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Understand the Kind of Headache Before Treating It

Unless know exactly what type of headache is giving you tough time, you can't get proper relief. Your treatment depends on the kind of headache you are suffering from.

headache types

Headaches are some of most common types of pains people suffer from time to time. It is generally convenient for people to resort to home remedies most of the time or try out over the counter medicines To elevate the pain. 

However, it is a good idea to consult your doctor to elements possibilities of any major underlying condition in the functioning of the area under your skull. But, generally speaking most of the headaches are benign and you don't really have to worry about long term implications, you simply want immediate pain relief. 

But before you pick up that convenient pill to treat it, it certainly is worthwhile to understand what kind of headache is yours. 

It is easy to diagnose as different kinds of headaches will produce different types of symptoms. Once the symptoms are identified it becomes easier for you and or your doctor to prescribe the right treatment.

What Causes Headache?

Any disturbance in a nerve, blood vessel or muscle in your head will send a pain signal to your brain. It may be for a short period or for prolonged period. 

Sometimes, there may be an underlying known cause and some other times you may not understand why a pain signal has gone to the brain. So, you may have headache for no apparent reason. Well, there has to be a reason but the medical science has yet to understand and many things and some headaches are part of that mystery. 

Leaving those mysterious causes of headaches aside, let us focus on some of the known causes for different types of headaches. 

  1. Sickness - some of the common illnesses cause headache, and once treat the underlying illness, the headache disappears. Conditions such as sinus infections, common cold, ear infections and common cold can cause headache. If you get hit on the head, although not a serious one, it may still cause headache in some cases. Most occasional headaches are never due to any serious underlying condition.
  2. Stress - All kinds of stresses including emotional and physical can cause headaches.  Most tension headaches are caused by emotional stress or depression. Physical stresses such as hunger, sleep disturbances, alcohol abuse and certain medications or over doses of different medicines can cause headaches. Poor postures abs eye and neck strain can also cause headaches. Too much of physical activity can also give you headache. 
  3. Genetics - Genetics play a vital role in certain types headaches. Migraine in particular generally runs in families. If both of your parents have migraine then your chances of getting migraine headaches are very high. The real cause of migraine is still a mystery to the scientists. 
  4. Pollution - All kinds of environmental pollution such as chemical fumes, perfumes, allergens and cigarettes smoke can cause headaches. Weather changes, noise, light and certain food can also cause headache. 

What Are the Types of Headaches?

There are hundreds of different types of headaches. It will be confusing to list all of them. However the  7 most common types of headaches are explained here.

types of headache infographic


  1. Tension headaches- They are the most common types of headaches. If your headaches come and go then you are most likely to be suffering tension headaches. The pain caused is generally mild to moderate. You may get them daily or intermittently during the week for months. These headaches are also known with many different names such as stress headaches or chronic daily headaches. 
  2. Sinus headaches- These headaches are directly related to inflammations of your sinuses. When any or all the cavities of sinuses in your head get inflamed a lot of symptoms such as runny nose, ear pain, selling on the face and fever etc occur. Headache is also one of the symptoms of sinusitis. The headaches will go away as you sinuses are cleared. 
  3. Migraines- These are one of worst kinds of headaches. They give you throbbing pain Which can last for many hours to  3 days. The agony doesn't stop here, you may get the migraine attack 1-4 times a month. You may get nausea and vomiting. You may get tummy upset and belly pain. Your sensitivity to light, noise and smells increases and you may feel dizzy and your vision can get blurred. 
  4. Cluster headaches- If migraine is bad then cluster headaches are worst. You get intense piercing pain behind your eyes. The most unhappy situation is that they may appear daily at least once for many weeks and extended up to 3 months. Then they may not appear again for months or years. But, generally when they come back even if it takes decades, they will not leave you for at least couple of months. 
  5. Chronic progressive headaches- These are relatively less common type of headaches. They usually occur due to some illness or a disorder in the brain. They may be mild initially but as the tears pas by they increase in frequency and get worse. They are also known as traction or inflammatory headaches, 
  6. Rebound headaches - These can be termed as lifestyle disorders also. They are caused by over the counter medications or overdose of certain other medications. 
  7. Hormone headache- This kind of headache is women specific. It usually occurs when the hormone levels change during their monthly periods, pregnancy and menopause. Even the birth control pills that has an impact on hormone balance can cause such headaches. 

Some times you may get into mixed headache syndrome in which you simultaneously get two types of headaches generally a mix of  migraine and tension headaches.

In addition to the above most common headaches there are numerous other types of headaches which may occasionally attack you. You are most likely going to use your own tested remedies and it will go any way. You may perhaps blissfully remain unaware of what was that headache. It is ok as most headaches are harmless and what is in a name. It came and gone.