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4 Different Types of Headaches to Explore Headaches & their Characteristics

Despite being very common to everybody, headaches are not termed as a threat to humanity. That means it is not a severe problem of the day. But no one can neglect it as headaches curb our time completely whenever they occur. And it has different shades when it occurs, some develop through the time, some attack at once and stay for too long, and some might be due to a completely different reason.


To identify which type of a headache you have is the key factor to find an appropriate treatment. Whether or not the headache is permanently curable, the knowledge of which kind of problem is bothering you is the primary requirement to concede anything further. All the types of headaches are explained here with a keen understanding of how headaches attack in different ways. We shall go through them with a strategic point of view.

Understanding a Headache:

Our head is not so sensitive to pain. How much ever the stress on it may be(not physical), the brain withstands with great yielding efforts. But when things don’t fall in right place, the pain becomes inevitable.

Each of the headaches has a significant reason that causes it. With any one of the factors that affect brain’s condition may cause stress in the head. If we fail to control the situation at the minor stage, headaches may attack in an unexpected way.

To know more about headaches in terms of their attack, pain symptoms, and even to find out any minor scope for treating headaches, we must explore the types of headaches and their characteristics.

Types of Headaches:

Normal/Tension Headache

Tension Headache

The basic type of headache is called a tension headache, or normally ‘headache.’ Almost every person on Earth must have suffered from a tension headache at least once in their lives.

This is that headache which attacks due to physical stress, hectic work schedules, and due to some other related issues like shoulder pain, neck spasms, sitting in single posture for too long, keeping the neck and head in the wrong position for a long time, etc.

These headaches have several causes and are very familiar to the folklore as almost nobody in the current world is an exception for some disorder at work or family. Or, if everything is fine in their lives, ‘the time’ might be turning the odds against us in terms of improper nutrition, societal issues, etc.

The real scenario of the world is such that there is no one out of stress and exhaustion. The headaches, then, of course, become one of the casual reflexes of our bodies.

Few important things of a tension headache:

  • A tension headache can be chronic or episodic. It depends on the particular person.
  • A headache starts from the neck region and spreads all over the head.
  • Continuous pain in the head occurs and it increases usually as the day progresses.
  • With chiropractic adjustment and normal physical therapy can cure this type of headache.

Normal headache comes along with few symptoms, they are

  1. Shoulder and neck stiffness
  2. Stress and tiredness
  3. Pressure and tension around forehead and scalp

Some of the short home remedies for a tension headache are:

  1. Nutritional care
  2. Stress Management
  3. Home Remedies like Cold & Hot Compress
  4. Necessary Relaxation during the attack of a headache
  5. Alternative therapies like acupressure and acupuncture

Migraine Headaches

Migraine Headaches

Migraines are severest headaches of all types of headaches. There are many reasons behind their occurrence and the symptoms show up very pointedly.

A migraine headache occurs from the deeper level of the brain. The pain feels like throbbing your head from inside.

The migraine symptoms are many, but most of the migraine victims are observed to be facing nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to noise and light.

Seeing a migraine victim, dealing with them for treatment is critical and very different. The pain in the head disrupts our routine activities and it literally stops our life.

Migraine headache is the most important type to be addressed as it has a severe impact on our lives and it also has huge number victims around the globe.

Major causes of migraine headache are:

  • Blood flow changes in brain
  • Hormone cycles(Major cause of migraines)
  • Severe injuries to head
  • Emotional stress
  • Neurological stress

Most of the people show these symptoms when they have initial stages of a migraine headache.

  • Blind spots in the vision
  • Flashing lights and zig-zag lines in vision
  • Frequent yawning
  • Numbness in head and face
  • Unusual senses of touch and smell

When a migraine becomes severe and directly understandable, the symptoms become more precise.

Some of the severe symptoms of migraine attack are:

  • Food Cravings
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Constipation
  • Emotional Imbalance/Depression

These symptoms are seen along with a severe headache. With few cautious measures and timely treatments, migraines can be controlled.

Few of the prominent treatments for a migraine are:

Pills. Do not depend on them too much. Prefer pills only when it is mandatory to use.

Massages. Have a soothing massage daily during the intervals of headaches. Trying massages while suffering from migraines may revert the pain negatively.

Neck Stretching and Relaxation. They help in relieving the stiffness in nerves and muscles which causes migraines to soothe.

Cluster Headache

This primary headache is a peculiar one out of all types of headaches.

A cluster headache is that type of a headache which occurs in one part of the head, i.e. mostly in the left and right parts interchangeably.

Cluster headaches mostly occur in the regions behind the eyes or one focused part of the head. The pain is so severe when it occurs.

A cluster headache lasts for 15 minutes to a couple of hours. When the pain starts, it gets to the peak in some time and stays severe until the headache is gone.

The headaches happen in terms of intervals varying from a couple of hours to weeks. During the intervals, the victim will be a headache free and symptom-free too.

The cluster headaches can last for a month in a row attacking daily at the same time but they may be varying, i.e. headache attacking region may change after each headache.

Some of the key notes regarding this headache are:

There are two types of cluster headaches, i.e. episodic and chronic.

The headache may occur during your sleep.

The intense pain will affect your eye region and physical stress your eyes so much.

We generally cannot reduce this pain until we know that it is a cluster headache.

Few proven symptoms of cluster headaches are:

  • Nausea
  • Eyesight problem
  • Redness in the eyes
  • Contraction of the eye pupil
  • Eye tearing
  • Excessive sweating in the headache region
  • A Runny nose or Stuffy nose
  • Light sensitivity

The remedies and treatment for a cluster headache are sought with doctors most of the time. Few tests and treatments are usually suggested at an advanced stage of this headache. How advanced may be the treatment, a permanent cure for a cluster headache is unexpected.

  • They can be controlled to the greatest extent but we can never run out of its impact if once we have undergone a severe headache.
  • Lack of oxygen, breathing of impure air often causes clusters. Prefer nasal sprays to clear the infections and breathe pure oxygen as a pain relieving treatment.
  • Preventive Treatment: The treatment which helps patients to reduce the number of attacks in a day. The treatment includes antidepressants, calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers.
  • Medications with steroids, blood pressure controlling treatments, muscle relaxation techniques will help in relieving cluster headache.

Sinus Headache

Sinus Headache

A sinus headache is the only secondary headache in the list. A headache that is caused due to a completely different health problem is called Secondary Headache.

Sinus headache is caused due to inflamed sinuses. The region of sinuses, behind the eyes, behind the cheeks, around the forehead, along the upper part of the mouth, and across the nose will be affected when the sinuses tend to cause a headache.

The disease is actually the symptom of severe sinusitis. When we suffer from sinusitis, the pressure exerted by sinuses on the blood and mucus in the region will be leading to stress the upper part of the head, which inevitably becomes a headache.

The sinus pressure is majorly caused due to thinning of the mucus in sinuses. Sinus headache is also pointed to one region but it has no similarities to a migraine or cluster headaches as it is solely due to sinusitis and nasal congestion.

Few considerable symptoms of sinus headache are:

  • A Runny nose or Stuffy nose
  • Eye tearing
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Swelling of the face
  • Tiredness and Fever
  • Mild and dull body pains

These following measures will help us relieve the symptoms of sinus headache:

  • Slow breathing exercises
  • Pranayama(To be done early in the morning)
  • Antibiotic food and medicine for infection cure
  • Cold and Hot Compress
  • Humidity Treatment

With any kind of a headache, a person loses both his professional time and free time. Though there are several types of headaches in secondary headaches list, we have got those types of headaches which affect almost 95% of the people.

Finding these different kinds of headaches will help us search for the accurate treatment in short time of recognition of the problem.

Types of Headaches and their causes