Many of us are familiar with some form of the throbbing, uncomfortable, and distracting pain of a headache. There are different types of headaches. This article will explain 10 different types of headaches:
- tension headaches
- cluster headaches
- migraine allergy or sinus headaches
- hormone headaches
- caffeine headaches
- exertion headaches
- hypertension headaches
- rebound headaches
- post-traumatic headaches
The World Health Organization points out Trusted Source that nearly everyone experiences a headache once in a while.
Although headaches can be defined as pain “in any region of the head,” the cause, duration, and intensity of this pain can vary according to the type of headache.
In some cases, a headache may require immediate medical attention. Seek immediate medical care if you’re experiencing any of the following alongside your headache:
- stiff neck
- the worst headache you’ve ever had
- slurred speech
- any fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher
- paralysis in any part of your body or visual loss
If your headache is less severe, read on to learn how to identify the type of headache you may be experiencing and what you can do to ease your symptoms.
Primary headaches occur when the pain in your head is the condition. In other words, your headache isn’t being triggered by something that your body is dealing with, like illness or allergies.
These headaches can be episodic or chronic:
- Episodic headaches may occur every so often or even just once in a while. They can last anywhere from half an hour to several hours.
- Chronic headaches are more consistent. They occur most days out of the month and can last for days at a time. In these cases, a pain management plan is necessary.
What is Tension headaches and How to treat Tension Headache ?
If you have a tension headache, you may feel a dull, aching sensation all over your head. It isn’t throbbing. Tenderness or sensitivity around your neck, forehead, scalp, or shoulder muscles also might occur.
Anyone can get a tension headache, and they’re often triggered by stress.
An over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever may be all it takes to relieve your occasional symptoms. This includes:
- ibuprofen (Advil)
- naproxen (Aleve)
- acetaminophen and caffeine, like Excedrin Tension Headache
If OTC medications aren’t providing relief, your doctor may recommend prescription medication. This can include Fioricet indomethacin, meloxicam (Mobic), and ketorolac.
When a tension headache becomes chronic, a different course of action may be suggested to address the underlying headache trigger.
Fioricet® (Watson Laboratories, Inc) is a combination tablet consisting of 40 mg of caffeine (1,3,7–trimethylxanthine), 325 mg of acetaminophen, and 50 mg of butalbital (5-allyl-5-isopropylbarbituric acid). Fioricet® is primarily intended as treatment for tension headaches.
Fioricet contains Butalbital, Acetaminophen, and caffeine. Butalbital is some kind of Barbiturate. The average daily dose for the barbiturate addict is usually about 1500 mg. One tablet of fioricet only contains 50mg butalbital, and the max dosage for fioricet per day is six tablets.
If you take the max dosage of fioricet, the butalbital dosage is 300mg. It is not easy to get additive if you take max dosage of fioricet. The body mainly absorbs butalbital through the gastrointestinal tract, and then it is moved to most tissues in the body. Butalbital leaves the body primarily through the kidneys as a drug that hasn’t been broken down.
If you have chronic or recurrent headaches, your doctor may conduct physical and neurological exams, then try to pinpoint the type and cause of your headaches using these approaches:
Your pain description
Your doctor can learn a lot about your headaches from a description of your pain. Be sure to include these details:
- Pain characteristics. Does your pain pulsate? Or is it constant and dull? Sharp or stabbing?
- Pain intensity. A good indicator of the severity of your headache is how much you’re able to function while you have it. Are you able to work? Do your headaches wake you or prevent you from sleeping?
- Pain location. Do you feel pain all over your head, on only one side of your head, or just on your forehead or behind your eyes?
If you have unusual or complicated headaches, your doctor may order tests to rule out serious causes of head pain, such as a tumor. Two common tests used to image your brain include:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI scan combines a magnetic field, radio waves and computer technology to produce clear images.
- Computerized tomography (CT). A CT scan is a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a series of computer-directed X-rays to provide a comprehensive view of your brain.
Some people with tension headaches don’t seek medical attention and try to treat the pain on their own. Unfortunately, repeated use of over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers can actually cause another type of headache, overuse headaches.
A variety of medications, both OTC and prescription, are available to reduce the pain of a headache, including:
- Pain relievers. Simple OTC pain relievers are usually the first line of treatment for reducing headache pain. These include the drugs aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve).
Prescription medications include naproxen (Naprosyn), indomethacin (Indocin) and ketorolac (Ketorolac Tromethamine).
- Combination medications. Aspirin or acetaminophen or both are often combined with caffeine or a sedative drug in a single medication. Combination drugs may be more effective than are single-ingredient pain relievers. Many combination drugs are available OTC.
- Triptans and narcotics. For people who experience both migraines and episodic tension headaches, a triptan can effectively relieve the pain of both headaches. Opiates, or narcotics, are rarely used because of their side effects and potential for dependency.
Your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce the frequency and severity of attacks, especially if you have frequent or chronic headaches that aren’t relieved by pain medication and other therapies.
Preventive medications may include:
- Tricyclic antidepressants. Tricyclic antidepressants, including amitriptyline and protriptyline, are the most commonly used medications to prevent tension headaches. Side effects of these medications may include constipation, drowsiness and dry mouth.
- Other antidepressants. There also is some evidence to support the use of the antidepressants venlafaxine (Effexor XR) and mirtazapine (Remeron).
- Anticonvulsants and muscle relaxants. Other medications that may prevent tension headaches include anticonvulsants, such as topiramate (Topamax). More study is needed.
Preventive medications may require several weeks or more to build up in your system before they take effect. So don’t get frustrated if you haven’t seen improvements shortly after you begin taking the drug.
Your doctor will monitor your treatment to see how the preventive medication is working. In the meantime, overuse of pain relievers for your headaches may interfere with the effects of the preventive drugs.
In an Research, Patients were started on one 300-mg capsule of gabapentin or matching placebo, and then were titrated weekly from 900 mg/day (end of week 1) to 2400 mg/day (end of week 4) and had to be receiving a stable dose of study medication by the end of the titration period.
At seven participating centers, 143 patients with migraine were randomized in a 2:1 ratio and received either gabapentin (n = 98) or matching placebo (n = 45). Thirty-three patients (24.1%) discontinued prematurely from the study, including 24 (24.5%) of 98 gabapentin-treated patients and 9 (20.0%) of 45 placebo-treated patients; the majority of patients discontinued due to adverse events (16 [16.3%] of 98 gabapentin-treated patients; 4 [8.9%] of 45 placebo-treated patients).
Patients included in the analysis were evenly balanced for age, sex, race, weight, and height. The majority of these patients were white (80 [92.0%] of 87) and women (72 [82.8%] of 87), with a mean age of approximately 39.4 years and a history of migraine episodes for a mean of about 21 years.
At the end of the 12-week treatment phase, the median 4-week migraine rate was 2.7 for the gabapentin-treated patients maintained on a stable dose of 2400 mg/day and 3.5 for the placebo-treated patients (P =.006), compared with 4.2 and 4.1, respectively, during the baseline period. Additionally, 26 (46.4%) of 56 patients receiving a stable dose of 2400 mg/day gabapentin and 5 (16.1%) of 31 patients receiving placebo showed at least a 50% reduction in the 4-week migraine rate (P =.008).
The average number of days per 4 weeks with migraine was also statistically significant and favored gabapentin (P =.006) during stabilization period 2. The median change in 4-week headache rate was statistically significant as well (P =.013). The most frequently reported adverse events for both treatment groups were asthenia, dizziness, somnolence, and infection. Adverse events determined by the investigator to be associated with study drug resulted in patient withdrawal in 13 (13.3%) of 98 gabapentin-treated patients and 3 (6.7%) of 45 placebo-treated patients.
Somnolence and dizziness accounted for many of the premature withdrawals among those taking gabapentin.
Gabapentin is an effective prophylactic agent for patients with migraine. In addition, gabapentin appears generally well tolerated with mild to moderate somnolence and dizziness.