Which clinical history findings are characteristic of tension-type pediatric headaches?

Updated: Jan 02, 2019
  • Author: J Ivan Lopez, MD, FAAN, FAHS; Chief Editor: George I Jallo, MD  more...
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Tension-type headaches are common in children. Differentiating tension headache from migraine headache may be difficult, as many children with migraine headache also complain of neck pain. Distinguishing characteristics of tension headaches include the following:

  • Occurring during times of obvious stress

  • Involving the neck and occiput

  • Continuous pain

  • No nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain

  • Family history of migraine is less likely

  • In a subgroup of patients with tension headache, some patients have obvious symptoms of depression, such as depressed mood, feelings of worthlessness, anhedonia, or anorexia; in this subgroup, the headaches are relieved when the depression is treated

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