Types of Headaches and Causes of Headaches

Types of Headaches

While there are many different types of headaches, tension headaches and migraine headaches are most common. Since these two types of headaches may be treated differently, determining which type you have is a critical step in pain relief.

Tension Headache

Tension headaches are sometimes called muscle contraction headaches. The pain is usually a dull ache on both sides of the head and has been described as feeling like a tight band across the front of the head. It is also associated with stiffness of the neck/shoulder and frequent pain.

Migraine Headache

Migraine headaches produce moderate to severe pounding or throbbing pain, common on one side of the head. Migraine pain is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and sensitivity to light and/or sounds.

Cluster Headache

Cluster headaches are relatively uncommon, but these headaches cause excruciating, sharp-as-knife pain around one eye. Attacks occur daily in clusters of weeks or months, then disappear completely for months or years. They are four times more common in men than women, and typically start before age 30. See your doctor if you think you have a cluster headache.

Rebound Headache

Rebound headaches occur in less than 2% of patients whose persistent headache pain causes them to overuse headache medication. These headaches may worsen with physical or mental exertion. Talk to your doctor if you feel that you may be experiencing these headaches.

Sinus Headache

Sinus headaches are headaches with a deep and constant pain in the cheekbones, forehead, or bridge of the nose. This pain usually intensifies with sudden head movement or straining and is usually accompanied by symptoms such as fever, runny nose, and clogged ears.

Causes of Headaches

The cause: brain chemistry

Medical researchers understand more about what causes headaches than ever before. In fact, the latest theory about the underlying causes of headache has to do with brain chemistry. While research into underlying headache causes is ongoing, common factors that can cause headaches today are well documented. This understanding can greatly help headache sufferers like you find headache relief. By avoiding the headache triggers, you can help prevent their onset.