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Types of headaches: Causes, Pain Areas, & Home Remedies

52% of the global population have experienced a headache disorder within a given year.*

Headaches are a fairly common medical problem. A vast majority of people suffer from it at least once. Pain in the head or face is the primary indicator that you are suffering from a headache.

There are many different types of headaches. But the one most people get is tension headaches. Specific forms of headaches can be a sign of a significant underlying problem.

What is a headache?

A headache is a type of pain that can be felt in either the head or the face. It can be described as either throbbing, persistent, severe, or dull pressure. The nature of the pain, its intensity, its location, and its frequency might vary. They're a major reason given for lost days at work or school.

How many types of headaches are there?

There are more than 150 different headache types. Primary and secondary headaches are the two primary classifications that they fall under.

Primary Headaches

Primary headaches are caused by dysfunction in the pain-sensitive areas of your head or excessive activity in those areas. They are not the result of an underlying medical issue or a symptom of one. Primary headaches aren't normally harmful, but they can be quite painful. They often make it difficult to go about your normal day-to-day activities.

The following are examples of primary types of headaches:

  • Headaches due to stress (a most common type of headache).

  • Headaches with migraines

  • Headaches that come in clusters

  • New Daily Persistent Headaches(NDPH).

Lifestyle factors or conditions that may be responsible for causing primary headaches:

  • Alcohol, or red wine

  • Some foods, such as processed meats, contain nitrates. These should be avoided (food-triggered headaches).

  • Using nicotine in one's routine (nicotine headache).

  • Alterations to sleep or an inability to sleep.

  • Poor posture.

  • Exercise and other forms of physical activity (exertion headaches).

  • Skipped dinners (hunger headache).

Secondary Headaches

An underlying medical problem typically brings on secondary headaches. They are referred to as a symptom or signs of the ailment that you have.

The following are some examples of secondary headaches. None of these is life-threatening.

  • Headache brought on by dehydration

  • Headaches caused by sinuses

  • Headaches caused by excessive use of medication

  • Headaches and vomiting

  • Headaches during pregnancy

The following categories of secondary headaches may develop into life-threatening conditions:

Spinal headaches are severe headaches that can get serious. It happens when spinal fluid leaks out of the membrane that covers your spinal cord. It mostly happens after a procedure known as a spinal tap. Spinal headaches can be debilitating.

Headaches that come on abruptly and are excruciatingly painful are called thunderclap headaches. A thunderclap headache might be compared to the sound of a clap of thunder. Within one minute, the agony of this sort of headache will reach its peak, and it will last for at least five minutes.

Is migraine the same as a headache?

Primary headache disorders include migraines, which is a headache type. A migraine is a common neurological disorder that can induce a range of symptoms. The most prominent of which is a pounding headache on one side of your head. Migraines can also cause nausea, headaches & vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.

Migraines are known to become more severe when the sufferer is exposed to light, sound, scent, or physical exertion. They typically continue for at least four hours and sometimes even for days.

What are the most common causes of headaches?

The discomfort of a headache is caused by messages passing between your brain, blood vessels, and the nerves in the surrounding area. Many mechanisms combine to activate certain nerves. This in turn influences the muscles and blood vessels, resulting in a headache. Your brain receives pain signals from these nerves, which is the cause of your headache.

Different types of headache areas

Headache on the back of the head and the neck

You may have a Cervicogenic headache if your headaches start in the neck and move to the back of your head. A Cervicogenic headache is a secondary headache. This means it comes from something else that is wrong with your body. You might find that your headaches get worse when you move your neck in certain ways. Or when you put pressure on certain spots on your neck.

If you have pain that starts at the base of your skull and moves up, it could be occipital neuralgia. It is a rare type of chronic headache. Pain from occipital neuralgia can come on quickly and last for a few seconds to a few minutes.

Headache on top of the head

Sinusitis is often known as a sinus headache. It arises when the sinus passageways behind your eyes, nose, cheeks, and forehead get clogged. It is uncommon and frequently mistaken for a tension headache or a migraine. Contrary to popular belief, weather changes are a typical trigger for migraines.

Headaches on the left side of the head

Cluster headaches are one of the more severe types of headaches. Cluster headaches are so named because they frequently occur in groups. They can reoccur anywhere from one to eight attacks per day. They frequently take place at the same time of year every year or two.

You may feel discomfort in and around your eye. It may also spread down your neck, cheek, nose, temple, or shoulder—typically just on one side.

Home remedies to Get Rid of Headaches at home

  • Drink Water

  • Take Some Magnesium

  • Limit Alcohol

  • Get Adequate Sleep

  • Try To get rid of Foods That Are High in Histamine

  • Use Essential Oils

  • Applying a Cold Compress to the Ache Will Help

  • Relax with Yoga

  • Sip Some Ginger Tea

Closing Thought

Frequent headaches hurt many people, so it's important to find natural and effective ways to treat them. However, you can consider taking a vitamin B complex medication. It is a very common, safe, and effective way to ease headache pain.

Note: When you talk to your doctor about your headaches and how they make you feel, keep a record. A record of symptoms, durations, and locations can get a more accurate diagnosis.

We hope that this blog has helped you understand your headaches better. Listen to them better next time to avoid making them worse in your ignorance.


The Author :

Dr. Sunil Khattri

+91 9811618704

Dr Sunil Khattri MBBS, MS(General Surgery), LLB, is a Medical doctor and is a practicing Advocate in the Supreme Court of India and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi.

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