Tension Headache in Teens: Care Instructions
Most headaches are tension headaches. Some people get them often, especially if they have a lot of stress in their lives.
This kind of headache may cause pain or a feeling of pressure all over your head. Sometimes it's hard to know where the centre of the pain is.
If you get a lot of these kind of headaches, the best way to reduce them is to find out what's causing them. Then you can make changes in those areas.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
How can you care for yourself at home?
- Rest in a quiet, dark room. Put a cool cloth on your forehead. Close your eyes, and try to relax or go to sleep. Do not watch TV, read, or use the computer.
- Use a warm, moist towel or a heating pad set on low to relax tight shoulder and neck muscles.
- Have someone gently massage your neck and shoulders.
- Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
- If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
- If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
- Be careful not to take more pain medicine than the instructions say. This is because you may get worse or more frequent headaches when the medicine wears off.
- If you get a headache, stop what you are doing and sit quietly for a moment. Close your eyes and breathe slowly. Try to relax your head and neck muscles.
- Pay attention to any new symptoms you have when you have a headache. These include a fever, weakness or numbness, vision changes, or confusion. They may be signs of a more serious problem.
When should you call for help?
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
- You have a fever with a stiff neck or a severe headache.
- You are sensitive to light or feel very sleepy or confused.
- You have new nausea and vomiting, or you cannot keep down food or liquids.
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
- Your headache has not gotten better within 1 or 2 days.
- Your headaches get worse or happen more often.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
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Current as of: December 13, 2021