Pain Relief: Types of Headaches and Causes

Pain Relief


Dealing with a headache may be common, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. If you’re dealing with constant headaches, it can be a struggle to find relief. There are different types of headaches and causes, with a variety of treatments for each of them.

Next time you feel the uncomfortable and distracting pain of a headache coming on, you’ll be able to identify what type of headache it is and what you can do about it.

Ready to know more? Let’s get started.

Caffeine Headaches

Look, we don’t want to dismiss how important your daily cup of joe is. However, it’s important to remember that caffeine affects the blood flow to your brain, and having a lot of caffeine can give you a headache. That doesn’t mean you should quit ‘cold turkey.’

Immediately quitting can cause a substantial headache since your brain gets accustomed to a certain amount of caffeine.

So what’s the best thing to do? Keep your caffeine intake steady and reasonable. If you need to quit, do it by gradually reducing how much coffee you drink daily.

Migraine Headaches

One of the more unpleasant headaches you can have is a migraine. Sometimes people categorize this as its own thing because of its intense pulsing from deep within your head. This throbbing, one-sided pain tends to last for days.

If you’ve dealt with migraines, you know that it makes daily tasks difficult to accomplish. You might also be more sensitive to light and sound. You may have migraine attacks because of genetics.

They can also come from environmental factors like sleep disruption, skipped meals, and exposure to chemicals.

You can put these headaches at ease with over the counter medication but if that isn’t enough, be sure to talk to your doctor so they can prescribe you medication.

Hormone Headaches

You might be familiar with hormone headaches if you’re a woman who gets them during periods of hormonal fluctuations. Things like pregnancy, birth control, and menstruation all affect estrogen levels.

The change in estrogen levels can cause headaches. It’s also quite common for women who get migraines to experience menstrual migraines.

The best remedy is an over-the-counter pain reliever, but if the pain is too much, you can talk to your doctor for something stronger. Alternative medicine also helps in this case. Things like yoga, acupuncture, and meditation help prevent bothersome migraines.

Tension Headache

The most common type of headache is a tension headache. This makes sense; these headaches are associated with stress. You’ll know it’s a tension headache when you feel a dull pain all over your head.

There might also be sensitivity or tenderness around the neck and shoulder. Like with many of these other headaches, an over-the-counter pain reliever might be the best option for you. Look for ibuprofen and aspirin to help alleviate your symptoms.

Hypertension Headaches

People with high blood pressure are probably aware of hypertension headaches. When your blood pressure is dangerously high, you’ll feel a pulsating pain on both sides of your head. Doing almost any activity will make it worse.

These headaches are particularly dangerous because they can also involve numbness, nosebleeds, and shortness of breath. If you suspect that you’re dealing with a hypertension headache, you need to seek medical attention. Once the blood pressure is under control, your hypertension headache should go away.

Post-Traumatic Headaches

Anyone who had a head injury knows about post-traumatic headaches. They occur after any type of head trauma and feel like a tension headache. They usually last between 6-12 months after your injury is over, but they have the potential to become chronic.

The doctor who is treating your injury will likely prescribe you the necessary medication for a post-traumatic headache.

Rebound Headaches

If you take too much medication, you can get a rebound headache. This feels similar to a tension headache, but it can also be more painful. You might be susceptible to these headaches if you use a lot of over-the-counter pain relievers.

As counterintuitive as it might seem, it’s important to restrict how often you use these medications because rebound headaches occur any time you overuse these pain reliever medicines. The best way to get rid of rebound headaches is to wean yourself off the medication. It may feel worse at first, but then you’ll slowly notice reduced headaches.

Exertion Headache

Have you taken an exciting group activity class only to come home to a throbbing headache? This is an exertion headache, and it occurs after periods of intense physical activity. The main cause is that these activities increase blood flow to your skull, and that leads to a painful headache on the sides of your head.

Luckily, these headaches go away after a few hours. If you want to accelerate the pain relief, take some ibuprofen, and it should subside quickly.

Allergy or Sinus Headaches

When you have an allergic reaction, you can get a headache that you feel in your sinus area as well as the front of your head. If you have chronic seasonal allergies, then you’re susceptible to these types of headaches. You can treat sinus headaches by thinning out the mucus using different things like nasal sprays and decongestants.

You might also have a sinus infection, and that can cause a sinus headache. This requires a prescription of antibiotics to help clear the infection.

Cluster Headaches

There are different types of headaches, but one of the most painful are cluster headaches. You’ll recognize this by its severe burning and pain. Usually, you’ll feel it around one eye or on one side of the face. There may be associated symptoms like flushing, sweating, and redness.

Cluster headaches get their name from the headaches occurring in a series; each headache can last from 15 minutes to 3 hours. Although doctors aren’t sure what causes these headaches, they can prescribe you pain relief.

Types of Headaches and Causes

It’s never any fun dealing with a headache. At best, they’re a mild inconvenience, but at worst, it can be completely debilitating. To combat headaches, you’ll need to know the types of headaches and their causes.

This way, you can diagnose the types of headache pain you have and how to properly treat it.

Loved this article and looking for more? Be sure to check out the health section of our blog!

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