UNDERSTANDING HEADACHE PAIN
A headache. It can feel quite literally like the worst thing in the world. Let’s get to the cause of your headache so you can get back to living your days uninterrupted by pain.
Headaches happen when the nerve endings in different parts of your head and neck become irritated. There are many different kinds of headaches that occur for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the most common:
Dull pressure or tightness on both sides of the head and sometimes the neck
Can last anywhere from half an hour to a whole week
Can cause fatigue in some people
Exact cause is unknown—stress appears to be a common trigger
Throbbing on one or both sides of the head
Can range from moderate to severe pain
Usually lasts 4-72 hours
Can cause additional symptoms, like nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sounds
Exact cause isn’t entirely understood, but environmental factors and genetics may contribute
Triggers include stress, changes in sleep patterns, certain foods and food additives (like the sweetener aspartame), certain types of medications, and hormonal changes in women
Sharp, severe pain that comes on quickly, usually around or behind one eye
Occur in frequent attacks, or “clusters,” that can go on for weeks or months
Each attack can last 15 minutes to 3 hours
Can cause additional symptoms, like tearing, runny nose, congestion and agitation
No known causes, but an abnormal hypothalamus (part of the brain that plays a role in nervous and endocrine systems) may play a role
No known triggers, but drinking alcohol during a cluster headache can cause an even worse headache
"Get back to living your days uninterrupted by pain."
HOW CAN I GET RELIEF FROM HEADACHE PAIN?
The first step to relieving your headache pain is trying to figure out what kind of headache you have. Consult with your doctor for a diagnosis as some can be serious.