Tension headaches with vegetative-vascular dystonia: causes and methods of disposal

Tension headaches with vegetative-vascular dystonia: causes and methods of disposal.

Tension headaches occur against a background of stress, acute or chronic, as well as other mental problems, such as depression. Headaches with vegetative-vascular dystonia are also, as a rule, tension pains. Since vegetative-vascular dystonia (VVD) itself is nothing more than a physical manifestation of anxiety disorder.

Symptoms of a tension headache include: a feeling of tightness in the head area (a tight ring may appear to cover the head); pressure in the head; shooting pains in the head, eyes, face area; strange sensations of “frozenness” of the head and its numbness; feeling bloated (as if it would burst). In addition to pain in the head itself, tension pain usually affects the back of the neck and shoulders, right down to the area between the shoulder blades. Both the neck and shoulders also become tense. Sometimes it seems that the neck takes some kind of unnatural position, for example, the head seems to be pushed forward or, conversely, thrown back. In addition, scalp discomfort may occur. Sometimes such sensations are perceived as pain, sometimes as a burning sensation. Pain and tension can affect the entire head, neck and shoulders. And they can be localized only in one area. Moreover, this localization can be both stable and constantly shifting. All of these symptoms can manifest themselves at the same time, or they can come alone. Tension headache can occur in the presence of an obvious stressful event and anxiety. Or it can come “from scratch.” The intensity of pain varies from subtle to extremely strong. Pain can come only occasionally. And they can visit regularly and even be virtually constant. Quite often, tension headache occurs simultaneously with a migraine . In this case, additional symptoms appear. Namely: throbbing pain in the head; pain in only one half of the head; nausea up to vomiting; hypersensitivity to light and sound; visual impairment. Causes of tension headaches Pain of this type always occurs against a background of nervous tension, which can be short-term acute stress, chronic anxiety (VVD), depression, insomnia. Mental experiences lead to hypertonicity of the muscles of the head, neck, face, shoulders. Acute stress can cause sudden muscle spasm; chronic anxiety can cause constant muscle strain. In any case, the muscles become excessively hard and painful. This leads to the development of a tension headache, and such a famous symptom of it as the feeling of a hoop squeezing the head. Since muscles play the main role in the development of tension headaches, prolonged stay in an uncomfortable position can be one of the triggers for the development of this type of pain. However, even in cases where the pain is associated with an incorrect posture, it still occurs against the background of mental excitement or neurophysical exhaustion, for example, caused by a sleepless night. Having arisen, tension headache often provokes the development of migraine, which is of a vascular nature. By itself, a migraine has a myriad of causes. And it is well known that stress and the resulting muscular hypertonia with tension headache are one of the triggers of migraine. How to Get Rid of Tension Headache Tension headache may occur occasionally, intermittently, or be chronic. The tactics for eliminating painful sensations depends on how often they come. Treatment of recurrent pain The easiest and surest way to eliminate headache is to take pain relievers (Citramon, Paracetamol, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Nurofen, etc.). Non-drug approaches can also be used: you can close your eyes and massage your temples for a few minutes; take a hot shower; go to a professional massage of the neck and collar zone. Sometimes it helps to just lie down calmly. And sometimes, on the contrary, to jog or actively move. Non-drug methods are less effective than drugs. But they make it possible to relieve a minor headache, as well as reduce the dose of medication in case of intense pain. Treating Chronic Pain When there is depression or persistent anxiety, tension headache often becomes virtually constant. Also, frequent use of painkillers – more often than twice a week – can contribute to the development of periodic pain into chronic pain. Especially when medications with caffeine and / or codeine are used. Getting rid of chronic headaches is much more difficult. And taking medication is not the best option here. As already mentioned, the more often pain relievers are used, the more likely it is that the headache will become chronic. At the same time, the effectiveness of drugs becomes lower over time. The dose required for the anesthetic effect is increasing. Taking large doses of painkillers or switching to stronger drugs is dangerous to health, since all such drugs, with their regular use, have a lot of severe side effects. How to be? It is possible to truly effectively get rid of chronic tension headache only when its cause, for example, constant anxiety (the notorious vegetative-vascular dystonia) or depression , is eliminated . This is why taking antidepressants or tranquilizers is often a more effective medication for headache than using anesthetic drugs. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to achieve a complete cure for anxiety or depression. For some, this is simply not possible, since such mental disorders cannot be cured with drugs alone. Nevertheless, it is still necessary to ease the pain in the head area. How? Attention! Before you begin to rid yourself of chronic tension headache, you need to see a doctor and make sure that the headache is actually caused by psychological factors. It is not somatic.

First of all, you need to master the technique of complete muscle relaxation. You can try to massage the back of your head yourself. Refuse to take painkillers, as their frequent use only supports the chronic nature of the pain. Become more active, eat and drink adequate amounts of water throughout the day. Many neurotics who suffer from chronic tension pain begin to spare themselves immensely and take care of their precious health. They are afraid to lift a finger. This approach to treatment only aggravates the condition, since, firstly, it drives the patient into a pit purely psychologically, and, secondly, negatively affects the work of the muscles, which are responsible for this type of headache. Normalize sleep. If you can’t do this on your own, you may need to take sleeping pills. In any case, for chronic headaches, night rest should be optimized without fail. And finally, the most important thing. Like all other physical manifestations of mental problems, be it anxiety, depression, VSD, chronic tension headache is largely obsessive. Very often it occurs immediately after awakening, when the neurotic, opening his eyes, is already ready for the fact that he should have a headache. The more a person suffering from certain physical symptoms of neurotic conditions thinks about these symptoms, the more clearly they show themselves. This is fully true for chronic tension headaches. Therefore, the most effective way to treat such pain is to give up obsessive thoughts about your head, neck, shoulders and health in general. Stop feeling like disabled people who need some kind of special sparing mode of life. Move more, walk. Ignore the headache. And then it will gradually leave you.

Everyone has a headache from time to time. The most common type of cephalalgia is tension headache (TBH). What it is? It is a diffuse bilateral headache of moderate or moderate intensity with a compressive (constrictive) character.

The disease is inherent in a third of the world’s population. Most people develop the condition at a young age. It happens that the disease occurs after 50 years, but this is rather an exception. It is characteristic that HDN is more common in women.

The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) assigned the code G44.2 to this pathology.


Tension headache belongs to the category of neurological diseases. Experts divide it into several types.


The chronic nature of cephalalgia is manifested by severe pain in the forehead and occiput. The ailment causes muscle spasm in the neck or head.

Chronic HDN is characterized by pronounced symptoms, as opposed to episodic, so it is more difficult to treat with analgesics. The duration can be up to a month.


Episodic HDN is temporary, it occurs as a result of overwork, stress, excessive physical exertion. It is characterized by a short-term feeling of constriction in the forehead and occiput. Some complain that the whole head hurts.

The attack lasts from several minutes to several hours. Sometimes the malaise lasts several days. This is typical if the person has not taken the pain reliever.

How to relieve an episodic tension headache attack? It is enough to take an analgesic. Even if the pain does not completely go away, it will decrease to such an extent that it will not affect the usual way of life.


Headache against a background of nervous tension is pronounced and does not allow a person to relax. Malaise occurs due to conflicts or nervous overload. When distracted from situations that traumatize the soul, the pain will ease or go away.

How to get rid of HDN arising from nervous tension? Shows rest in the circle of loved ones, going out into nature, watching your favorite movie.


Muscle tension headache is characteristic of people of working age. It is also called psychogenic and idiopathic. It occurs as a result of prolonged contraction of the muscles of the skull, neck, face, which causes a decrease in blood volume in the vessels and, as a result, oxygen starvation of tissues and the accumulation of toxins.

Symptoms of muscle cephalalgia: strong tension of the shoulder, neck, facial muscles, dull, non-pulsating pain from the forehead to the back of the head, a feeling of powerful tension in the temples and forehead.


What are the symptoms when stress type pain is diagnosed? It manifests itself:

  •                                 weakness;
  •                                 tiredness;
  •                                 nervousness;
  •                                 irritability;
  •                                 rapid fatigue.

The tension pain in the head is non-pulsating and does not cause nausea or vomiting. Many patients complain of intolerance to noise and light, tremors, lack of appetite, distraction of attention, insomnia, and lack of sleep.

Patients characterize such pain as monotonous, constricting, squeezing, constricting, moderate, dull, strong or light.

Many patients diagnosed with HDN find it unpleasant to wear a hat and comb their hair. With physical exercise, the malaise does not worsen, but without medication, the attacks do not go away even at night.


Pain from overexertion occurs mainly at a young age (30-40 years). Knowledge workers are at risk. The higher the social and educational level of a person, the higher the likelihood of him getting pain from the tension of the neck muscles.

People who are prone to discomfort are often faced with:

  •                                 emotional overstrain;
  •                                 stress;
  •                                 fixation of attention;
  •                                 concentration.


The causes of HDN are complex and closely intertwined. It occurs during stress, during depression, when the muscles of the head are tense. All reasons can be divided into the following groups.


Chronic stress leads to the development of muscle spasm and severe muscle tension. In this case, the vessels located in the thickness of the muscle tissue are compressed.

Muscle nutrition deteriorates, metabolism is impaired at the biochemical level. This leads to painful sensations.
Pain is a signal for the body that something is wrong and needs to be changed, otherwise even more serious consequences are possible.
Although HDN in itself does not pose a threat to life, neurological diseases can develop from stress, especially long-term, chronic stress.


An imbalance in pain and pain systems occurs under the influence of the autonomic nervous system. Emotional tension, anxiety and depression stimulates the disturbance of proportions.

As a result, the level of serotonin – a powerful pain reliever – and the excitation threshold of pain receptors are reduced. Even the smallest impact (scratching or touching the surface of the head) causes discomfort.


With cervical osteochondrosis, connective tissues, tendons, muscles and nerve endings of the cervical spine suffer. There is their limitation of mobility, stretching and squeezing, which causes a headache (cervicogenic).

The source of pain is not the head, but the neck, but since the nerve endings are common, it can be felt in the head, forehead, jaw, temples, above the eyebrows, and given from the eyes to the ears.


Alcohol and coffee are provoking factors for the occurrence of HDN.

Coffee contains caffeine, which dilates blood vessels and raises blood pressure. In this regard, the aromatic drink is contraindicated for hypertensive patients.
The main cause of cephalalgia after drinking alcohol is oxygen starvation of the brain, which has a destructive effect on the cells of the cortex.
Due to the action of alcohol, the blood is saturated with red blood cell clots, which impair the transport of oxygen. As a result, brain cells do not receive enough of it.

A few hours after drinking, the process of rejection begins. The body seeks to remove dead cells, which causes pain in the head.


In some people, stress syndrome is combined with migraine attacks. Over time, this leads to the development of stress-induced cephalalgia.

Two forms of pathology (HDN and migraine) have different symptoms, so it is not difficult to distinguish them. However, if the disease becomes chronic, seizures become atypical.

In such a situation, the patient is recommended to keep a diary for a long time, and note all the clinical signs that provoke seizures and relieve pain. This will simplify further diagnostics.


Today, HDN is diagnosed as often in children and adolescents as in adults. The baby’s symptoms are as follows:

  •                                 squeezing pain on both sides;
  •                                 the child quickly gets tired, becomes irritable;
  •                                 discomfort is complemented by pain in the back, joints, heart;
  •                                 blood pressure rises or falls;
  •                                 vision deteriorates;
  •                                 heart rate increases.

The reason for prolonged muscle tension is an unsuitable desk or table in height, when the child sits in an uncomfortable position for a long time.

Also, HDN of a newborn and an older child is facilitated by an insufficient amount of fresh air, physical and mental fatigue, prolonged starvation, and weather changes.

Pain can be caused by hemolytic anemia, anemic and asthenic conditions.


The difficulty in diagnosing HDN is due to the fact that it has no morphological substrate. That is, even with systematic and severe ailments, not a single instrumental study will reveal deviations. Therefore, the diagnosis of HDN is based on:

  •                                 questioning the patient and thoroughly collecting anamnesis, including information about bad habits, daily routine, work specifics;
  •                                 general examination by a neurologist and therapist;
  •                                 palpation of the muscles of the neck and occiput (pericranial muscles) in order to identify painful points.

Differential diagnosis of HDN from ailments of a different kind (symptomatic) is required, which consists in conducting ultrasound, MRI, CT, urine and blood tests and other types of diagnostics at the discretion of the doctor.


How to relieve a malaise that does not go away on its own? The most important thing here is to be able to relax. This can be done in several ways:

  •                                 do yoga and auto-training;
  •                                 be like psychotherapy sessions;
  •                                 take a relaxing herbal bath;
  •                                 stand in the shower under hot water;
  •                                 massage your neck;
  •                                 take a course of physiotherapy;
  •                                 do physiotherapy exercises regularly.
local_offerevent_note November 18, 2020

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