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J Korean Med Assoc. 2001 Sep;44(9):1011-1017. Korean. Original Article.
Park KW .

Tension-type headache is now the term used to describe headaches that have previously been grouped under various ill-defined headings, such as 'tension headache', 'stress headache' and 'muscle contraction headache'. Tension-type headaches are characterized by a pain that is mild to moderate in severity, bilateral in distribution, pressing or tightening in quality, and are not accompanied by major systemic disturbances or neurological signs. Tension-type headaches, the most prevalent from of headaches, are differentiated as being either episodic or chronic, Very little research on this disease has actually been carried out, and knowledge about key pathophysiological issues, such as the nature and site of the noxious stimulus, is limited. As a result of this and the lack of scientific interest for this from of headache in the medical field, the treatment is non-specific. However, it is suggested that a peripheral mechanism of tension-type headache be involved in the episodic form, whereas a secondary central sensitization and/or an impaired supraspinal modulation of incoming stimuli be involved in subjects with the chronic from. While most people with tension-type headaches experience mild, infrequent episodes, so that they do not regard the headache as a disease, a monority have chronic and often daily symptoms. The understanding of the balance between peripheral and central components in tension-type headache may lead us to a better prevention and treatment of this most prevalent type of headaches. This article presents a review on the drug therapy of tension-type headaches in adults.

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