A headache is pain or discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck. Serious causes of headaches are very rare. Most people with headaches can feel much better by making lifestyle changes, learning ways to relax, and sometimes by taking medications.
The most common type of headaches are likely caused by tight muscles in your shoulders, neck, scalp, and jaw. These are called Tension headaches.
- They may be related to stress, depression, anxiety, a head injury, or holding your head and neck in an abnormal position.
- Tension headaches tend to be on both sides of your head. They often start at the back of your head and spread forward. The pain may feel dull or squeezing, like a tight band or vice. Your shoulders, neck, or jaw may feel tight or sore.
Migraine headaches are severe headaches that usually occur with other symptoms, such as vision changes or nausea.
- The pain may be throbbing, pounding, or pulsating. It tends to begin on one side of your head, although it may spread to both sides.
- You may have an “aura” (a group of warning symptoms that start before your headache). The pain usually gets worse as you try to move around.
Rebound headaches — headaches that keep coming back — may occur from overuse of painkillers. These may also be called medication overuse headaches. Patients who take pain medication more than 3 days a week on a regular basis can develop this type of headache.
Cluster headaches are sharp, very painful headaches that tend to occur several times a day for months, then go away for a similar period of time.
Sinus headaches cause pain in the front of your head and face. They are due to swelling in the sinus passages behind the cheeks, nose, and eyes. The pain tends to be worse when you bend forward and when you first wake up in the morning.
Headaches may occur if you have a cold, the flu, a fever, or premenstrual syndrome.
A swollen, inflamed artery (which supplies blood to part of the head, temple, and neck area) can occur with a disorder called temporal arteritis.
Cervicogenic headache a type of headache characterised by chronic hemicranial pain referred to the head from either the cervical spine or soft tissues within the neck. Rarely, a headache may be a sign of a more serious cause.