Different Kinds Of Headaches You Should Know About

Contributor: Nancy Dixit


Are you struggling with headaches?

Let’s start with what exactly headaches are and how they arise.

This article looks at some of the most common types of headaches, and their causes.


What is a headache?

Headaches or headaches are sometimes difficult to explain, but some common symptoms include throbbing, squeezing, constant, incessant, or intermittent.

The location may be in one part of the face or skull or it may involve the entire head.

Headaches may arise spontaneously or may be related to activity or exercise. It may also have an acute onset or may be chronic in nature with or without episodes of increasing severity.


Most people recover well from headaches within 24 hours.

There are two main categories of headaches:

Primary headachee


This type of headache is a condition in itself. It is not triggered by anything else like allergies or dehydration.

Secondary headache

These headaches are a symptom of something else going on in your body. This can be reduced by treating the root cause of the pain.


As an example, high blood pressurehormonal changes, or withdrawal from caffeine can all trigger secondary headaches.

There are different types of headaches and diagnosing the specific cause of your headache can help you get the right treatment.

Tension headache

This is the most common type of headache. Tension headaches usually start at the back of the head and are sometimes accompanied by pain in the forehead, temples or at the back of the neck.


some people describe tension headaches as feeling as if they have a rubber band around their head or a squeezing pain on either side of the head.

Tension headaches can be caused by: emphasize, eye strain, fatigue, poor posture or anxiety. This pain can last from 30 minutes to seven days.

Sinus headache

Sinus headaches are caused by a buildup of pressure within the sinuses, often during or after a cold. Sinus headaches are usually caused by: inflammation sinuses (sinusitis), which can occur due to infection or an allergic reaction.

You will feel a deep, constant pain in your cheekbones, forehead, or the bridge of your nose.

This pain usually gets stronger when you move your head suddenly along with a toothache or jaw pain while eating.

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Cluster headaches

Cluster headaches are described as primary headaches, which arise from impaired nerve function.

Although there are no known triggers for cluster headaches, however, alcohol consumption can attack.

Cluster headaches usually come and go. You can get several attacks a year, or twice a year or one every two years.

Surprisingly, cluster headaches are more common in the spring and fall.

It is characterized by severe, debilitating pain on the right or left side of the head, and is often accompanied by watery eyes, nasal congestion, or runny nose on the same side of the face.

Rebound headache

Rebound headaches occur due to overuse of painkillers for headaches or the irrational use of other prescription medications.

Another reason for rebound headaches may be the withdrawal effect of any medication as its levels drop in the bloodstream.

It is characterized by symptoms such as nausea, anxiety, irritability, depression, or trouble sleeping.

Migraine headache

Migraines are often undiagnosed and untreated. Migraine headaches are not the same for everyone and symptoms can vary from person to person.

It affects the entire body and can result in many symptoms, including pain, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light, sound or smell.

Migraine headache criteria:

  • At least five previous episodes of the same type of headache.
  • Headaches that last from four hours to 72 hours.
  • Has at least one associated feature: nausea and/or vomiting, or, in the absence, sensitivity to light and sound

Some migraine triggers may include emotional or physical stress, certain foods, changes in sleep patterns, skipping meals, hormonal changes, and environmental factors such as loud noises and bright lights.

Did you know that migraine headaches are three times more common in women than men, although they can affect anyone?

Caffeine headache

If you are a coffee lover and suddenly stop caffeine intake, it can cause a caffeine headache as a caffeine withdrawal effect and is characterized by a throbbing headache.

As per research, caffeine-induced headaches can start about 12 hours after your last cup of coffee and continue for two to 9 days.

If you have headaches from caffeine withdrawal, then over-the-counter painkillers can help and try to keep yourself hydrated. This will help reduce caffeine withdrawal headaches.

Headache when working

Strenuous physical exercise along with running, jumping, weight lifting, sexual intercourse, etc. are some of the triggers that can cause headaches during activity. They are more common in hot weather and at high altitudes.

Note: If you experience headaches while exercising, it is important to see a healthcare provider to rule out other causes.

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Headaches on exertion are usually very brief but can sometimes last up to 2 days.

Did you know that headaches during activity are more common in those who have a family history of migraines?

Headache during orgasm

Orgasm headaches are the primary type of headache that occurs during sexual activity. Headaches due to orgasm can occur due to the rapid expansion of blood vessels in the brain.

This occurs when a person’s blood pressure rises before and during orgasm.

You may feel a dull ache in your head and neck that builds up as your sexual arousal increases.

If you experience such headaches during sex, you should talk to your doctor for an evaluation. Your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever.

Headache during menstruation

For women, hormonal headaches often occur during periods due to hormonal fluctuations.

Hormone-related headaches can occur as a result of oral contraceptives, menopause or pregnancy as a result of hormonal imbalance.

Even migraines can occur around menstruation due to changes in estrogen levels.

Menstrual headaches often develop two days before or three days after menstruation or during ovulation.

The symptoms of this type of headache are similar to migraines without aura, but they can last longer.

Last thought

Headaches are the worst, but the only real way to relieve pain is to know what type of headache you have.

Headache symptoms can help you and your healthcare provider determine what type of headache you have.

Tip- Avoid unnecessary use of painkillers, without consulting a GP, until the root cause of the headache is diagnosed.

Headaches have a tendency to run in families, especially migraines. In fact, children whose parents had migraines were up to four times more likely to develop them as well.

In such a situation, you can do genetic test to determine if you have a specific gene that may make you more at risk for migraines.

In addition, make it a habit to have preventive health checks as they can help you gain complete insight into your health.

It will also help you take action to improve your overall well-being.

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