Tension Type Headache Therapy
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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 per month.
  • 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.