Thank you for visiting my post. This is my first post on this forum. I figured I would give a lot of background info so that you could get a better idea of where I am coming from.
I began developing a constant tension headache around 5 years ago. It feels like a band is tightly wrapped around my head. The pain is balanced on both sides of my head, mostly around the top and temple areas. I started out getting a headache once every other week or so (if memory serves it would usually occur on Sunday's when I would volunteer at church), then it became once a week, twice a week and before I know it, I simply always had a headache. This progression took maybe a year or two. I would go to sleep with that same headache, and then wake up the next morning with that same headache which would persist throughout the day. I have been living like this for around 4 years now.
I believe the dull pain has inhibited my ability to form and maintain relationships. The pain takes up a chunk of my "head space", of my presence that I can't really contribute much in conversation because the headache makes it hard to think about regular, every day things. It seems that I'm always, to some degree, whether I consciously realize it or not, thinking about the pain, distracted and occasionally frustrated that it exists so therefore unable to every fully engage myself in a conversation, or any human interactions for that matter. Because my tension headaches hover around the 1-3 pain level (out of 10), I am able to live a relatively normal life, such as I'm able to work and go to social events, see friends, though anything social that requires more than a surface level interaction, unless it's with family or close friends, is hindered because good conversation is unnatural while in pain. The headache pain ebbs and flows throughout the day, though it is almost always heightened during anything stressful. Anyways, I always thought that this headache would pass soon enough in the same fashion that it came on, and there are seasons of life where the pain does seem much lower than others, but then the headache picks up again. I am certain that stress makes the headache worse, also the sun/heat can make it worse, irregular sleep, and laying down can make it worse too. As for what lessens the pain, a warm shower, eating flavorful food, something that really stimulates my mind like a good memory or a string of thoughts about something interesting, a self massage of my upper neck (suboccipital muscles). When the headache is getting bad I love a good sneeze because that makes the pain subside for a few seconds.
I have been to the doctor before, had a scan of my brain (no tumors), had a scan of my sinuses (which found a mild chronic inflammation), had physical therapy, and seen a chiropractor once. These all had little to no lasting effect. A few of the remaining untried treatment options offered by my primary doctor were biofeedback therapy or psychotherapy and/or regular medication; I believe it was something similar to anti-depressant pills. I also should note that I eat a healthy diet and am physically active on a daily basis. I do just about everything typically recommended for a healthy, headache-free life. I have tried switching up my diet to find food triggers before. I consume little to no caffeine and little alcohol. For work, I am a grounds keeper which consists of a lot of labor and have considered switching careers to something less physically strenuous, like computer coder, to see if that helps.
I am considering trying psychotherapy and biofeedback therapy to see if there are any thought patterns or behaviors I can change that would help with the headache.
Has anyone else had a persistent tension headache for years, or has anyone found healing for a constant headache that lasted months or years? If anyone could shine a little light on what may help, or has been in a similar situation, or knows someone who has has been in one, and would be willing to share their story, I would greatly appreciate it!
Thank you for taking the time to read this long post.