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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Mixed Tension Headache
      Category : Health Centers > Headache

Mixed Tension Headache

Alternate Names : Mixed Tension Migraine, Mixed-Pattern Headache

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

A mixed tension migraine is a chronic, daily tension headache that occurs in addition to periodic migraine headaches.

What is going on in the body?

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. Most people have them at some point in their lives. These headaches are thought to be due to muscle tension. They can also be caused by a poor dental bite or clenching of the jaws. They are usually described as a general pressure, tightness, or aching sensation.

Migraine headaches are less common and are often only on one side of the head. They are usually described as a throbbing type of pain. They may be severe and cause nausea, vomiting, and even vision and strength problems during the headache. Some people get tension headaches daily in addition to occasional migraines. This is known as a mixed tension headache. It is very common to have both tension and migraine headaches. Different headaches may need different treatments. Keeping a headache diary can help sort symptoms, determine if more than one type of headache is happening, and show how well treatment is working.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

The exact reason people get either of these headaches is not known. Stress, fatigue, anxiety, or depression generally cause tension headaches. Migraines are thought to be due to spasms of blood vessels inside the skull. Bright light, noise, tension, or certain things in the diet, such as alcohol or caffeine, often bring them on. There seems to be an inherited risk of migraines in many people. People who have both types of headaches usually have depression that contributes to the headaches. People with daily chronic headaches often overuse pain medicine, which may aggravate or even cause headaches in many people.


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Mixed Tension Headache: Symptoms & Signs

Author: Adam Brochert, MD
Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
Date Reviewed: 06/01/01

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