Different Headache Types

Headaches are like anything else in the medical world in that they come in a bunch of varieties. It is extremely important to understand the different headache types so that you understand how each headache types is treated and what symptoms there are to look for. As with any headache types if you get the occasional headache then there are many ways to combat them but if you find yourself with chronic headaches then you need to get to your doctor right away. A headache may seem like a minor, or major, inconvenience but a headache could also be the doorway to a larger set of problems. So if you experience chronic headache symptoms see your doctor immediately. In the meantime here are the basic headache types for your information.

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are the most common headache type and they affect millions of people each and everyday. Tension headaches are usually the result of stress or other forms of outside stimulus that cause stiffness in the neck muscles and the muscles surrounding the skull. A tension headache is a constant pain that usually encircles your skull and can feel like a belt wrapped around your head with someone pulling on it. What a tension headache is the contracting of the skull muscles causing a partial loss of blood flow to the brain. The muscles react with pain and the brain reacts with slowed response and difficulty concentrating.

To relieve a tension headache just remove the source of the tension. Put on some soft music in a quiet out of the way room and relax. Take a warm bath or get a massage. Using drugs to relieve a tension headache should be your last resort.


Of all of the headache types out there migraines seem to be the most well known. Everyone knows what a migraine headache is even though few people actually suffer from them on a regular basis. As a joke many people will say that the stress of the day is giving them a migraine. Not much is known about what causes a migraine but what is known is that a migraine does not need stress to be triggered. The prevailing theory is that migraines are caused by an imbalance in the blood system that causes blood vessels around the skull to expand and contract. This causes the pain of a migraine..

A migraine is one of those headache types that should be treated by a doctor and not with over the counter medication.

Cluster Headache

Also known as the suicide headache because this headache is the most painful of them all. It has been referred to in medical journals as the most intense pain a human being could ever suffer. A cluster headache cannot be stopped by over the counter medication and if you get a doctor that knows what they are doing then they will treat the cluster headache like an emergency. The pain is so bad that once a cluster headache hits the patient can do nothing else but try and deal with the pain.

As of now there are some medications used to relieve cluster headaches but research is still being done.