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A 34-year-old member asked:

how long can tension headaches last?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Neurology 52 years experience
Usually brief: Classic tension or "muscle-contraction" headache is often a brief event running for 15-30 minutes, up to an hour or two. Usually will start later in day, and occupy predominantly back of head but can be diffuse. Typical migraines are usually longer than 4-6 hrs, and have different characteristics.

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Similar questions

A 33-year-old member asked:

How can I tell if I have tension headaches or another type?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Edward Neilsen
Family Medicine 19 years experience
Headaches: Tension headaches involve the muscles of the scalp, and can wrap around the entire scalp and even into the neck. Migraines are one-sided, and usually start in the temple area and go back onone side. Cluster headaches are typically behind a single eye. There are many other things that can cause headaches - rebound, dental problems (tmj), etc. A good family dr or neurologist can help you decide.
A 30-year-old member asked:

Tension headache?

4 doctor answers12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics 33 years experience
Neck tight? Stress?: Most people have a headache at some time, such as from colds and flus, lack of sleep, too much driving, long hours on the computer, stress at work, etc... Some people temporarily try OTC Tylenol, Motrin/Advil, Aleve, and their generic brands. A bad or increasing headache, recurrent headache, weird headache, or one with other worrisome symptoms must be seen by a doctor.
A 37-year-old member asked:

I got some tension headache since a week ago. Isn't that a long time?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Edward Smith
Neurosurgery 54 years experience
Depends on you: If your pain is truly a tension headache, diagnosed by a medical professional, then your tension headache can last as long as you are tense. If you are that tense you would probably benefit from lifestyle adjustment, physical therapy and emotional counseling.
A 34-year-old member asked:

How long do tension headaches tend to last?

1 doctor answer3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Neurology 52 years experience
A few hrs at most: Tension headaches typically can last about 30-60 minutes and sometimes a little longer. If your headache lasts 4-6 hrs or longer, it could well be a migraine event.
Lake Worth, FL
A 27-year-old female asked:

I was diagnosis with tension headaches, how long do they last for? They occur when I wake up in the AM left side. Is this normal? Worried it something else.

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Neurology 52 years experience
Re-assess: There may well be a discoverable trigger for your headaches, and you may find answers with a visit to your dentist. Possible causes might include jaw or TMJ issues, dental issues on left side, but could wonder about sinus or neck problems also.

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Last updated Apr 15, 2019
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