5 types of headaches and what they mean

Headaches are never signs of something good, and they occur in different parts of the head. Knowing the type of headache you’ve been experiencing is important in its treatment. Typically, headaches differ according to their locations and causes. According to WebMD, there are over 100 types of headaches. Research has also shown that over 45 million persons in America suffer from headaches with a large portion of those headaches being migraines. This article highlights the major types of headaches, their locations and causes.

Headaches according to their locations

Cervicogenic headaches

This type of headache originates from the back of the head. The pain in the back of the neck which occurs as a result of cervicogenic headaches originates from joints at the upper part of the neck. Cervicogenic headaches are some of the commonest headaches that occur at the back of the head. Cervicogenic headaches also spread to the sides of the head also known as the temples.

Tension headaches

Tension headaches occur more frequently than the different types of headaches. These headaches spread around the head and are recurring. Tension headaches are also somewhat similar to migraines but are not as severe. Tension headaches could be as a result of several factors including the contraction of the head and neck muscles and changes in brain chemicals. This type of headache can be relieved with over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin and Tylenol. Although tension beaches are somewhat similar to migraines, they do not restrict everyday activities.

Sinus headaches

These headaches occur as a result of the inflammation of the sinus from an infection. When the sinus is inflamed, it results in pain in the nostril, fever and pus. Sinus headaches occur as a throbbing pain in the cheekbone, forehead and bridge of the nose. Sinus infections also come with fever, nasal discharge and other symptoms. This type of headache is usually treated with antibiotics which clear off the infection.

Cluster headaches

Cluster headaches are another form of recurring headache without traceable causes. This type of headaches are linked to the genetics and men are known to be more predisposed to them than women. Cluster headaches are recurring headaches that occur as sharp pains on one side of the head. Although the cause of cluster headaches is not known, there are measures of reducing the frequency of their occurrences.


Migraines are another type of headache that is linked to genetics. Migraines are hereditary and occur as one-sided pain that could be mild or severe and are usually associated with either or both nausea and vomiting. Migraines are diagnosed based on certain characteristics such as the nature of the pain, the recurring nature and the longevity of the episodes. Migraines are also sometimes preceded by auras and could be sensitive to light and sound.

The different types of headaches include those that can be inherited and those that cannot be inherited. When headaches are diagnosed properly, they can be managed efficiently. The management techniques depend on the type of headache.


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