- What Headache Means, Types, Symptoms And Treatments - DaOptimistic


What Headache Means, Types, Symptoms And Treatments

Headache is a common health problem that most people experience at some point.

Factors that cause headaches can be:

  • emotional, such as stress, depression, or anxiety
  • medical, such as migraine or hypertension
  • physical, such as a wound
  • the environment, such as the weather

Frequent or severe headaches can affect a person's quality of life. Knowing how to recognize the type of headache and its cause can help a person take appropriate action.


Some of the different types of headaches include:

Tension headache (TC)

It is the most common form of headache, affecting three quarters of the general population. Tension headaches were previously called muscle contraction headaches. It is associated with the muscles of the neck, face and jaw.

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A 2020 study found that TTH is closely related to stress.

A person with TTH may experience:

  • as if they had a tight band around their heads
  • a constant dull ache on both sides of the head
  • pain spreading to or from the neck

Tension headaches can be episodic or chronic. Episodic seizures usually last a few hours, although they can last for several days. When TTHs occur on 15 or more days per month for at least 3 months, they are considered chronic.


Migraine is the third most common illness and the seventh most debilitating in the world. According to a 2021 survey, it affects nearly 16% of the US population.

A migraine can involve excruciating, stabbing pain. It usually occurs on one side of the head, but can change sides.

During an episode, a person may also experience:


sensory disturbances, such as changes in vision, known as aura

sensitivity to light or sound

nausea, possibly accompanied by vomiting

Migraine is the second most common form of primary headache after TTH. They can significantly affect quality of life.

A migraine episode can last from 4 to 72 hours if left untreated or unsuccessfully treated. The frequency of episodes can vary widely, but many people have two to four migraine episodes per month.

Medication overuse headache (MOH)

Also known as rebound headaches and addiction headaches, this type occurs in people who take medication to treat headaches too often.

People with primary headaches, such as migraines, often develop drug-related headaches. These can cause migraine episodes to occur more often and become more severe.

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Instead of relieving symptoms, medications cause headaches and increase their intensity and frequency. MOHs tend to be the result of taking opiate medications, such as those that contain codeine or morphine.

In addition to headaches, a person may experience:

  • neck pain
  • restlessness
  • a feeling of nasal congestion
  • reduced sleep quality

The location, severity, and frequency of MOHs vary from person to person, but they usually occur daily or nearly daily and are present upon waking. MOH can range from a dull ache, such as a tension headache, to a more intense pain, such as a migraine.

Terrible Headache

These headaches usually last from 15 minutes to 3 hours and can occur one to eight times a day.

Cluster headaches may occur frequently for 4 to 12 weeks and then disappear. They tend to happen at the same time every day.

Between groups, the person may not have any symptoms. These periods of remission can last for months or years.

Cluster headaches usually involve a short but intense pain around or behind the eye on one side of the face. This pain can radiate to other parts of the face.

The following may accompany a cluster headache:

  • red or watery eyes
  • droopy or swollen eyelids
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • a smaller (narrowed) pupil in one eye
  • forehead sweat

Thunder Headache

These are sudden, severe headaches that people often describe as the worst headaches of their lives. They reach their peak intensity in about 30 seconds to a minute and slowly fade away over the course of a few hours.

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A rumbling headache is a secondary headache that can indicate a life-threatening condition, such as:

  • an aneurysm
  • reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome
  • meningitis
  • pituitary apoplexy
  • bleeding in the brain (hemorrhage)
  • blood clot in the brain

People who suffer from these sudden and severe headaches should seek immediate medical attention.


Headache can affect any part of the head, and the pain may be at one point or more. Headaches also cause different types of pain. Pain relief can help your doctor make a diagnosis.

Doctors also differentiate headaches based on whether the underlying health problem is responsible for the pain. In other words, a headache may be the first or second, notes the International Headache Society.

First Headache

Primary headache is not a symptom of a underlying condition. Instead, these headaches are the result of problems related to parts of the head and neck.

The main headache may be due to hyperactivity or problems with the pain features of the head, including:

  • specific areas of the brain
  • blood vessels
  • muscle
  • bodies
  • brain chemicals

The first common headaches include migraines, migraine headaches, tension headaches, and drug overdose headaches.

Second Head

This type of headache is a symptom of a underlying medical condition. The cause of the second headache may be:

  • the fetus
  • system conditions, such as infection
  • hypothyroidism
  • giant cell arteritis
  • Activity
  • brain tumor

As an item in Practical Neurology, secondary headaches that occur during pregnancy are usually caused by conditions under eclampsia and venous encephalopathy (PRES).

Secondary headaches can be the result of serious medical conditions. The 2019 reliable research source lists red flags that are considered fatal and need immediate attention:

Neurological symptoms such as seizures, loss of consciousness, and confusion.



worsening headache caused by coughing, sneezing, or exercise

headaches that occur in people with a history of cancer

is over 50 years old

It is also important for a person to see a doctor if they have a headache:

  • is serious or embarrassing
  • is persistent
  • happens regularly
  • not good with medicine
  • occurs with other symptoms, such as confusion, fever, sensory changes, or sudden neck stiffness
  • under processing
  • Relaxation and pain relief are the main treatments for headaches.

Options include:

  • over-the-counter pain relievers, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • medications for pain relief
  • preventative medications for specific conditions, such as migraines
  • other treatments for background conditions

It is important that people follow their doctor's advice to avoid drug abuse headaches.

Treatment for migraine headache is reducing or stopping medications. A physician can help develop a plan for safe relief from medications. In severe cases, a person may need a short hospital stay to manage the discharge safely and effectively.

For more information based on evidence and sources on headaches and migraines, visit our dedicated site.

Selection and Integration Treatments

There are many other forms of headache treatment available, now known as topical treatments. However, it is important for a person to consult a doctor before making any major changes or starting new treatments.

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Some of these methods include:

  • acupuncture
  • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • herbal and dietary health products
  • hypnosis
  • meditation

A 2021 study found that acupuncture therapy is more effective than medication in treating chronic migraine headaches, according to the results of the 2018 study. Meanwhile, a 2020 study found that using CBT reduced the frequency of migraines in children and adolescents.

Some evidence suggests that migraine episodes are more likely to occur when a person has low levels of magnesium and vitamin D. Although the evidence is inconclusive, one may find that consuming 400 to 500 milligrams of sodium magnesium oxide per day helps prevent events. .

Nutrition deficiencies can result from poor diet quality, malabsorption problems, or other medical conditions.

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Some treatment regimens can help prevent headaches or relieve pain. We can try:

  • use heat or ice pack on the head or neck, but avoid high temperatures and do not apply ice directly to the skin
  • Avoid biting as much as possible and use bisexual health promotion techniques
  • Follow a regular diet and make sure your blood sugar is constant.
  • get enough sleep by following a regular schedule and keeping the room cool, dark and quiet
  • Exercise regularly to improve overall health and minimize stress
  • limit alcohol consumption and binge drinking
  • take breaks at work to stretch and avoid eye strain

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