Headache: Most Common Types, Causes, and Remedy

Most individuals will have at least one headache throughout their lives, making headaches a common medical problem. There are several forms of headaches, and although the majority are innocuous, some may indicate the presence of more severe underlying conditions. This article will go through the many forms of headaches and their causes. 

Here is our detailed guide to the most common types of headaches and their causes.

  • What is a headache?
  • Types of Headaches and Their Causes
  • Primary Headache
  • Secondary Headache
  • Cranial Neuralgia
  • Get Help

Navigate to the section that interests you the most or read through the guide to learn everything you need about the most common types of headaches and their causes.

What is a Headache?

A headache is a kind of discomfort that may be felt in the head or face and can be throbbing, continuous, severe, or moderate. People may feel pain differently based on various characteristics, such as its intensity, location, and frequency. Headaches are the most prevalent kind of pain, and they are often stated as the cause of missing time at work or school, as well as most medical appointments.

Types of Headaches and Their Causes

There are around 150 distinct kinds of headaches. However, the three basic forms of headaches are primary, secondary, and cranial neuralgia.

Primary Headache

Rather than being a symptom of something more serious, a primary headache results from head or neck problems. Anxiety and sleep disturbances are typical causes of primary headaches. This category of headaches includes:

  1. Migraines
  2. Tension-type headaches
  3. Cluster headaches
  4.  New daily persistent headaches

Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches are among the most debilitating forms of headaches. The initial symptom is usually a severe throbbing pain on one side of the head, although it may extend to other areas. Many individuals also experience nausea and vomiting. For the length of their episodes, which may last from a few hours to several days, migraine victims are frequently very sensitive to noises, scents, and light.

Some migraine sufferers may experience an aura, a warning signal before the headaches begin. Blind spots, wavy lines, and light sensitivity often characterize an aura.

Doctors are still baffled as to what causes migraine headaches. Most specialists believe they originally appeared in the neurological system. Migraines also run in families, implying that genetics play a role in their development. For some individuals, various events may induce migraine episodes, including alcohol, caffeine, certain meals or odors, and hormonal changes such as those observed during menstruation.

Tension-Type Headaches

Tension headaches often happen to most people from time to time. They may feel like a band around your skull, and the pain is dull and persistent, but it doesn’t throb. The tension headache pain in your head or neck will likely be felt on both sides rather than just one. Your neck muscles may seem twisted and sensitive to touch, and you may have sensitivity in certain parts of your head and neck. They also often do not have adverse effects such as nausea or vomiting.

Tension headaches may be brief and infrequent, or they can last longer and occur often. If the monthly frequency is less than fifteen, they are called “episodic.” If symptoms occur more often than that, a person is said to have “chronic” symptoms.

Possible causes of tension headaches include:

  • Stress
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Neck Discomfort
  • Hunger
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Sadness
  • Jaw Or Tooth Issues
  • Bad Posture

Cluster Headaches

The word “cluster” refers to how these headaches occur in bunches over many weeks. A cluster might last anywhere between six weeks and a year. They usually begin long after you’ve gone to bed. A dull ache sometimes precedes the beginning of a cluster headache. Its usual location is around the eye. It reaches its peak intensity, which is violent and piercing, in minutes.

This headache’s pain may decrease or disappear completely after 15–3 hours, only to return a day or two later. Some victims have reported at least eight attacks each day. Frequent bouts that last for weeks or months before abruptly ending are a hallmark of cluster headaches. They often appear between the ages of 25 and 50, and men are more likely than women to be the first to encounter them. They are more prevalent among heavy smokers than nonsmokers. Some individuals are more prone to headaches when stressed, have had a few drinks, or have eaten a certain food.

New Daily Persistent Headache

The new daily persistent headache is a form of headache that may appear unexpectedly and linger for three months or more. Some individuals have reported experiencing it after recovering from an infection, a flu-like sickness, surgery, or a very stressful event. Although most individuals experience minimal discomfort, it may be severe for others. There are several possible symptoms; some are quite similar to tension headaches. Others may have migraine symptoms such as nausea and sensitivity to light.

Secondary Headache

An underlying medical condition can result in a particular type of headache known as a secondary headache. This kind of headache is just a symptom of larger problems. The following are some of the most prevalent forms of secondary headaches:

Sinus Headaches

A sinus headache may cause discomfort in your eyes, cheeks, nose, and scalp. They may even sometimes generate a little but perceptible pressure behind your cheeks. The most common cause is nasal congestion and obstruction, commonly caused by seasonal allergies or an illness that produces sinus congestion. Bending or stooping may greatly worsen the discomfort. And if the weather is cool and moist, it may hurt much more.

Post-traumatic Headache

A post-traumatic headache usually occurs two or three days after a head injury. You’ll experience a dull ache that sometimes turns into severe pain. A post-traumatic headache might last for days or weeks following the occurrence.

Thunderclap Headache

People often report that the thunderclap headache is the worst form they’ve ever had. This headache’s worst phase normally lasts less than a minute. It usually needs prompt medical treatment. Generally, it is critical not to overlook a sudden headache; it is often the only indicator of a more serious condition.

Cranial Neuralgia

When you have this type of headache, you will feel discomfort in your head and face. It often happens when headaches persist despite pain medicines. Often, reducing your dose is all that is required to feel better.

Rebound Headache

Excessive use of pain medicines may have the opposite impact intended. Your pain may worsen and return more often. This kind of headache is known as a “rebound” or “medication overuse” headache. Rebound headaches often occur after using opioids, combination pain drugs, migraine treatments, or opiates to treat the initial headache. If the recommended daily dosages of these drugs are exceeded, rebound headaches may develop.

Get Help

If your headaches are severe, frequent, or accompanied by other symptoms, speak with your primary care physician about the possibility of having a specific kind of headache. If you work with your doctor, you can choose the best therapy.

All-Star Chiropractic provides comprehensive care for patients struggling with pain and illness, including headaches. Schedule a consultation today if you have any headache symptoms and learn how we can help you feel better.