What Could Be The Cause Of Your Headache?

Headaches can be more tricky and complex than you may realize. Different kinds can have their own set of signs and symptoms, happen for unique causes, and need different treatments.

Primary headaches

Primary headaches are stand-alone illnesses and the headache pain causes for primary headache are the over activity of, or problems with, structures in the head that are pain-sensitive. This may include the blood vessels, muscles, and nerves of the head and neck. They can also result from changes in chemical activity in the brain.

Common primary headaches include migraines, cluster headaches, exertional headaches, hypnic headaches, cluster headache, and paroxysmal hemicrania and tension headaches.

Some primary headaches pain causes can be triggered by lifestyle factors, like

  • Alcohol, particularly red wine
  • Certain foods, like processed meats that contain nitrates
  • Sleep disturbance or lack of sleep
  • Poor posture
  • Skipped meals
  • Stress

Secondary headaches

Secondary headaches happen when another condition activates the pain-sensitive nerves of the head. In other words, the headache symptoms can be attributed to some other cause.

A wide range of different factors can contribute for headaches pain causes.

These are:

  • Alcohol-induced hangover
  • Brain tumor
  • Blood clots
  • Bleeding in or around the brain
  • Brain freeze or ice-cream headaches
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Concussion
  • Dehydration
  • Glaucoma
  • Teeth-grinding at night
  • Influenza
  • Overuse of pain medicines
  • Panic attacks
  • Stroke
  • Dental problems
  • Ear infection (middle ear)
  • Encephalitis (brain inflammation)
  • Giant cell arteritis (inflammation of the lining of the arteries)
  • Glaucoma (acute angle closure glaucoma)
  • Hangovers
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Intracranial hematoma
  • Medications to treat other disorders
  • Meningitis
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Overuse of pain medication
  • Panic attacks and panic disorder
  • Post-concussion syndrome
  • Pressure from tight headgear, like a helmet or goggles
  • Pseudotumor cerebri
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Trigeminal neuralgia (which involve irritation of certain nerves connecting the face and brain)
  • Brain aneurysm (a bulge in an artery of brain)
  • Brain AVM (arteriovenous malformation) — an abnormal formation of brain blood vessels

Other types and secondary headache pain causes include;

  • External compression headaches (which occurs by pressure-causing headgear)
  • Thunderclap headaches (a group of conditions that involves sudden, severe headaches with multiple causes)
  • Ice cream headaches (commonly known as brain freeze)
  • Medication overuse headaches (caused by overuse of pain medicines)
  • Sinus headaches (caused by inflammation and congestion in sinus cavities)
  • Spinal headaches (caused by low pressure or volume of cerebrospinal fluid, possibly the result of spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leak, spinal tap or spinal anesthesia)

Zaki Anwar MD is an Anesthesiologist and Interventional Pain Management Specialist. He has great expertise for the diagnosis and treatment of back pain, headaches, migraines, neck pain, sciatica pain and various pain conditions. His center has offering various treatment options including stem cell therapy, amniotic fluid injection and much more.  For further queries call on 815.412.6166