What is a headache?
Pain originating in any region of the face, head or neck is called headache. This pain can be dull or severe and localized to the face, skull or neck. The head is the most common site of pain in the body. Headache may sometimes be associated with nausea, vomiting or dizziness.
What are the different types of headaches?
- Primary headaches: Headache with no clear underlying cause is called primary headache. It may be due to overactivity or strain. Primary headaches might not be life-threatening, but may affect the quality of life. Below are few common types of primary headache:
- Tension headaches: These occur when the muscles of the face or the scalp become tense. This may be due to physical or mental stress.
- Migraine headaches: Migraine pain is moderate to severe and can last from four hours to three days. Multiple factors cause migraines, and they may have a hormonal origin. Migraine symptoms include sensitivity to light, noise or smell.
- Cluster headaches: This type of headache is rare but is the most severe type of primary headache. The pain is severe, throbbing and mostly localized to behind the eye. It may be accompanied by watery eyes and sensitivity to light.
Headaches due to underlying medical condition are called secondary headaches. This includes infection, severe injury, tumors, bleeding in the brain and sometimes, even life-threatening causes. Below are few common types of secondary headache:
- Sinus headaches: The sinus headaches are associated with infection of the sinuses. This pain is associated with a deep and constant throbbing in cheekbones, forehead or bridge of your nose. The pain usually gets worse with sudden head movement or straining.
- Medication overuse headaches: These occur due to overuse over-the-counter painkillers This is among the most common type of severe headache seen in hospitals and is also called “transformed” headache. It is believed that 4% of the population worldwide has chronic daily headaches of some type — a significant subset of which are due to medication overuse.
Any other headaches, facial pain and pain involving the 12 cranial nerves (nerves supplying from brain to other parts of body) are classified in this group.
What are the different causes of headaches?
Triggers for the headache are:
How to get rid of headaches
Headaches can be usually treated at home; however secondary headaches and severe headaches should be evaluated by medical professionals to rule out underlying medical causes. Below are a few common ways to get rid of headaches.
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Cluster headaches are a type of headache that recurs over a period. Episodes can last one to three times a day during this time, which may last from 2 weeks to 3 months. The three main types of treatments for cluster headaches are, 1) Abortive medications that work to stop the process in the brain that causes migraines and stops the symptoms too. 2) Preventive prescription medications, or 3) surgery which involves blocking the trigeminal nerve.
Headaches can be divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches are considered primary headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by disease. Headache symptoms vary with the headache type. Over-the-counter pain relievers provide short-term relief for most headaches.
Migraine TriggersDo you have frequent headaches? Learn the most common headache triggers for tension headaches, sinus headaches, cluster headaches and migraine. They include red wine, skipping meals, and smoke. Find medical treatments that work, like diet, exercise, massage, and physical therapy.
Headaches in ChildrenKids get headaches and migraines too. Many adults with headaches started having them as kids, in fact, 20% of adult headache sufferers say their headaches started before age 10, and 50% report their headaches started before age 20.
Headaches QuizIf you're plagued with headaches, our Headaches Quiz may help you identify causes, triggers, symptoms, and treatments for headache pain caused by different types of headaches such as migraines, sinus, cluster, tension, or stress.
How Long Does a Trigger Point Injection Last?Trigger point injections are given to inactivate your trigger points, resulting in prompt relief from chronic pain. Trigger point injections can be an alternative for pain management in people with myofascial pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic or episodic headaches or tension headaches, jaw pain, shoulder pain, back pain, and groin pain.
Migraine HeadacheMigraine headache is a type of headache associated with a sensitivity to light, smells, or sounds, eye pain, severe pounding on one side of the head, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. The exact cause of migraine headaches is not known. Triggers for migraine headaches include certain foods, stress, hormonal changes, strong stimuli (loud noises), and oversleeping. Treatment guidelines for migraines include medicine, pain management, diet changes, avoiding foods that trigger migraines, staying hydrated, getting adequate sleep, and exercising regularly. Prevention of migraine triggers include getting regular exercise, drinking water daily, reducing stress, and avoiding trigger foods.
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Occipital Neuralgia (Headache)Occipital neuralgia is a type of headache that involves inflammation or irritation of occipital nerves. Signs and symptoms include a stabbing and throbbing head pain, and an aching pain in the upper back of the head and neck. Potential causes include infection, irritation, or trauma of the occipital nerves. This type of headache is diagnosed by physical examination findings and imaging tests. Treatment involves a multidisciplinary approach that includes massage, rest, physical therapy, heat, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Invasive procedures and even surgery may be considered if first-line treatments fail to bring relief from the chronic pain of this type of headache.
Sinus Headache Pain, Symptoms, Treatments, Remedies, and CuresSinus headache is caused by a sinus infection or inflammation of the sinus cavities. Symptoms of a sinus headache include pain, runny or stuffy nose, and chronic cough. There are many causes of sinus headaches including sinusitis or sinus infection, allergies, smoke, infections, or colds. Treatment for sinus headache depends on the cause. Some home remedies may relieve sinus headache pain symptoms.
Spinal HeadachesA spinal tap or an epidural block can cause a spinal headache. In these procedures, a needle is placed within the fluid-filled space surrounding the spinal cord. This creates a passage for the spinal fluid to leak out, changing the fluid pressure around the brain and spinal cord. A spinal headache may occur up to five days after the procedure is performed. Such a headache may be prevented with bed rest after a procedure.
Tension Headache (Symptoms, Relief, Causes, Treatment)
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