The Different Types of Headaches

The Different Types of Headaches

by Crystal (SU)

Headaches can be a pain in the rear, as well as in the head. While most people generically call any head pain a headache, there are actually three broad categories under the headache umbrella.


Migraine Headaches


One of the most excruciating types of headaches are migraines. These headaches can cause pain on one or both sides of your head. The sensations are typically a painful and unpleasant pulsing or throbbing, ranging from moderate to severe. In some cases, migraines are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, light and sound sensitivity, and even sensory changes that can make you see shapes or patterns, known as an aura.


The root cause of migraines is not well known. It’s thought to be influenced by changes in the brainstem and how it works with the trigeminal nerve, a pain pathway in your head and face, or with imbalances in brain chemicals such as serotonin, which helps regulate pain.


Tension Headaches


If you experience a head pain that can be mild, moderate, or intense and is accompanied by a sensation of pressure around your entire head, you’re likely experiencing a tension-type headache. The pain may also be focused behind the eyes or at the base of the skull at the back of the head.


The pain and discomfort from these headaches can cause soreness in your scalp, neck, and shoulders. While doctors are not certain why some people get these headaches more than others, some believe that people with a heightened sensitivity to pain are more susceptible to these headaches.


Tension headaches are the most common type of headache.


Cluster Headaches


Cluster headaches are among the most severe type of headaches. The pain appears in patterns, or clusters, and can be excruciating. The pain is usually so severe it can wake you up in the middle of the night. Notably, the pain occurs on just one side of the head, usually centered around an eye. It may be accompanied by a red or tearing eye, or runny nose.


These headaches tend to be brief but recur frequently – often going into remission for months or years.


When it comes to headache pain, knowing what’s normal for you can be helpful to determine what might constitute an emergency.


If you are experiencing chronic headaches, it may be time to see a physician. The friendly staff at Advanced Medical Clinic welcomes your call and is ready to help provide you with great relief. If you have any questions about our primary care services, or are ready to schedule your appointment, be sure to call our office at (561) 434-1935. You can also visit our website and use our secure online appointment request form.