Muscle Contraction Tension Headache Workup

Updated: Dec 28, 2015
  • Author: Manish K Singh, MD; Chief Editor: Tarakad S Ramachandran, MBBS, MBA, MPH, FAAN, FACP, FAHA, FRCP, FRCPC, FRS, LRCP, MRCP, MRCS  more...
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Laboratory Studies

See the list below:

  • The diagnosis of tension-type headache (TTH) is clinical. As with the other primary headaches, no specific diagnostic test is available for TTH.

  • Occasionally, studies may be required to exclude secondary headache disorders.


Imaging Studies

See the list below:

  • Neuroimaging studies are important to rule out secondary causes of headache, including neoplasms and cerebral hemorrhage.

  • MRI imaging shows the greatest detail of cerebral structures and is especially useful in evaluating the posterior fossa.

  • CT scan with contrast is a viable alternative but is inferior to MRI for viewing structures in the posterior fossa.

  • Neuroimaging is indicated if the headaches are atypical in any way or if they are associated with abnormalities in the neurologic examination.