Page Updated on Jan 31, 2020 by Dr. Reyfman (Pain Management Specialist) of Pain Physicians NY

Headaches can range from being mild to severe, long-lasting or headaches that go away in only a couple of hours. All these headache types come with their own set of symptoms and their own areas, where the pain is concentrated. There are many possible causes for headache and complete evaluation and early diagnosis by our pain physician doctors is very important. Tension, migraine and cluster headaches are the headaches that are best known as they are also the most common types of primary headaches. Primary headaches are all headaches that are not caused by any underlying medical condition. 

What are the tension headaches?

Tension Migraine and Cluster HeadachesIt is characterized by moderate pain, that can develop into a severe and non-throbbing pain, which is located in the forehead, scalp, and neck. Tension headache happens when the muscles of the scalp and those of the neck become tense, due to tension, stress, fear and other emotions. Tension headaches are the most common type. They can occur every now and then, but there are also people who experience them daily.

Symptoms of tension headaches include dull and aching, which occurs on both sides of the head. Sometimes, this also includes the temples. People who experience tension headaches also experience a feeling of pressure or muscle tension. This is then located in the front of the face or head or sometimes occurs around the head, in a pattern that resembles a band.

Stress headaches are another name for tension headaches. They can begin to occur when a person is in their teen years, but their peak is when the person is in their 30s. Women tend to get more tension headaches than men. Tension headaches are often caused by muscle tightening in the scalp, jaw, neck, and shoulders. This can occur due to not sleeping enough or well enough, skipping a meal, or drinking alcohol. Other factors that can lead to tension headaches include stress and anxiety.

What are migraine headaches?

A migraine headache is felt like a throbbing or a pulsating pain. Typically, it only affects one side of the head. There are also other symptoms of migraine headaches, which include nausea and sensitivity to light and to sound. The neck pain can begin prior to a migraine attack, or they can occur while the person also experiences a migraine attack. Migraine headaches can last from four hours and up until 72 hours. During a migraine, most people will require bed rest until the symptoms go away. It is very difficult to go on with the day during a migraine attack. After tension headaches, migraine headaches are the most common type of headaches and it is estimated that they affect one in 7 people. Studies show that migraine headaches occur more often to women than they do to men. Women between the age of 18 and 44 are most affected by this type of headaches.

Apart from the severe throbbing pain that is usually felt in the front of the head, migraine headaches are also often accompanied by symptoms, such as nausea, and sensitivity to light and to sound. If you have those symptoms, pain doctors encourages you to make an office visit for a neurological examination.

A small number of people who suffer from migraines have a warning before the migraine occurs. This is known as an aura. It is images of flashing lights and other visual changes that the person experiences right before a migraine occurs. Some people have a tingling feeling and others have difficulties with speech. There are a number of factors that can lead to migraine headaches, such as skipping a meal, eating certain types of foods, changes in weather or not getting enough sleep. If the headaches are experienced while the woman has her period, the migraines are known as menstrual migraines.

What are cluster headaches?

Cluster headaches are very extreme and they tend to develop very quickly. It is a pain that is usually felt on only one side of the head around the eye. This causes deep burning and pain that is piercing. Nasal congestion can also be felt around the eye, and when this occurs, the eye that is affected can turn red or become swollen. Cluster headaches last less than migraines, but they are much more painful. These types of headaches typically last for 15 minutes but can last for as long as three hours. They can then disappear and reappear, sometimes after a couple of months. There are however people who experience these headaches continuously as well.

People who experience cluster headaches tend to get agitated and might need to move around or be alone and get away from other people. Cluster headaches occur more in men than women and people between 20 and 50 years old are the ones that are affected by it the most. As cluster headaches typically occur in the spring or during the fall, some mistake them for allergies.

What other types of headaches are there?

Other types of headaches that might occur include: sinus headaches, rebound headaches, and chronic daily headaches. Sinus headaches are typically felt in the forehead, cheekbones or bridge of the nose. Rebound headaches are headaches triggered by medication that is taken for pain. Chronic daily headaches are moderate, but continuous and experienced every day.

Make your appointment today to experience comprehensive health care. Come visit our pain management clinic to get the care you need in the safe and reassuring hands of the best migraine treatment specialist in Brooklyn NY.