anxiety. Any activity that causes the head to be held in one position for a long time without moving can cause such headaches. Such activities include typing or the use of computers, fine work with the hands, and the use of a microscope. Sleeping in a cold room or sleeping with the neck in an abnormal position can also trigger this type of headache. Other causes include eye-strain, fatigue, alcohol use, excessive smoking, excessive use of caffeine, sinus infection, nasal congestion, over-exertion, colds, dehydration, skipping meals too often and contracting influenza. Tension headaches are not associated with structural lesions in the brain.
Symptoms of Tension Headache
The main symptoms of a tension headache include a dull, aching pain in the whole head (and not localized in a specific part of the head), a tight band-like sensation around the head, pain in the back of the neck, shoulders along with the entire head, tenderness of scalp, shoulder and neck muscles, tight muscles in neck, scalp, and shoulders, head pain that worsens as the day passes, sensitivity to light and sound, tiredness, irritability, nausea and trouble sleeping.
Managing Tension Headaches
Some methods to manage the symptoms of a tension headache include:
- Identifying the trigger factors and trying to avoid them.
- Regularly exercising the neck and shoulder muscles.
- Managing stress through yoga, meditation, and hobbies.
- Maintaining proper posture while sleeping or sitting.
- Taking enough sleep.
- Maintaining adequate light when doing work like sewing or reading to avoid eye strain that can trigger a tension headache.
- Massaging the neck and scalp.
- Using a hot compress to relax tensed muscles