Peripheral and central mechanisms in tension-type headache: an update

Cephalalgia. 2003;23 Suppl 1:49-52. doi: 10.1046/j.1468-2982.2003.00574.x.


Despite the tremendous socioeconomic impact of tension-type headache surprisingly little is known about the underlying pathophysiology and treatment. Existing evidence and theories about the relation between central and peripheral mechanisms are discussed. Central sensitization is probably the most important key to understand this widespread disorder. An effective prevention or reversal of this central sensitization will probably be of major importance in future treatment strategies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Migraine Disorders / complications
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Nociceptors / physiology
  • Peripheral Nervous System / physiopathology*
  • Tension-Type Headache / complications
  • Tension-Type Headache / physiopathology*
  • Tension-Type Headache / psychology


  • Nitric Oxide