There are many possible causes of headaches or migraines. The most common are listed below:
- Muscular tension &/or joint stiffness and dysfunction in the neck, jaw, or upper spine.
- Unstable blood sugar levels.
- Hormonal issues.
- Exertion/exercise induced.
- General systemic illness/fever /infections.
- Bio-Chemical factors/irritants.
- Food allergies/Intolerances.
- Drugs and medications (including the contraceptive pill).
- Mineral/Vitamin deficiencies and imbalances.
- Emotional/Psychological Stress or Anxiety.
- Uncorrected visual problems.
- Circulatory/Blood Pressure Abnormalities.
- Referred pain (e.g. Teeth, sinuses, inner ear).
- Raised Intra Cranial Pressure.
There may be other causes of head pain, but these are often a combination of one or more of the above, for example chronic post-traumatic head pain is usually a combination of muscular tension, neck joint irritation and anxiety.
NB. It is worth noting that many people with chronic head pain are fearful they may have a brain tumour. In fact, headache is rarely the main presenting feature of brain tumour.
Various classification systems exist; these can be rather complicated but basically divide head pain into:
Primary headache disorders – including various migraine types, tension headache, cluster headaches, structurally based headaches etc.
Secondary headache disorders – these are headaches linked with other conditions including head trauma, vascular disorders, non-vascular intracranial disorders, infection, metabolic disorders, cranial neuralgias, medications, disorders of associated structures such as neck, eyes, ears, nose/sinus, teeth, and jaw etc.
Non-Classifiable Head Pain – Those head pains that do not fulfill criteria for primary or secondary disorders.
For further more specific information on headache types Click here
It is likely that if you have suffered for many months or years some of the above terms have been mentioned. In the past you may have had various tests, and your headache/migraine has been given a medical classification. Unfortunately this does not necessarily lead to an effective treatment. This is where our specialised clinic can help. Click here to find out how