Tension-Type Headache Therapy
Abortive, Preventative & Interventional Headache Treatments in Colorado
Tension-type headaches (TTH) are the most prevalent of all forms of headaches.
Like all headaches, the exact cause of TTH is unknown. Treatment may involve
a combination of medications, physical therapy, and interventional procedures.
Below, you will find a list of the various treatments administered by
our trusted headache specialist.
Simple Analgesics (Pain Medication) – Simple analgesics include aspirin, acetaminophen, ketoprofen,
naproxen, and ibuprofen. These medications are effective for mild episodic
TTH. In a recent study comparing acetaminophen and naproxen to placebo,
after 2-hours acetaminophen and naproxen were superior to placebo.
Combination Analgesics – Simple analgesics are often used in combination with caffeine for
the treatment of tension-type headache. These drugs have been shown effective
many clinical studies. Because of increased risks of medication-overuse
headaches, combination analgesics are used with caution.
Triptans – Triptans have been used effectively for the treatment of interval
tension-type headaches, which are similar to mild migraines.
Amitriptyline – Amitriptyline is a tricyclic antidepressant that is proven effective.
This drug was found to prevent tension-type headaches in five controlled
studies, and has a long-lasting effect. This drug is often used in conjunction
with other medications for tension-type headaches. Other drugs used for
these headaches include maprotiline, miansein, and vanlafexine.
EMG Biofeedback – The goal of EMG biofeedback is to help the patient control muscle
tension through continuous feedback about muscle activity. Sessions involve
an adaptation phase, the baseline phase, the training phase, and a self-control
phase, which involves the patient controlling muscle tension without the
aid of feedback.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy – The goal of cognitive-behavioral therapy is to teach patients
to identify beliefs and thoughts that generate stress and bring on tension
headaches. These exercises are used to help the patient adopt another
person’s view of a situation and start relieving headache-inducing stress.
Occipital Nerve Block --The occipital nerves supply pain signals to the back portion of the
head. This nerve block is used to stop pain signals from the nerves of
the posterior scalp. The doctor injects the scalp in the office setting,
using a local anesthetic with or without a steroidal agent.
Botox Injections – Botox is used as a prophylactic (preventative) treatment for tension
headaches in adults. In a randomized controlled study, botulinum toxin
A was compared to placebo. In this study, Botox was compared to methylprednisolone
injections and was found to be associated with fewer chronic headaches
Acupuncture – Acupuncture has proved effective for the treatment of tension-type
headaches. This procedure involves the insertion of needles into the skin
and deeper tissues. Acupuncture was compared to a placebo treatment in
patients with tension-type headaches. In the study, headache frequency
halved in over 50% of the study participants. In addition, the effect
of true acupuncture persisted at the 6-month follow-up.
Start working towards headache relief today! Call us at 970-221-9451 to
schedule an appointment.