Posted by: Andre | 2009/05/16


When I' m under stress I tend to get upper neck stiffness. Sometimes the muscles form knots which are painful to touch. With the muscle tension comes a long lasting but fairly faint headache. How can I remedy the problem?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageHeadache expert

Dear Andre,

There are a number of ways of treating muscle tension and muscle tension headache. The most effective way is by using an intra-oral posture modifying device (PMA), which acts by reducing the base levels of muscle tension in the jaw and neck muscles. If the base levels are reduced, then the extra tension that occurs with stress is not sufficient to cause pain. The PMA may be combined with physiotherapy. In some patients injection of Botox into the tender muscle trigger points is effective for 3-6 months, but it is quite expensive and is only temporary. Some patients may benefit from a specially designed exercise regime, but this needs dedication, and is not always effective.

In some patients surgical cauterization of the tender trigger points in the muscles is a permanent solution.

Headache sufferers often have a poor Quality of Life due to the constant pain and associated symptoms. For a free assessment of how your headaches are affecting your Quality of Life, click on

This information has been supplied and checked by the multidisciplinary team of specialists at The Headache Clinic, in association with The International Headache Society and the South African Institute of Headache and Migraine Science. For consultation with these specialists, call The Headache Clinic on 0861 678 911 (Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban).

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Anonymous | 2009/06/01

I suffer with headaches on a daily basis
I dont eat diary products, chocolates , i drink alot of water, i exercise, i dont sit alot at my pc
But i still suffer alot and im not stressed out
please assist

Reply to Anonymous

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