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What Are the Different Types Of Headaches?

Many people don’t know that there are actually over several hundred classifications of headaches. You may have experienced some of them already. By understanding three common types of headaches, you will be more educated and knowledgeable when your next headache shows up.


If you have ever experienced a migraine, you know that it is an unbearable pain that really puts a damper on your day. Oftentimes, we experience migraines and never figure out what the underlying trigger was. Unfortunately, the cause of migraines has yet to be determined. Research has been done and has shown that genetic factors play a role in migraines, as well as hormone levels. That being said, migraines are three times more common among women than men.

When experiencing a migraine, you will notice that it is unlike any typical headache. It is common to see what is called an “aura”. It is different for everyone, but it is very uncomfortable and unnerving. Triggers are hard to grasp due to the fact that they are different for everyone. Some common triggers however include stress, hunger, and fatigue. There are, several headaches, which mimic the symptoms of migraines but are not true migraines. Treatment of further headaches varies from that migraine.

Tension Headaches

The next type of headache to address is called a tension headache. This is the most common headache we experience and it occurs in about 30% to 70% of the population. This headache results from tension in the muscles in the neck or head whether it be from stress or an injury to the head.

Other possible triggers could include alcohol, caffeine, fatigue, or clenching of the jaw. The most important thing to do is establish what tension is causing your headache, and work towards preventing it from happening in the future.

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are just as complicated as migraines due to the fact that the cause of these headaches are unknown. Looking at the research, it is thought to be related to a sudden release of histamine or serotonin. This can be triggered by factors including alcohol, cigarettes, high altitude, heat, bright light, or exertion.

Cluster headaches tend to occur at the same time each day, influencing researchers to believe that there is an abnormality in the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a region of the brain that regulates the biological clock. If you can pinpoint when your cluster headaches occur, you many be able to prevent them from happening in the future.

If you are experiencing pain caused by any of these headaches, don’t fret, help is out there! Through proper diagnosis and treatment from Dr. Tregaskes, you will be able to find relief from your headaches.

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