Triggers for tension-type headaches
The most commonly reported triggers for tension-type headaches are:
- stress (both mental and physical)
- irregular or unhealthy meals
- high caffeine intake (in the form of coffee or caffeine-based soft drinks)
- caffeine withdrawal
- too much or too little sleep
- reduced physical activity or undertaking unsuitable exercise
- problems related to the menstrual cycle, oral contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy.
Keeping a headache diary can help identify triggers for tension-type headaches. Avoiding triggers (if possible) probably won’t eliminate your headaches completely but may reduce the number you have.
- Bendtsen L, Evers S, Linde M, et al. EFNS guideline on the treatment of tension-type headache - report of an EFNS task force. European Journal of Neurology 2010;17:1318-25. www.efns.org/fileadmin/user_upload/CME_articles/CME_article_2010_November.pdf