What is a tension headache?

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. Stress and mental or emotional conflict are often factors in triggering pain related to tension headaches. While every child may experience symptoms differently, the following are the most common symptoms of a tension headache:

  • Slow onset of the headache
  • Head usually hurts on both sides
  • Pain is dull or feels like a band around the head
  • Pain may involve the posterior (back) part of the head or neck
  • Pain is mild to moderate, but not severe
  • Change in the child's sleep habits

Children with tension headaches typically do not experience nausea, vomiting, or light sensitivity.

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