Headaches – Part 1

Headaches – Part 1Did you know there are 150 types of headaches? That’s a lot of different ways your head can hurt. Knowing the type of headache you have can determine the cause and treatment for your specific pain. This week we’re focusing on headaches including types of headaches, causes of headaches and treatment.

As the name suggests, a headache is any pain felt inside the skull or face. It’s one of the most common types of physical pain with symptoms ranging from piercing highly acute pain, to throbbing, pounding or squeezing throughout the head. Headaches can be constant, intermittent and recurring. Primary headaches are triggered by pain-sensitive areas of the brain while secondary headaches are a symptom of an underlying illness or disease.

Types of Headaches

Yes, there are over 100 one of them but only a handful of types of headaches make up the majority. Here are the most common types of headaches:

Migraine: Generally considered the worst type of headache, migraines create a throbbing pain that lasts for up to 3 days. This headache has genetic links and can be triggered by a variety of factors. Symptoms extend beyond headaches to stomach and vision issues, among others.

Sinus: Inflamed sinuses can put a great deal of pressure in your entire sinus cavity, which can lead to this type of secondary headache. When your pain is paired with other sinus problems like a runny nose, sore throat and cough, it is likely a sinus headache.

Tension: Stress is a major culprit for mild to moderate headaches. These are common among adults and teenagers, especially during stressful times.

Cluster: Cluster headaches are defined as sharp pain behind the eyes that comes and goes often within a day. A cluster of headaches may occur daily for weeks or months and then disappear.

Hormone: Women in particular are susceptible to headaches caused by changing hormones during menstruation, pregnancy and menopause, or while taking contraception.

Rebound: When you overdose on pain medication, even OTC varieties, to soothe your headache, you may end up with an even bigger one known as a rebound headache. This may be due to a brain shift caused by the medication or withdrawal of medication once the original headache subsides.

Later this week we’ll explain causes and treatment options for headaches.

Sources: Everyday Health, Mayo Clinic, WebMD, Health and Medicine Net

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