Your Health & Wellness Guide

Determining the Underlying Causes of Headache

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Many people who experience migraine or any other type of headaches may not understand the real cause of their pain. For many experts like Dr. Melanie M. Novak MD who specializes in pain diagnosis and treatment, unless a person understand the underlying effect of headaches, an appropriate treatment cannot be created. It is important to know why the throbbing and pain occurs so that you can determine an appropriate treatment plan to ease the pain.


People may experience many types of headaches that can be mild or severe. Severe cases usually experience nausea, vomiting, sleeping problems and mood swings. Mild cases of pain can be relieved by taking medicines and having a good rest. For severe cases of pain like migraine it is important to seek help from medical professionals. The symptoms that a person may experienced when headache attacks, will help the doctor determine the underlying cause of pain. Headaches are not often associated with a serious health complication, however; these pains can be an indication of a potentially life threatening condition.

Classification of Headaches – Underlying Cause

Understanding the causes of headache is a crucial step done by doctors in order to develop a treatment plan for the patient. Some professionals classify headaches into two; primary and secondary headache. Primary headache can be caused by general dysfunction of the sensitive areas of the head and high level of activities in the pain-sensitive part of the head. These types of headache do not develop because of any particular underlying cause, however; disturbances in the chemical activity in the central nervous system and problems in the blood vessels or nerves around the neck can be the cause of the pain.  On the other hand, secondary types of headaches can be a good sign of an underlying health condition.

Primary Headaches

Although it has been observed that primary types of headaches are caused by high level of chemical activity in certain areas of the head, many professionals believed that genetics, foods, substances like alcohol, posture and stress level can be also blamed for the pain. Some of the primary types of headache experienced by many are cough headaches, migraine, cluster headache, exercise headache, tension headache and many others.

Secondary Headaches

If your headache is classified as secondary, it indicates that you are experiencing an underlying condition that affects the nerve functions in your head causing the pain. There are many causes that are usually associated with this kind of headache and in order to determine if you have this problem it is important to consult a medical professional. Some of the causes of pain when a person has secondary headaches may include arterial tears, tumor, meningitis, glaucoma, influenza and many others.

Upon learning the underlying causes of headache you will also discover the potentially serious condition that may require medical attention. The condition can be identified by a series of symptoms like high fever, numbing sensations, difficulty walking, confusion, nausea and vomiting that goes along with the head pain. If you notice these symptoms with headache, see your doctor immediately.

Author bio:

Kelly Soares is a professional writer who focuses on the medical field. She is a medical professional like the renowned Dr. Melanie M. Novak MD.

All content provided are for informational & Educational purposes & we recommend you consult a healthcare professional to determine if the same is appropriate for you. Learn More
  1. Adelaine S. says

    Alcohol is a common migraine trigger, for a couple of different reasons. First of all, alcohol is known as a vasodilator. This means that it causes the blood vessels in the body to dilate, or expand. This is what causes the reddening of the face in an individual who has been drinking. Dilation of the blood vessels in the brain is through to be the cause of a migraine, so this response to alcohol may trigger a migraine in individuals who are prone to migraines. Even a small amount of alcohol may cause the blood vessels to dilate.

  2. Olivia Martin says

    Wow, I have done a lot of research on headaches. Especially migraines. This is some great information. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Kavya says

    Its very well described and informative too. Its true that we need to know what is the reason behind the headache. Because after knowing the reason you will try to find the solution. I feel that excessive tension and anxiety are the main reason for most of the headache.
    I do I do yoga and normal exercise without weight regularly. After that I lights two three Cycle sandal agarbatti and start meditating. The Sandal smell helps a lot to concentrate. I feel all the people need to do Yoga, meditation to rejuvenate their mind and soul. So lets start doing yoga for relieved from headache and anxiety.

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