Cognitive behavioral therapy for tension-type headache: a case report

Salman I. B. , Sertel Berk H. O.

AGRI-THE JOURNAL OF THE TURKISH SOCIETY OF ALGOLOGY, vol.29, no.4, pp.177-184, 2017 (ESCI) identifier identifier identifier


Tension-type headache has a very high socioeconomic impact, and its lifetime prevalence is reported to be between 30% and 78% in different studies. It is widely acknowledged that noninvasive management with a multidisciplinary approach should be considered for the treatment of tension-type headache. Cognitive behavioral therapy and relaxation exercises are efficient techniques. This article illustrates the application of a cognitive behavioral therapy protocol enhanced with progressive muscle stretching and relaxation exercises in the treatment of chronic tension-type headache via a case report. Our patient had an ongoing headache for 6 years when he was referred to us by the department of psychiatry. After 10 cognitive behavioral therapy sessions, the patient had learned to notice muscle tension and relax the muscles as well as to recognize and express his emotions in a better way. He became aware of automatic thoughts and learned to find alternative thoughts. Headache severity decreased, and he was able to increase participation in daily life activities.