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What are the Different Types of Headaches

Posted Dec 02 2009 3:26am
What are the different types of headaches? The painful condition has many different causes and the pain manifests itself in a number of different ways. Figuring out which type of headache you have is an important part of treating the condition.

What are the Different Types of Headaches

A headache can be classified as a neurological problem but there are many different reasons people experience pain in the head. The symptoms of the headache are indicators of the type of headache you are experiencing. Following are four common types of headaches people experience.

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches can occur occasionally or they may be chronic in some individuals. Reasons behind tension pain in the head include but are not limited to:

  • Depression
  • Underlying medical problems
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Psychological problems

People who have chronic tension headaches may notice the onset of the problem occurring as early as 20 years of age while others find the onset of the headaches in their late thirties.

Hormonal Headaches

Some headaches occur because there is an imbalance of hormones in the body. The endocrine system is responsible for manufacturing and releasing hormones and this system works in collaboration with the nervous system. When there is an imbalance, headaches can occur.

Migraine Headaches

The painful onset of a migraine headache is enough to put someone out of commission for a day or two. Telltale signs of migraine include pain on one side of the head. The problem occurs when the levels of serotonin change in the brain.

The biochemical changes have and effect on the trigeminal nerve in the head experiences chemical changes that force it to set off a series of occurrences that lead to pain in the head. Part of the reaction involves blood flow moving away from capillaries and into the veins around the head. Nerves close to the veins and arteries become inflamed sending pain signals to the brain.

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are relatively rare, affecting roughly one percent of the population. These painful surges have a sudden onset and they leave as quickly as they begin, often with a rush of endorphins that cause a feeling of calm sedation and relief. The attacks occur in groups that can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours.

The clusters of headaches may follow a cycle with occurrences appearing in the late night hours or early in the morning. People who have these outbreaks tend to experience them in the fall or spring seasons. Some cycles appear for several weeks, month or years.

Headache Treatment

Getting proper treatment for headaches begins with recognizing the type of headaches you experience on a regular basis. In addition to the four mentioned above are headaches associated with many other conditions, including allergies and underlying medical problems. Anyone experiencing recurring headaches should visit a physician for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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