According to the World Health Organization (WHO), headaches are one of the most common disorders of the nervous system, with an estimated 47 percent of the population suffering from at least one headache within the past year. There are a variety of different types of headaches, with the most commonly recognized types being migraine, tension-type headaches and cluster headaches. Headache disorders are a worldwide health concern, affecting individuals of all ages, races, socio-economic status and all geographical areas.
Not only do headaches cause pain, they can also have a negative impact on a person’s quality of life; they can impact personal and professional relationships, as well as potentially contribute to other illnesses. So, in the pursuit of pain relief, it is important for individuals that suffer from headaches to determine the cause(s) of their pain, so that they can be addressed appropriately and headaches don’t come to destroy someone’s life.
If you suffer from headaches, determining the type of headache you are experiencing is the first step to properly managing it. The three most commonly recognized headache types are:
Migraine headaches are a primary headache disorder, and commonly begin during puberty. They are usually recurrent and last a lifetime. Characteristics of migraine headaches include moderate to severe head pain, nausea, and a pulsing type of head pain that is often one-sided. The frequency with which someone might experience a migraine headache differs from person to person; however, a migraine headache is typically made worse with physical activity and can last from hours to days.
Tension-type headaches are the most common type of headache that people suffer from, often beginning during adolescent years and affecting women more than men. Tension-type headaches can be caused by stress or by muscle irregularities in the neck. People who suffer from these types of headaches often complain of a pressure or tightness around their head.
Cluster headaches are relatively uncommon, affecting men more than women. Cluster headaches usually begin in people over the age of 20, and are characterized by severe head pain. Often, this head pain is accompanied by pain around the eye, with tearing and redness.
While some people can pinpoint the exact cause of their headaches, many are left wondering what is triggering their head pain. This is because, while some causes of head pain seem pretty obvious – persistent loud noise, or muscle tension – many causes of head pain aren’t as commonly recognized as potential triggers of pain. Take a look at these five “less obvious” causes of headaches, that you may not have considered.
If you suffer from headaches frequently and can’t figure out why, the best thing that you can do is to keep a headache journal. Keep a daily diary of your diet, exercise, weather patterns and stress levels, and then record each time you get a headache. Be sure to include the time, location, severity, duration and treatment. After a while, you’ll hopefully start to notice some distinct patterns in your headaches, helping you make the right lifestyle changes that will get you onto the road of relief and recovery.
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