Headaches

We will be looking at various types of headaches and how they present differently. We hope the knowledge gained will help you understand your symptoms better.

Headaches can be divided into primary and secondary types:

Primary headaches are not associated with an underlying health problem. The main types are:

  • Cervicogenic (cervico-neck, genic-originating) headaches: Patients describe these as a non-throbbing ache over one side of the head. This is caused by irritation of joints in your neck due to wear and tear, bad posture (e.g. computer posture!), sleeping or minor trauma. Hence, neck movements aggravate the headache.
  • Tension: Patients describe these as a dull ache with constant pressure around the front, top and sides of the head. Bad posture, stress or even pent up anger can increase tension in the neck and scalp muscles resulting in a tension headache.
  • Migraines: Patients describe these as a severe pounding or throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head. There tends to be an awareness of a headache arising and maybe associated with visual or audio disturbances. There is no clear cause, although the main theory is related to the control of the smaller blood vessels that supply the brain and its covering.

Secondary headaches on the other hand, are attributed to various health problem, alcohol or medication. i.e. a cold may give you a headache.