Last updated date: 07-May-2023

Originally Written in English


You are not alone if your head throbs. Headache is one of the most common types of pain in the world that affects the head, neck, or scalp. Approximately 75% of people around the world experience headache every year. 

Headache can be moderate at times. However, they can also be severe, making it difficult to focus at work and carry out other everyday activities. Millions of people suffer from severe headaches that can be debilitating. Fortunately, most types of these headaches may be controlled using medicine and a change in lifestyle. 


Types of Headache 

The most common types of headaches include; 

Tension headache:

This type of headache is the most prevalent, mostly affecting women over the age of 20. Tension headache is usually described as the sensation of a tight band on the head. Tightness of the muscles around the neck and the scalp causes them. Stress and poor posture are also the major contributing factors.

Tension headache on the forehead or side of the head normally lasts a few minutes. However, they might sometimes linger for several days in extreme circumstances. In addition, it has a proclivity for recurrence. 

Tension headaches are characterized by the following signs and symptoms:

  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Pain that feels dull and aching
  • Tenderness of the scalp
  • Stiffness in the shoulders
  • Pressure or stiffness across the forehead that might extend towards the sides or behind the head


Cluster headache:

Non-throbbing headache resulting in intense, burning pain on one section of the head or at the back of the eye is a cluster headache. It normally induces teary eyes and nasal congestion, often known as rhinorrhea or running nose. Sometimes, such a headache lasts for a longer period; a condition referred to as the cluster period. The cluster period can last up to six weeks. 

In addition, a cluster headache might occur each day or multiple times a day. The reason behind this is unknown. Nevertheless, this form of headache is uncommon and affects mostly men between the ages of 20 and 40. 


Migraine headache:

Migraine headache is a chronic headache that usually affects one section of the head, causing throbbing and pounding pain. There are several forms of migraine headache, including;

  • Chronic migraines, which occur 15 or more days a month. 
  • Hemiplegic migraines, which have symptoms that are similar to those of a stroke. 

Migraines with no head pain can occur when a person experiences migraine symptoms like nausea, dizziness, visual abnormalities but not pain.

Migraine headaches are frequently accompanied by symptoms like;

  • A throbbing sensation in the brain
  • Pain on one section of the head
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Light and sound sensitivity
  • A throbbing, intense pain

Migraine headache on the side of the head frequently causes excruciating discomfort that makes it difficult to concentrate or carry out regular tasks. 


Rebound headache:

Rebound headache occurs when a person stops using drugs that were previously used to manage headaches. If you use drugs like acetaminophen, ergotamine (Ergomar), triptans (Zomig, Imitrex), or headaches (like Tylenol with codeine), you're more prone to get rebound headache.

Rebound headache happens on a daily basis. Also, this type of headache in the morning is usually at its worse. However, it tends to improve with medicine, but as the drugs wear off, it reappears. Other signs and symptoms of rebound headache include; 

  • Headache with nausea 
  • Irritability 
  • Having problems recalling essential things
  • Restlessness 
  • Generally, the sort of headache a person experiences is often determined by the medicine they are taking.


Thunderclap headache:

Thunderclap headache is an intense, sudden headache that often strikes without warning. It frequently occurs out of nowhere and lasts for about five minutes. Such a headache can indicate a problem with the brain's blood arteries, which necessitates immediate medical treatment. 


Causes of Headache 

Headache can occur due to a variety of factors, according to medical specialists. The causes are categorized into primary and secondary. 

Primary headache causes are those that are not linked to any other medical disorders. The fundamental cause of these headaches is a neurological process. Migraine, cluster, and tension headaches are examples of the prevalent primary headaches. 

On the other hand, secondary headaches occur as a result of an underlying health condition. The following are some examples of secondary causes of headache:  

Brain aneurysm or brain tumor: A headache might be caused by a brain tumor or a brain aneurysm (bleeding of the brain). This is due to the fact that the skull only has so much space. The compression within the brain might lead to a headache if the skull becomes clogged with blood or excess tissue. 

Causes of Headache 

Cervicogenic headache: When discs deteriorate and impinge on the spinal column, cervicogenic headaches develop. As a result, you may experience severe neck pain and headaches.

Drugs overuse headache: A headache might occur if you use a lot of pain medication on a daily basis and then begin to taper or stop taking them. Hydrocodone is an example of one of these drugs. 

Meningitis-associated headache: Meningitis refers to an infection of the meninges. These are the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord and line the inside of the skull.

Post-traumatic headache: Headache can sometimes occur as a result of head trauma sustained in an event such as a vehicle accident, fall, or skiing accident. 

Sinus headache: This type of headache occurs due to an inflammation around the air-filled sinus cavities within the face, which results in pain and pressure. 

Spine headache: A steady leakage of the cerebrospinal fluid can cause a spinal headache. This commonly occurs after an epidural, spinal tap, or spinal block for anesthesia.


Headache Diagnosis 

A headache can be a symptom of an illness or another medical problem. Through a medical history assessment and a physical examination, the doctor can identify the underlying reason for a headache. A full neurological evaluation is also an essential part of the diagnosis.

In addition, a thorough history is crucial because the abrupt absence of medicines or particular meals can result in repeated headaches. Heavy coffee consumers, for instance, may develop headaches if they suddenly quit drinking coffee. 

If the doctor suspects that a medical ailment is the cause of the headaches, he or she may recommend other diagnostic tests. They can include; 

  • A complete blood count (CBC): This is a blood test that can reveal infection symptoms.
  • Skull x-rays: This is a type of imaging exam that shows the bones of the skull in great detail.
  • X-rays of the sinuses: An imaging technique that the doctor might perform if he or she suspects sinusitis. 
  • A head CT or MRI scan: These tests can be performed if the doctor suspects a trauma, stroke, or blood clot within the brain.


Headache Treatment Options

Identifying your triggers is one of the most important aspects when it comes to treating a headache. Learning what the causes are, usually through keeping a headache journal, can help limit the headaches you experience. 

Your healthcare practitioner can adapt a suitable treatment for you after identifying the triggers. However, not each form of headache needs medication. Based on the type of headaches, the cause, and frequency, the treatment options can include the following; 


Over-the-counter pain medications usually work effectively for occasional tension headaches. However, excessive use of these drugs can result in a prolonged daily headache. Prescription headache drugs may be recommended if you have a regular or severe headache. A migraine episode can be stopped using triptans and other medications. You can take them as soon as you feel a headache coming on. Other OTC drugs include acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen. 

Stress management 

Stress management is designed to teach you how to deal with difficult situations. Relaxation practices can help you cope with stress. To relieve tension, you can employ muscle relaxation, deep breathing, mental imagery, as well as music.


Headache Treatment Options

Biofeedback helps you know when your body is tense. You will understand how your body reacts to stressful situations and how to calm down. Sensors are attached to your body during biofeedback. They keep track of your automatic physical reactions to headaches. This includes an increase in pulse, breathing, heart rhythm, temperature, brain activity, and muscle tension. 

Other headache treatment options include; 

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which is a sort of talk therapy that teaches you how to identify stressful and anxious circumstances.
  • Acupuncture, an alternative treatment that involves the insertion of tiny needles into particular body locations to relieve stress and tension.
  • Mild to moderate exercise that can help you feel happier and calmer by increasing the synthesis of specific brain chemicals.
  • Cold or hot therapy, which involves putting an ice pack or a heating pad on the head for five to ten minutes several times a day
  • Relaxing stiff muscles by taking a hot bath or shower.



Most people experience one or more types of headaches from time to time. Although some indicate minor issues, seek medical help if you experience a severe or recurring headache. 

Luckily, there are numerous therapeutic options available for people suffering from frequent headache. Therefore, do not give up if your initial treatment plan is not effective. The headache specialist near you can suggest other treatments or techniques in order to find the best solution for you.