ZocdocAnswersWhat actually causes a headache to happen?

Question

What actually causes a headache to happen?

I hate it when I get headaches. I'm not stressed or anything. So why do I get them so often. They're really bad.

Answer

If you are having such frequent, severe headaches then you need to go see your primary care doctor. Getting to the bottom of the cause and treating it is essential. Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. They involve the base of the head and neck and tend to give a constant, aching type of pain that may spread upward over the head. They can usually be worked on by improving posture in your work, relaxation exercises, and pain relievers as recommended by your doctor. Migraines are a different type of headache. They usually involve one side or the other of the head, generally have a pulsatile rather than cramping or aching pain, and may also have other symptoms, like visual disturbances or nausea or light sensitivity. Migraines are treated differently than tension headaches; often it is important to take a 'prophylactic' medication to reduce the frequency, something that is not done with tension headaches. Analgesic headaches are a type of headache caused by 'rebound' pain from overusing pain relievers like ibuprofen or tylenol. If you are taking a lot of medicines and finding that your headaches are actually worsening, this might be a possibility. Start by talking to your doctor, who can help you figure out what type of headache you have and, therefore, what the right treatment might be.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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