Tension headache causes

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Tension Headache Microchapters


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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Sabeeh Islam, MBBS[2]


The exact cause of tension-type headaches is still unknown. Multiple pathophysiologic mechanisms explain the possible etiologies or causative factors.


The exact cause of tension-type headaches is still unknown. In the past, persistent or sustained pericranial muscle contracture and tenderness was thought to be the main etiology of tension type headache. Excessive stress leading to muscle contraction was also considered a suspected cause of tension type headache.


  1. Ulrich V, Gervil M, Olesen J (June 2004). "The relative influence of environment and genes in episodic tension-type headache". Neurology. 62 (11): 2065–9. doi:10.1212/01.wnl.0000129498.50793.8a. PMID 15184615.
  2. Russell MB, Ostergaard S, Bendtsen L, Olesen J (May 1999). "Familial occurrence of chronic tension-type headache". Cephalalgia. 19 (4): 207–10. doi:10.1046/j.1468-2982.1999.019004207.x. PMID 10376164.
  3. Russell MB, Iselius L, Ostergaard S, Olesen J (February 1998). "Inheritance of chronic tension-type headache investigated by complex segregation analysis". Hum. Genet. 102 (2): 138–40. doi:10.1007/s004390050666. PMID 9521579.
  4. de Tommaso M, Ceci E, Pica C, Trojano M, Delussi M, Franco G, Livrea P, Ruggieri M (July 2012). "Serum levels of N-acetyl-aspartate in migraine and tension-type headache". J Headache Pain. 13 (5): 389–94. doi:10.1007/s10194-012-0448-3. PMC 3381063. PMID 22527035.
  5. Fischer M, Wille G, Klien S, Shanib H, Holle D, Gaul C, Broessner G (August 2012). "Brain-derived neurotrophic factor in primary headaches". J Headache Pain. 13 (6): 469–75. doi:10.1007/s10194-012-0454-5. PMC 3464472. PMID 22584531.

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