Headaches: Causes, Types, and Treatment

The Role of Headaches in Everyday Life

Everyone has had a headache or a long-lasting migraine at least once. Headaches can be caused by almost anything. Headaches can be minor and go away, or they can stay for several years – chronic migraine. The causes and treatments for headaches vary based on how strong they are.


Types of Headaches

Headache has a seasonality. Many types of headaches occur during the fall and winter months. Headache statistics differ not only by type but also by gender. Women suffer from migraine 2-3 times more often than men.

Headaches can be divided into two categories, primary and secondary headaches, and five subcategories:

  • Migraine headaches - severe and throbbing pain in one side of the head

  • Stress - prolonged pain that "squeezes" your head like a hoop

  • Flu or ARI - pain in the area of the brow, forehead, and temples

  • Osteochondrosis - sharp pain in the back of the head and temples

  • Hypertension - severe throbbing pain, usually in the back of the head

Read More Read Less

Primary Headaches

Primary headaches can be diagnosed immediately based on the patient’s complaints.

The six main questions will help the headache specialist properly treat you:


Migraine Symptoms

A migraine is a headache that occurs in sudden attacks two to ten times a month. A migraine headache can last from two hours to two days. Headaches do not happen between attacks, and the person feels healthy.

Most often, women suffer from migraines. The first migraines appear during puberty and continue until menopause. Other causes of migraines include head injuries (concussions, bruises), overwork, and stress.

Migraine is a disease of nervous tension. It occurs in people who are constantly stressed and mentally overexerted.

Migraine Attacks. Typical symptoms of migraine include:

  • Extremely painful headache in one side of the head and may go to the eye, back of the head, forehead, or temple

  • The level of head pain can be so intense that it's impossible to move

  • Throbbing headache

  • Sensitivity to light, sound, and taste

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Difficulty in speaking

Chronic Migraine is 15 days/month, for three months or longer.

Read More Read Less

Treatments for Migraine Headache

For migraine headaches, the first step is to do an MRI of the brain and then an MRI or X-ray of the cervical spine. Treatment is separated into acute migraine episodes and chronic headache episodes.

Acute headache episodes treatment includes:

  • Elimination of migraine pain and associated symptoms

  • Minimizing the side effects of medication

  • Future prevention of migraine

Chronic headache treatment:

  • Lifestyle and trigger management

  • Acute treatments

  • Preventative treatments

When the severe headache appears very intensive, sharp, and combined with nausea and vomiting, it’s a reason to visit a doctor or even call an ambulance.

Tips to Control Headache Triggers:

Tips to Control Headache Triggers:

  • Get enough hours of sleep each night

  • Drink at least four glasses of clear water every day

  • Manage and reduce stress

  • Do not skip meals

  • Physical exercises

  • Decrees screen time

To better control migraine, you can maintain a detailed calendar or diary of headaches to help your doctor provide the best treatment.


Tension Headaches: Symptoms and Treatments

Tension-type headaches are the most common type of headaches. It bothers everyone who works hard and is constantly nervous. This headache accounts for about 70% of the world's population. It occurs after physical and psycho-emotional overload.

Two main factors of headaches are psycho-emotional and muscle tension-type headaches. Only a correct interview with the patient will identify this type of headache.

Mascule tension-type headaches include:

  • Muscle pain in the temporal lobes of the head.

  • The muscles of the forehead.

  • The muscles of the scalp.

  • The back of the head.

Symptoms of Mascule Tension Headache 

  • An attack lasts from 30 minutes to 7 days

  • During the day, the headache may increase or decrease

  • The pain is crushing and squeezing like a curb

  • Sometimes, the pain can press on the eyes

  • Decreased appetite

This type of headache can be diffuse (spreads all over the head) or bilateral. It has no clear localization. The headache isn't throbbing. Head pain decreases either at rest or with light physical exercise.

Tension headaches occur episodically (less than 15 days/month) or chronically.

Treatment of Chronic Tension-type Headache

Treatment of a tension-type headache should be complex. Antidepressants form the basis. They can be relieving symptoms of emotional stress.

This type of headache is treated by stretching and relieving the head muscles and exercising the stabilizing muscles of the neck.

Read More Read Less

Secondary Headaches

Diseases of other organs cause secondary headaches. It can be:

  • Acute maxillary sinusitis

  • Brain aneurysm

  • Craniocerebral trauma

  • Encephalitis and meningitis

Causes of secondary headaches can be identified when examined by a headache specialist. 

An MRI or CT scan may be required to detect possible abnormalities in the brain and neck. In some cases, examining the brain’s blood vessels may be prescribed.

Each secondary headache requires tailored treatments. The secondary headache disappears after treating the organ that caused the symptoms.

Medication Overuse Headaches

Overusing painkiller drugs, especially non-prescription drugs for headaches, can cause medication overuse headaches.

To determine the possible presence of abusive headache pain, a specialist may ask you these questions:

  • What length of time is on pain medication?

  • Overall headache history

If you take the pills for more than three months, you are more likely to develop medication overuse headaches.

So, how do you reduce this type of headache? 

First of all, you need to visit a specialist. The second step is to decrease the amount of pain relievers per day. Continue to decrease it every week until the drug is discontinued. Gradual withdrawal is crucial; sudden stopping of painkillers can worsen headaches.

Relieve pain first to identify the headache's cause and prescribe the proper treatment.

Read More Read Less

Head Injury and Its Consequences

Head trauma can have lasting impacts on both physical and mental well-being.

Headache symptoms vary from common tension-type headaches to more intense cluster headaches.

Blood vessels and the central nervous system trigger headaches and neurological symptoms.

Pain signals from head injury act like unseen reminders of the past. Mixing with frequent headaches, they create a language requiring attention and care.

Read More Read Less

Muscles and Headache

Headaches and muscle weakness can challenge daily activities. Headache symptoms, especially primary headache, and headache disorders can worsen with muscle weakness.

In addition, high blood pressure and headaches can affect overall muscle tone and cause weakness.

In treating the issue, manage muscle strength. This may include medication, lifestyle changes, dietary adjustments, and physical activity.

Read More Read Less

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are like tiny bolts of lightning piercing your head. They're named for the pattern of recurring attacks in clusters over weeks or months.

Cluster Headache Symptoms

Frequent and brief, they can last from a few minutes to a few hours and then disappear as quickly as they appeared. 

Cluster headaches make daily life difficult, challenging strength and stamina during each attack.

The intensity of cluster headaches can interfere with everyday daily life, making each attack a challenge to strength and stamina.

After getting rid of cluster pain, the person feels devastated.

Rebound Headaches

Rebound headaches are like a shadow following you around during the day. They come and go, leaving behind a feeling of fickleness and uncertainty. Spinal headaches, caused by tension or stress, can become companions to everyday life. 

Headache symptoms are clear. This type of headache can begin with a soft throbbing sensation and then develop into intense pain, making even the easiest tasks difficult. 

Managing these pains demands being attentive to the factors causing them and taking steps to reduce the stress and tension of daily life.

Treatment and Relief of Headache Pain

Never underestimate a headache. Depending on how often it happens, how long it lasts, and the symptoms, consult a specialist. The doctor may prescribe over-the-counter medications or pain relievers to reduce severe headaches.

Treatment of headache begins with a visit to a neurologist. We have five ways to treat headaches:

  • Drug therapy

  • Trigger point blockade (the most painful points in the muscles of the head and neck)

  • Physiotherapy (massage, manual therapy)

  • Taping (if the headache is combined with neck pain)

  • Сognitive behavioral therapy

Every patient responds to medication differently. Doctors use a variety of acute medicines to treat chronic headaches and migraines. Commonly prescribed medications may include non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs and antidepressants.

Caffeine Withdrawal and Its Effect on Headaches

Deciding to caffeine withdrawal can have a significant impact on headache relief. This step takes time. It is better to reduce caffeine gradually to avoid possible negative effects.

Reducing caffeine will gradually lead to a decrease in primary headache and decreased sensitivity to light.


Read More Read Less

Immediate Medical Attention for Severe Headaches

Headaches may signal different disorders. These include cluster headaches, spinal headaches, or issues with blood vessels.

If a headache comes with severe pain, intense pressure, or worsening symptoms. In that case, seeing a doctor for diagnosis and the best treatment is crucial.

Immediate intervention can prevent complications of headache disorders and ensure adequate pain management.

If a headache is accompanied by excessive headache severity, intense pressure, or worsening symptoms. In that case, seeing a doctor as soon as possible is important to diagnose and determine the best treatment.

Immediate intervention can prevent complications of headache disorders and ensure adequate pain management.

Read More Read Less

The Effect of Certain Foods on Headaches

Certain foods can be triggers for frequent headaches, especially chronic tension headache.

Keep a food diary and observe how you react to different foods. It helps you understand which dietary changes can help manage severe pain.


In conclusion, intense headaches are complex. They involve various causes, types, and treatments. Effective treatment and medication can contain severe headaches, depending on their type. Worsening headaches require special attention and intensive treatment to resume everyday life.

request your appointment online. we'll contact you asap