Types of Headache
Types list: The list of types of Headache mentioned in various sources includes:
- Common Headache
- Sexual headache
- Cluster headache
- Tension headache
- Chronic headache
- Vascular headaches - related to blood vessels; includes migraines and cluster headaches.
- Muscle contraction headaches - caused by the muscles of the face, neck or head; includes tension headache.
- Traction headaches - caused by the head or neck being pulled or moved.
- Infection headaches - caused by various infections
- Exertional headaches - occurring after exertion or exercise
- Helmet headache - pain focused on the upper half of the head.
- Post-traumatic headache - caused by head or neck injury.
Types discussion: When a person has a headache, several areas of the head can hurt, including a network of nerves that extends over the scalp and certain nerves in the face, mouth, and throat. The muscles of the head and the blood vessels found along the surface and at the base of the brain are also sensitive to pain because they contain delicate nerve fibers. The bones of the skull and tissues of the brain itself never hurt because they lack pain-sensitive nerve fibers. The ends of these pain-sensitive nerves, called nociceptors, can be stimulated by stress, muscular tension, dilated blood vessels, and others triggers of headache. Vascular headaches (migraines are a kind of vascular headache) are thought to involve abnormal function of the brain's blood vessels or vascular system; muscle contraction headaches appear to involve the tightening or tensing of facial and neck muscles; and traction and inflammatory headaches are symptoms of other disorders, ranging from brain tumor to stroke to sinus infection. Some types of headache are signals of more serious disorders: sudden, severe headache; headache associated with convulsions; headache accompanied by confusion or loss of consciousness; headache following a blow on the head; headache associated with pain in the eye or ear; persistent headache in a person who was previously headache free; recurring headache in children; headache associated with fever; headache that interferes with normal life. 1
Headaches are diagnosed as
- Muscle contraction (tension)
Vascular headaches—a group that includes the well-known migraine—are so named because they are thought to involve abnormal function of the brain's blood vessels or vascular system. Muscle contraction headaches appear to involve the tightening or tensing of facial and neck muscles. Traction and inflammatory headaches are symptoms of other disorders, ranging from stroke to sinus infection. Some people have more than one type of headache.2
Ninety percent of
all headaches are classified as tension/muscle contraction headaches.2
1. excerpt from NINDS Headache Information Page: NINDS
2. excerpt from Headache - Hope Through Research: NINDS
Last revision: Nov 3, 2003
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