For many of us, headache is not a problem as it goes away easily with pain medication. And when the pill stops helping, we do not go to the doctor, but switch to stronger drugs and even injections.
Unfortunately, the consequences are lost time. The time when you could, but did not want to find a problem that your body is persistently signaling. After all, headache is not an independent disease, it can be a symptom of serious diseases. Only a doctor should diagnose and treat them.
Why does a headache occur?
As a rule, not the whole head hurts, but some part of it. Causes of headaches depending on its localization:
- the temple area can hurt with sudden changes in blood pressure, with poisoning of the body with toxins or infectious diseases;
- headache in the back of the head occurs with high blood pressure, problems with the cervical spine (osteochondrosis, spondylosis) or hypertonicity of the muscles of the neck and collar zone;
- if the forehead hurts, it may be an inflammatory disease of the paranasal sinuses - frontal sinusitis. It can also be a sign of increased intracranial pressure or occipital nerve entrapment. Such pain accompanies very serious illnesses - meningitis, pneumonia, malaria, typhoid;
- if painful sensations arise around the eyes - these are signs of migraine, vegetative-vascular dystonia. This is how eye diseases, including glaucoma, can manifest themselves.
Be careful if your head hurts regularly, with a certain cycle. This is a clear and specific signal that you have a chronic illness or that your stress and hard work is very high.
Different intensity of headache
Headache in one area or another can be of different intensity: from sharp and sudden attacks, to prolonged exhausting ones. This is also valuable diagnostic information.
In terms of intensity, head pain can be:
- Strong, sometimes unbearable. The reasons for this pain are migraines, pressure drops, sinusitis, head injuries or infections. If the pain does not subside over time, but grows, it means that the painful process is progressing.
- Long lasting. This is a very serious SOS signal that our body can only send. It can indicate lesions of the nervous system of an infectious nature, meningitis, tuberculosis, parasitic diseases, and even a brain tumor. Especially worrisome frequent headache .
- Pulsing. Most often, migraine manifests itself this way. However, it can also be vascular diseases - brain damage, impaired outflow of cerebrospinal fluid or venous outflow. Some types of infectious lesions, otitis media, glaucoma cause throbbing pain. A severe and prolonged throbbing headache is especially dangerous.
- Sudden. As a rule, it is caused by a spasm of the vessels of the brain. This happens in the case of a pinched nerve with cervical osteochondrosis, with a vascular crisis. Rupture of an aneurysm, intracranial hemorrhage is very dangerous. But a sharp headache often occurs as a result of the stress suffered, if a person is nervous or poisoned with low-quality products.
What diseases are accompanied by a headache
Only a doctor can establish a diagnosis, after several stages of examination. Indeed, with similar symptoms, the causes of headache are different. Here is a list of the main diseases accompanied by pain in the head area:
- Migraine. Strong headache , often - pulsating, a person is nauseous, irritated by light, smells. There is a general weakness, a desire to lie down. Pain often affects one side of the face. A migraine attack can last for several hours, or maybe 2-3 days.
- Tension headache. The most common type of disease. Usually the head hurts slightly, but the painful sensations come back again and again. It can last 6-7 days. The pain compresses the skull, is localized in the back of the head, frontal part, crown, or spreads to all parts. This type of pain occurs in people engaged in sedentary work, driving for a long time, or constantly being under stress. Their shoulder girdle is so constrained that it does not relax even during sleep. The permeability of muscles, nerve impulses, tissue nutrition is impaired.
- Cluster disease. It is very difficult for patients, sometimes it turns into a continuous form. The pain throbs on one side of the head, compresses the eye or part of the forehead. The eye starts to water and swells. The peak of the attack lasts from half an hour to an hour and a half. Cluster pains are more common in men.
- Pain caused by infections. She is accompanied by chills, fever. The pain presses on the temples, eyes, forehead. With ARVI, cough and runny nose join the symptoms. With meningitis, the pain is severe, throbbing, accompanied by vomiting.
- Painful sensations resulting from injury. Their nature and intensity depends on the nature of the injury. Typical for concussion, skull damage, displacement of the vertebrae in the cervical spine. Moreover, unpleasant sensations can arise immediately, or they can - after a while.
- Sinus pain. It accompanies inflammation of the sinuses, therefore it is localized in the frontal part of the head or near the nose. The patient has a runny nose, nasal congestion. You can get rid of it only by curing the underlying disease.
- Pain caused by intracranial pressure. It is massive, intense pain that affects the entire scalp and around the eyes. Patients describe them as pressing or bursting. Often a person is sick and he can hardly tolerate bright light.
- Pain that occurs when the trigeminal nerve is affected. Sharp, short (2 to 5 seconds), but very painful. Arises suddenly in any part of the face. Most often, inflammation of the trigeminal nerve occurs in people with unhealthy teeth and oral problems.
What examinations need to be done
With complaints of headache, you should consult a therapist. First, the doctor collects anamnesis - specifies the nature, location, duration of the headache. Remember when it first appeared and how often it repeats. In order to exclude additional factors that can provoke seizures, you need to undergo examination by a neurologist, ENT doctor, ophthalmologist and visit a dental office. They will be able to pinpoint causes and types of headaches and prescribe treatment.
Your doctor may recommend the following examinations for you:
- electroencephalography - a study of the state of the brain. This is how vascular and tumor pathologies, hematomas are detected;
- X-ray - will show if there are signs of hydrocephalus, whether there was a head injury or sinusitis;
- magnetic resonance imaging - this is how you can detect a tumor, problems of cerebral circulation, diseases of the sinuses, the consequences of a stroke.
- computed tomography - in this way it is possible to determine if there is hemorrhage in the brain, what is the structure of the brain tissue and blood vessels;
- electromyography - determines the damage to neural connections and nerves;
- Ultrasound of the neck vessels with Doppler - a popular procedure reveals atherosclerosis, vascular and blood flow pathologies, aneurysms;
- laboratory tests - tests will help detect the inflammatory process, the presence of infection, cholesterol metabolism problems and autoimmune processes.
Headache consequences can be very serious. The more often and stronger the headaches become, the brighter their consequences will manifest themselves - up to muscle spasm and brain hypoxia. And besides, the underlying disease will inevitably begin to progress.
Headache treatment is not limited to drugs - although anti-inflammatory, pain relieving and topical analgesics are an important part of treatment. For example, a course of medication blockades greatly facilitates the patient's condition.
A good help in the treatment of headaches will be:
- manual therapy is a method of influencing the spine with manual massage techniques. Especially effective for migraine and tension pain;
- massage techniques. Effective for recovery from injuries and chronic migraines;
- acupuncture - exposure to medical needles through specific points on the body. So you can activate the work of organs associated with certain nerve endings and start the process of self-healing;
- osteopathy - in this case, muscle clamps and changes in joints and organs are worked out using special massage techniques for points on the patient's body;
- physiotherapy - treatment with ultrasound, alternating or constant weak electric and magnetic fields, exposure to heat. Effective for different types of headaches;
- physiotherapy exercises - moderate physical activity, especially good in the treatment of post-traumatic conditions and pain of overexertion;
- Botox injections - if the muscles are constrained by a spasm, the Botox injection will relax the body area and relieve the headache;
- extracorporeal hemocorrection is a method based on cleansing the blood from excess cholesterol and toxic substances. It has proven itself in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and pathologies of the immune system;
- folk remedies. For the most part, grandmother's gadgets and conspiracies can not be recommended in every case, and only as a method of complacency. By preparing decoctions and compresses, you can waste precious time and miss the early stage of the disease. Therefore, in any case, the first thing to do is consult a doctor.
How to prevent headaches
The best prevention of headaches is a healthy lifestyle and the ability to avoid stress.
The main conditions for this:
- proper nutrition. Food should not contain toxins, not provoke excess weight and supply the body with the necessary vitamins and amino acids;
- physical activity. Feasible and moderate physical education, warm-ups during the working day, swimming, jogging, hippotherapy will keep the muscles in good shape and prevent the occurrence of muscle clamps;
- lack of bad habits. Alcohol, smoking, abuse of coffee and energy drinks are the first harbingers of imminent headaches. Take care of yourself.
- a full night's sleep. Only in this way the body will be able to qualitatively rest and restore its strength.
Headache for a week
Maltseva Marina Arnoldovna
Neurologist of the highest category, specialist in the field of extrapyramidal pathologies, doctor of the highest category
Headache - a common problem even for a healthy person. They arise as a result of overwork, chronic diseases, internal and external factors. However, if a person has a headache for a week, it is important to undergo a complete examination and establish the cause of this symptom. The doctor will select an effective treatment regimen and prescribe medications that will help get rid of the pain in the head. The Clinical Institute of the Brain specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases that can cause soreness attacks for a week or more.
1. Causes of prolonged headache
1.1 Tension headaches
1.4 Injuries and their consequences
1.5 Increased intracranial pressure
1.6 Diseases of the cervical spine
1.7 Vascular disease
1.8 Other reasons
2. Diagnostic methods
3. Treatment of headache
4. Methods of prevention
Causes of prolonged headache
Soreness is the body's natural response to inflammation, insufficient blood supply, spasms, and other factors. The headache is called cephalalgia. It can have a different origin, therefore it requires an individual approach during treatment. So, there are several types of long-term cephalalgia:
- vascular - occurs as a result of acute and chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system, as well as in violation of the regulation of blood pressure;
- nervous - caused by stress, lack of rest, intense exertion;
- infectious - provoked by poisoning with various substances;
- tension pain - associated with muscle and vascular spasms.
The exact cause of the headache is determined by a complete examination. It is impossible to carry out informative diagnostics at home, as well as to choose an effective treatment.
The causes of cephalalgia vary, but the most common is tension headache. They are associated with muscle and vascular spasms in the neck and head. The reasons are a long stay in an uncomfortable position with a fixed head, work at the monitor without interruption. Also, pain can be triggered by constant nervous tension, stress, abnormal physical exertion. As a result of these factors, tension and spasm of the neck muscles occur, which squeeze the vessels and nerves. This leads to the manifestation of several symptoms:
If a person has a headache for several days, a week or more, it is worth revising the mode of work and rest. Symptoms often go away if stress is avoided and adequate sleep is ensured. During sedentary work, be sure to take short breaks for neck gymnastics and general warm-up.
Common causes of long-term cephalalgia include migraines. It is a chronic disease that is often hereditary. Doctors name several conditions for its development. The pain is caused by vascular spasms, as a result of which the brain receives an insufficient amount of oxygen. It can also occur with increased sensitivity of brain cells. They react to external stimuli, while affecting pain centers.
A migraine often presents with a severe throbbing headache that affects one side of the head. Shortly before the onset of an attack, a "migraine aura" may occur. This is a characteristic complex of symptoms that indicate the imminent onset of the acute phase:
- nausea, dizziness, general weakness;
- the appearance of dark spots and circles before the eyes (visual hallucinations);
- tinnitus, hearing impairment;
- rapid pulse, increased sweating.
A migraine attack lasts from 3-4 hours to several days and a week. Symptoms are different for each person. So, the aura manifests itself in only a fifth of patients, and the headache will not necessarily affect only half of the head. If the disease worsens often, the doctor will prescribe special drugs for migraine - cephalalgia does not go away after taking conventional painkillers. It is also useful to maintain a sleep schedule, include a large amount in the diet, avoid stress and sudden changes in climatic conditions.
Intoxication causes headaches as often as other causes. There are several types of poisoning, depending on the substance that provoked it. Thus, food intoxication can be caused by poor quality food or substances that are not suitable for ingestion. Also distinguish between poisoning with heavy metals, medicines and alcohol, volatile poisons. Toxins can enter the human body during the bites of animals, snakes and insects, due to the invasion of helminths.
Cephalalgia - not the only sign of poisoning, but it can outpace the development of the complete picture. You should immediately consult a doctor if, after contact with hazardous substances, the use of low-quality products, animal and insect bites, the following symptoms occur:
- dizziness, nausea and vomiting;
- disruption of the digestive system;
- severe abdominal pain;
- increased body temperature;
- other specific signs.
Treatment for poisoning should be started as soon as possible. It is important to tell your doctor about all foods and other substances you have been in contact with today or recently. For some types of poisoning, there are antidotes - they must be taken as quickly as possible in order to neutralize the effect of toxins. In other cases, various detoxification methods are prescribed, including drip administration of electrolyte solutions, gastric lavage, and others. Treatment takes place at home or in a hospital, depending on the degree of poisoning.
Injuries and their consequences
Cephalalgia - one of the first manifestations of traumatic brain injury. Even in everyday life, you can get a severe bruise or concussion, but more often they happen during falls and accidents. These injuries are dangerous because they affect the state of the brain structures and can cause long-term complications. Immediately at the time of injury, as well as a few hours after it, characteristic symptoms appear:
- acute pain that can be localized in a specific area or affect the entire surface of the head;
- dizziness, nausea and vomiting;
- hearing and vision impairment, the appearance of dark spots and circles before the eyes;
- loss of consciousness is a sign that you need to urgently seek medical help.
After traumatic brain injury, a headache can bother a person constantly or manifest itself in short seizures. In many patients, it aggravates in response to changes in weather conditions, stress, exercise and other factors. The pain goes away on its own after rest, and is also amenable to the action of pain medications.
Increased intracranial pressure
Intracranial hypertension is a common disorder. This is a complex indicator that cannot be measured at home, and the diagnosis is often made on the basis of the clinical picture and indirect examinations. Intracranial pressure includes the pressure of blood in the cerebral vessels, cerebral ventricular fluid, and the actual brain tissue. The disease is often congenital, but can occur at any age due to trauma and chronic vascular pathologies. It causes characteristic signs:
- prolonged headaches that are concentrated in the temple area or spread to the entire surface of the head;
- a feeling of pulsation inside the skull;
- hearing and vision impairment;
- general weakness.
With intracranial hypertension, the patient often has a headache. The disease is chronic and manifests itself in seizures. They can be triggered by an increase in atmospheric pressure or other changes in weather conditions. Complex treatment is aimed at reducing pain and removing excess fluid. The regimen includes pain relievers, diuretics (diuretics), and medications to improve blood flow to the brain.
Diseases of the cervical spine
If you often have a headache, it can also talk about diseases of the spine. The vertebral artery passes here - its path lies through the holes on the processes of the vertebrae, so it is normally protected from damage by bone tissue. However, with some disorders, the vertebrae change their correct position and squeeze an important vessel that carries blood to the brain. At the same time, irritation of the roots of the spinal nerves occurs, which provokes an exacerbation of the pain syndrome.
There are several diseases that are often found in the diagnosis of prolonged cephalalgia:
- osteochondrosis - a chronic disorder in which there is a decrease in the cartilaginous layer between adjacent vertebrae, pathological growth of the articular surfaces of bones and the formation of osteophytes (bone growths);
- protrusions and hernias - protrusion of the intervertebral disc of different sizes, which leads to compression of blood vessels and nerves, chronic pain in the neck and head;
- spondylosis - a pathological condition in which there is fusion and immobility of adjacent segments of the cervical spine;
- curvature of the neck - scoliosis and kyphosis also cause chronic cephalalgia.
At advanced stages of spinal diseases, as well as with progressive congenital anomalies, surgical treatment is recommended. Headaches disappear if you eliminate their main cause - compression of nerves and blood vessels. In the initial stages, the doctor prescribes pain relievers, medicines for the blood supply and nutrition of the intervertebral discs. At home, it is necessary to do gymnastics for the neck, it is also useful to go in for swimming and carry light loads in the fresh air.
Chronic vascular disease - one of the reasons why the head may hurt for several days or weeks in a row. They lead to a deterioration in the blood supply to the brain tissues, prolonged ischemia and a lack of nutrients for the functioning of the brain structures. During the diagnosis process, several common diseases are found that can cause headaches.
- Atherosclerosis - a chronic metabolic disorder, in which there is an increase in the level of various fractions of lipoproteins and cholesterol in the blood. These substances accumulate on the inner wall of blood vessels and form plaques over time. With atherosclerosis, it is important to pay attention to any changes in well-being and consult a doctor at the first sign of a headache.
- Hypertension - increased blood pressure. The disease is manifested by attacks of headache, which is accompanied by nausea, general weakness, dizziness. Redness of the skin and mucous membranes is also typical.
- Hypotension - lowering blood pressure. This condition is no less dangerous, since it can provoke an ischemic stroke. During an attack, pressing pain in the head, tinnitus and dizziness, palpitations, pale skin and mucous membranes begin.
If you suspect a vascular disease, it is important to undergo an examination and take into account all the recommendations of doctors. A special diet low in animal fats, moderate exercise, drugs to strengthen the walls of blood vessels and stabilize pressure are recommended. In advanced cases and in the absence of treatment, there is a high likelihood of ischemia (oxygen starvation) of brain cells, which leads to an increased risk of stroke.
Headache is not an independent disease, but one of the symptoms of a number of disorders. It shouldn't be ignored, especially if it hasn't gone away for a long time. It can occur against a background of stress and fatigue, intense mental and physical exertion without sufficient rest. However, more dangerous conditions can also be detected:
- neoplasms - chronic pain is one of the first signs;
- meningitis, encephalitis - infectious diseases of the brain and its membranes;
- sinusitis - purulent inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, can manifest itself as a complication of colds and SARS;
- parasitic invasions - headaches occur due to intoxication with poisonous waste products of helminths.
If the headache is prolonged, bothers a person for a week or two weeks in a row, you should not try to find a treatment yourself. In the event of a severe attack, doctors recommend seeking help within two hours. It is this period that is most important for first aid if a person has a stroke.
If a person has a headache for a week, it is important to determine why this symptom appears. For this, the doctor prescribes a set of examinations, depending on the results of the examination. These include:
- EEG (electroencephalography) - examination of the brain, which will reveal various diseases;
- MRI - modern, informative technique, prescribed for suspected neoplasms, cerebrovascular accident, stroke;
- Ultrasound of the vessels of the neck and head with the addition of a contrast agent (dopplerography) - allows you to determine the areas in which blood circulation is impaired;
- laboratory blood tests - are prescribed to determine inflammatory processes, the concentration of cholesterol and other substances, disruption of the work of individual organs and systems.
Determining the cause of the headache is the first step in successful treatment. The Clinical Institute of the Brain has high-quality equipment that allows you to visualize the complete picture of the disease. All examinations can be done in our center, including sophisticated modern techniques.
Treatment for a person who has a headache for a week or more can only be selected by a doctor. As a first aid, rest, a cold compress on the forehead, and a light massage of the neck and head are recommended. If the pain is severe, you can take a pain reliever from your home medicine cabinet. The doctor will prescribe a comprehensive treatment based on the results of the diagnosis, which may include the following stages:
- drug therapy - taking analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics, drugs to improve nutrition and blood supply to brain cells, intervertebral cartilage;
- surgery - the operation is necessary for neoplasms, advanced diseases of the cervical spine;
- additional techniques that include physiotherapy, gymnastics and therapeutic massage, swimming.
A short-term headache after a hard day at work suggests that you need to normalize your work and rest schedule. However, if it does not go away either today or on the second and third day, it is important to see a doctor. There is a high probability of finding chronic diseases that can progress as they progress.
According to statistics, an adult often has a headache due to acquired disorders. Common causes are poor diet, stress and lack of rest, overweight. Today, many people, including at a young age, lead a sedentary lifestyle, which also negatively affects the general condition of the body. Doctors at the Clinical Institute of the Brain have some tips on how to provide timely prevention of headaches at home:
- regularly measure blood pressure indicators, especially at the age of 40 or more;
- do simple neck and head exercises daily, including during the working day;
- consume a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals;
- give up bad habits, smoking and drinking alcohol, as well as fatty foods with a high cholesterol content.
Clinical Institute of the Brain
If a person has a headache for several days or even weeks, it is worth contacting the Clinical Institute of the Brain. Doctors will develop an individual program for the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain. The scheme will include only the necessary informative techniques that will allow you to quickly make an accurate diagnosis and choose the most effective course of treatment, including at home.
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Why does the head hurt
According to WHO estimates, every year from 50 to 75% of the world's adult population aged 18 to 65 experience headache, among them 30% or more complain of migraines. Headache is a worldwide problem that affects people of all ages, races, income levels and regions of residence.
Patients can describe many different sensations and conditions as a headache: heaviness in the back of the head, pain in the forehead or closer to the neck, in the temples, in the eye area, a feeling of pressure, sharp, throbbing, pulling or aching pain. The variety of manifestations of headache is associated with a large number of reasons for its appearance.
In clinical practice, more than 150 types of headaches are distinguished. The most general classification divides the causes of pain into primary and secondary. The primary causes are not associated with any pathology of the central nervous system and internal organs, while the secondary ones are a symptom of various diseases or injuries.
Headache is provoked by external and internal factors. Primary pain occurs under the influence of:
- severe stress and nervous strain;
- excessive physical exertion;
- lack of sleep or excess sleep;
- long stay in a stuffy room or transport;
- meteorological conditions: sharp changes in temperature, air humidity and atmospheric pressure;
- Strong odors such as excess perfume
- strict diets, fasting;
- sedentary lifestyle;
- a sharp change in climate, air travel;
- oxygen starvation;
- bright light, flashing Christmas tree garlands or festive illumination;
- uncontrolled intake of certain medications.
For more than 45 diseases of various natures, headache can be the main complaint, especially at the initial stage of the development of pathology. Often this is the only pronounced symptom of vascular disorders, craniocerebral trauma, inflammatory processes in the body, hormonal imbalance.
The main causes of secondary headache are:
- traumatic brain injury;
- atherosclerosis and other vascular pathologies;
- inflammatory diseases of internal organs, for example, gastritis, pyelonephritis;
- hypertension and hypotension: increases and decreases in blood pressure are often accompanied by headache;
- back problems;
- infectious lesions of the nasopharynx, ears;
- poisoning with toxic substances;
- caries, periodontitis and other diseases of the teeth and gums;
- malignant and benign brain tumors;
- glaucoma - increased intraocular pressure and many others.
At the heart of other classifications, headache differs in character, sensation, strength, localization.
Headaches can have different mechanisms of occurrence. Pain is divided into:
- vascular - arising from vasospasm, loss of wall elasticity, narrowing of the vascular lumen;
- muscle tension - when the cause of pain is muscle overstrain due to stress, neurosis and other factors;
- liquorodynamic - when there is a violation of the distribution of cerebrospinal fluid in the cranial cavity;
- neuralgic - as a result of irritation of nerve receptors;
- infectious toxic - occur in case of poisoning and infectious diseases.
Sometimes headache syndrome is a consequence of the effects of several mechanisms at once, which significantly worsens the general condition.
Causes of a mild headache
Moderate headache usually occurs with overwork, change of weather, lack of sleep. Such pain can accompany premenstrual syndrome in women. Usually, after a while, it goes away by itself and does not require medical intervention.
Causes of severe headache
A very severe headache is difficult to tolerate and almost impossible to stop with drugs. An excruciating pain occurs in the presence of neoplasms in the brain, fractures, infectious diseases, sinusitis. Severe pain is one of the main symptoms of influenza, SARS and other viral infections. The increasing intensity of pain indicates the development of a pathological process.
Causes of paroxysmal pain
Severe headache attacks are the main symptom of migraines. Also, this nature of pain may indicate a hematoma in the brain.
Periodic seizures are well known to people with high blood pressure, vascular disorders, and problems with cerebral circulation. A sudden onset of pain can occur with spasm of the cerebral vessels during a vascular crisis or exacerbation of cervical osteochondrosis. The condition is also typical with prolonged nervous overstrain.
Why does my head hurt every day
Daily headaches are a serious reason to see a doctor and get a complete check-up. Daily pain can be a sign of a chronic inflammatory process in the body, the development of cervical osteochondrosis, hormonal imbalance, problems with blood pressure and many other dangerous conditions. An accurate diagnosis and adequate therapy will help to cope with the causes of pain and normalize the condition.
Types of headaches
Features of the types of headaches, their severity, localization, nature of the course and other signs allow you to determine the cause of the pathology and carry out successful treatment. To understand the cause of pain, based on sensations, our test will help you.
Migraine is included by WHO in the TOP-20 diseases that have the most negative impact on the social adaptation of people. Among the population of European countries and the United States, 14% of the population suffers from migraine, and the pathology occurs in women twice as often as in men.
After tension headache (HDN), this is the most common cause of primary headache. Migraine is hereditary, with the first attack usually occurring between the ages of 10 and 20, reaching a maximum by the age of 40. With the onset of menopause, most women have migraines.
The main symptom of migraine is periodic attacks of severe pain on one side of the head. Seizures can occur at a frequency of once a week to once a month.
Distinctive features of migraine pain syndrome:
- pulsating and pressing character,
- significant intensity,
- coverage of half of the head,
- localization around the eyes, in the forehead and temple.
In some cases, the attack begins with severe pain in the back of the head, later it spreads to the frontal part.
There are two clinical types of migraine: with and without aura.
The aura of a migraine is the appearance about an hour before the onset of an attack of its precursors: visual disturbances, auditory hallucinations, changes in taste and smell, nausea and vomiting. The aura disappears with the onset of an attack of pain (Fig. 1).
The understanding of the causes of migraines has changed over the past decades. If earlier it was considered as a vascular pathology, today it is believed that a severe headache (during a migraine attack) is due to increased excitability of cerebral pain receptors.
Migraine is characteristic of people with increased emotional excitability. Most often, it occurs against a background of severe stress. Physical overstrain, premenstrual syndrome, and insufficient nutrition can become a provocateur of an attack.
Frequent attacks may be associated with certain hormonal medications, such as oral contraceptives or medications to relieve menopause symptoms. Tyramine, a derivative of tyrosine, one of the basic amino acids in protein, is also a trigger for migraine. This substance can be found in cheese, red wine, chocolate, bananas, citrus fruits, and many other foods.
This type of pain is familiar to almost every person, regardless of gender and age. Tension headache is the most common form of ailment associated with neurobiological factors. Scientists explain the pain syndrome by the increased sensitivity of the pain structures of the brain to negative factors of the internal and external environment. The main causes of tension headaches are:
- emotional overload;
- muscle tension associated with the need to stay in one position for a long time, for example, when working at a computer or while driving a car;
- lack of sleep and many others.
Tension headache usually affects both sides of the head, is often mild and does not significantly affect the usual way of life (Fig. 2).
Pain is divided into episodic and chronic pain. Chronic pain lasting several weeks can lead to neuroses and depression.
Headache in the eyes and forehead
Headache in the forehead and in the eye area can be caused by many factors and be of different nature. An accurate description of the characteristics of pain is important in determining its causes:
- sudden acute and very severe pain of varying duration occurs with migraine, purulent inflammation of the maxillary sinuses, meningitis;
- throbbing pain is associated with inflammatory processes in the body, autonomic disorders, food or drug poisoning, hangover syndrome;
- stabbing pain often accompanies inflammation of the optic nerves, neuralgia, neuritis;
- pressing pain occurs in the presence of tumors of a different nature, infectious diseases, with severe stress and a sharp change in the weather.
- Vascular problems in the brain can also cause pain in the forehead and eyes, usually accompanied by nausea, weakness, and dizziness.
Important! Pain in the eyes can be a consequence of childhood scoliosis, therefore, from a very early age, the child's posture should be given increased attention.
In the occipital region of the head
This form of headache is the most difficult to diagnose, since both diseases of the nervous system and problems with the spine can provoke it.
The main causes of pain in the occipital region:
- osteochondrosis, cervical spondylosis and other pathologies of the cervical spine,
- myogelosis - thickening of the muscles of the cervical spine due to hypothermia, injury or diabetes mellitus,
- mental, emotional and physical stress,
- occipital neuralgia,
- arterial hypertension.
With neuralgia, pain is sharp and spontaneous, passing to the neck and back, as well as to the ear and lower jaw. Complaints about pressing sensations in the back of the head, aggravated by a sharp turn of the head and physical exertion, are common.
With increased pressure, pain in the back of the head worries mainly in the morning, it is moderate in intensity and disappears after taking antihypertensive drugs.
Pain in the back of the head is often accompanied by other unpleasant symptoms:
- darkening in the eyes,
- decreased concentration of attention,
- numbness of the limbs.
The correct diagnosis for such pain can only be made after a thorough history and a comprehensive examination.
Pain in the temples doctors call the "cap of a neurotic", as it causes a feeling of squeezing the skull. This condition is typical for neuroses and cerebrovascular accidents.
Usually pain in the temples appears in the evening, when fatigue is added to the symptoms of neurosis. In addition to diseases of the nervous system, pain in the temples can be caused by osteochondrosis, atherosclerosis, infectious diseases.
The nature of the temporal lobe headache can be different:
- one-sided and two-sided,
Pain in the temporal region negatively affects the ability to work and the general condition, therefore, with systematic attacks, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.
These are the most excruciating headaches, mainly characteristic of men of reproductive age. The painful sensations are concentrated in one side of the head in the region of the temple, eye and brow arch. Cluster headache is called Horton's migraine in medicine.
The true causes of cluster pain have not yet been established, but most scientists associate it with the pathological activity of the hypothalamus and excessive filling of blood vessels under the influence of a number of factors:
- air travel and time zone changes,
- some medications
- alcoholic beverages.
The pain appears paroxysmal with a frequency of 1 week to two months. After a series of attacks, a period of remission begins, which can last up to several years.
Cluster headaches are so excruciating that there have been cases of suicide during an attack. Even healthy strong men are not always able to endure such intense pain. Anxious anticipation of an attack leads to the development of neuroses and severe depression.
The main features of cluster headaches are unpredictability and very high intensity (Fig. 3).
The attack may be accompanied by vomiting and increased salivation. During an attack, a person cannot lie or sit still.
Often, cluster pain is accompanied by trigeminal neuralgia.
Headache and tinnitus
Tinnitus combined with headache and dizziness can be a symptom of a concussion, vascular atherosclerosis, or auditory nerve pathology.
Severe pain and tinnitus often occur against the background of otitis media, inflammation of the auditory tube, a foreign object in the ear canal, or a brain tumor. This condition can be serious and requires immediate medical attention.
Combined with nausea
Nausea and headache are typical signs of food or alcohol poisoning. Symptoms are also characteristic of a weak vestibular apparatus and begin during a long trip by transport or during an air flight. Nausea often accompanies migraine attacks.
Pain with increased intracranial pressure
An increase in intracranial pressure can be explained by various reasons - cerebral edema, intracranial hemorrhage, brain tumor, hydrocephalus. "Stretching" of the dura mater causes a headache.
The pain usually appears in the morning after waking up completely. By its nature, it is pressing or bursting and is concentrated in the occiput, temples and forehead.
Along with headache, intracranial pressure is characterized by:
- nausea, vomiting, dizziness,
- rapid fatigue and drowsiness,
- drops in blood pressure,
In the chronic form of the disease, pain is intense and permanent. In the absence of treatment, vision begins to deteriorate, up to its complete loss.
Headache is one of the main symptoms of diseases of the cardiovascular system: atherosclerosis, thrombosis, hypertension, stroke.
The cause of pain is a violation of the process of supplying oxygen to the brain with an increase in blood pressure. Vascular headaches are often accompanied by other symptoms:
- vision problems.
Seeing a doctor at the first symptoms of vascular pathologies will avoid serious complications.
Pressing bursting pain in the morning with subsequent dizziness and noise in the head is one of the possible symptoms of a violation of the outflow of venous blood from the cranial cavity.
Lead to venous dysfunction:
- intracranial hematomas,
- tumors of some localizations,
- suffered a stroke.
Usually, the pain intensifies after emotional upheavals, drinking alcohol, and a change in the weather.
Headache with cervical osteochondrosis
Violation of blood flow in the vertebral artery due to pressure on the vessels by exostosis (overgrowth of bone tissue) or a displaced disc causes oxygen deficiency in the brain and, as a result, headache.
Pain in osteochondrosis is accompanied by dizziness, rapid fatigue, loss of consciousness is possible with sharp turns of the head.
When to see a doctor
If you know the exact cause of the headache, for example, alcohol taken the day before, lack of sleep, fatigue, stress, you do not need to go to the doctor. After proper rest and normalization of the emotional state, the headache will go away on its own.
A visit to the doctor is necessary for migraine symptoms, prolonged headaches accompanied by other alarming symptoms, deterioration in general health, decreased ability to work, persistent increase in blood pressure.
If I have a headache, do I need to get tested for COVID-19?
The acute phase of COVID-19, like any other viral disease, can be accompanied by headaches. When infected with coronavirus, migraine-type pains can be observed, which intensify as toxins spread and enter the vessels of the brain. But headache is not the only and not the most common symptom of infection. In the absence of cough and fever, you can take your time to take the test.
At the initial visit, the neurologist collects an anamnesis, including questions about the nature of pain, localization, severity and the presence of symptoms of serious pathologies.
Objective research includes:
- complete neurological examination,
- blood pressure monitoring,
- duplex scanning of blood vessels,
- X-ray of the cervical spine and other diagnostic procedures.
Diagnostics is aimed at determining the causes of the headache and identifying the disease that caused the discomfort.
There is no single prescription for headache treatment, as the cause must be found out first.
Do I need to treat if my head hurts a little
A mild headache does not require special treatment; it usually goes away after a short rest. If you notice that you periodically have a headache, pay attention to your diet, do not skip breakfast and eat small meals at regular intervals, monitor your blood sugar levels, drink more plain pure water, spend more time outdoors.
How to get rid of a headache attack at home?
The most obvious solution for a headache is to take a pain reliever pill. But the systematic use of medicines without consulting a doctor can lead to the opposite result. For example, taking drugs that contain caffeine with high blood pressure increases the risk of a hypertensive crisis.
Before taking the pill, it is worth trying other methods of getting rid of the headache:
- lie down in a well-ventilated room, after turning off the TV and removing other sources of noise;
- drink strong sweet tea with lemon;
- go for a leisurely walk in the fresh air;
- make a light head massage.
In case of recurring severe headache attacks, it is necessary to consult a general practitioner and a neurologist and undergo a full examination. Further treatment will be prescribed by a doctor based on the identified pathologies.
Living with a headache
The opinion of doctors is unambiguous: you cannot endure a headache! But some diseases associated with headaches, such as migraines, are difficult to treat, and then pain attacks are inevitable.
In such cases, you should seek the help of a psychotherapist and change your attitude towards the problem. Feeling the approach of an attack, you must strictly follow all the doctor's recommendations.
Headache prevention is a healthy lifestyle (Fig. 4). Simple tips will help to avoid seizures and improve the quality of life: quit smoking and alcohol, go to bed on time, exercise, try to eat right.
Headache can significantly reduce the quality of life and worsen the general condition. In case of frequent ailments, do not postpone a visit to the doctor: identifying the problem at an early stage increases the likelihood of a complete recovery and return to the usual rhythm of life.
Headache (cephalalgia): causes, diagnosis and treatment
Headache is an independent disease or a symptom of another disease. It can go away on its own or after taking pain relievers, but often the headache is regular. If your head hurts regularly, you should see a doctor.
We relieve an acute headache in 1-2 visits to the clinic
We can accurately diagnose the cause of the headache
Free initial consultation with a neurologist
How a headache (cephalalgia) occurs
Cephalalgia is the scientific name for headache. This occurs during stress, abrupt expansion or constriction of blood vessels, and changes in head fluid pressure. Receptors are found in different areas of the head and neck: in the veins, spinal nerves, muscles of the neck and head, and the meninges. Having received a signal, the receptor sends it to the nerve cells of the brain and reports painful sensations in the body. Cephalalgia does not occur in the brain, since there are no pain receptors in it.
Why does the head hurt? Common causes of headaches are:
- spasm of the neck muscles;
- compression of the vessels of the head and neck;
- compression of the meninges;
- nutritional disorders of the brain: insufficient blood supply, narrowing of the vessels that feed the brain;
- smoking, alcohol, drug, medication poisoning;
- stress, sleep disturbance;
- due to neck and head injuries;
- birth trauma;
- anomalies in the development of blood vessels in the neck and head.
Types (types) of headaches
Headaches are primary and secondary.
Primary headache is an independent disease. It occurs in 90% of cases of malaise. Primary headaches include migraines, tension headaches, and cluster headaches.
Secondary headache is a symptom of another disease: for example, head trauma, cervical osteochondrosis, vegetative-vascular dystonia, hypertension.
|Migraine||Throbbing pain in the head, most often after sleep. The intensity of the headache is mild to unbearable. The pain is felt on one side of the head: in the right or left temple, in the forehead, crown. Migraine lasts up to three days, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting. A person does not tolerate bright light and loud sounds. Migraines can be caused by stress, insomnia, and changes in the weather. The tendency to migraine is inherited.|
|Tension headache (HDN)||Pressing headache covers the entire head or separately the back of the head, crown, forehead. Cephalalgia can be severe. A tension headache attack can last up to 7 days. At the same time, my head hurts every day. HDN appears due to emotional or physical stress.|
|Cluster headache||Unbearable shooting pain in head. Felt on one side, in the forehead and eye area. Cluster pain causes redness and swelling of the face, tearing from the side of the pain. Because of a severe headache, the person behaves restlessly.|
|Head and facial pain due to trigeminal neuralgia||Very severe, short stitching pain in the head. The pain is felt in the crown of the head, the forehead, it can capture the face, teeth. A headache attack lasts several hours. In this case, a spasm of the muscles of the face can occur.|
Secondary headache can be a symptom of other medical conditions. Most often it is caused by the following diseases:
|The cause of the headache||Disease manifestations|
|Cervical osteochondrosis||Headache appears with a sharp turn of the head, prolonged tension of the neck, an uncomfortable position of the head during sleep. The pain is worse in the morning, often extending to one side of the head. May be accompanied by hearing loss in one ear, tinnitus, "flies" in front of the eyes.|
|Flu or cold||The headache is not very severe, localized in the forehead, eyes, temple on one or both sides. In addition to the headache, the patient's temperature rises above 37 degrees, a runny nose, cough, sore throat and other symptoms of a cold appear.|
|Increased intracranial pressure||Prolonged frequent headaches are combined with nausea and vomiting. The person is often sick in the morning. For these symptoms and a mild headache, you need to see a doctor.|
|Brain concussion||The headache can last for several years after the injury. It is accompanied by anxiety, irritability, decreased concentration, dizziness. The person may suffer from depression.|
|Vegetovascular dystonia||Causes dizziness, nausea, neurotic disorders, surges in blood pressure. Exacerbations occur with changes in the weather, emotional overload.|
|Hypertonic disease||Bursting headache is felt in the occiput. It is combined with fever in the head, dizziness, noise in the head, "flies" in front of the eyes, staggering. A person may feel nausea, pain in the heart.|
|Sinusitis, frontal sinusitis, sinusitis||Chronic prolonged pressing headaches in the forehead, eyes, cheeks. Accompanied by nasal congestion, runny nose, slight fever.|
|"Hortonian" headache||Attacks of severe boring pain are characteristic. It spreads around the eye, temple and forehead. The attacks usually occur at the same time. This type of headache is more common in men.|
|Hypertonic disease||Bursting headache is felt in the occiput. It is combined with fever in the head, dizziness, noise in the head, "flies" in front of the eyes, staggering. A person may feel nausea, pain in the heart.|
When you can't postpone your visit to the doctor
- With an acute headache, which has arisen sharply and resembles a "butt blow to the head." This may be a symptom of subarachnoid hemorrhage. Call an ambulance immediately.
- The pain intensifies in the supine position and disappears half an hour after getting out of bed. This is a sign of a violation of the outflow of cerebrospinal fluid, an increase in intracranial pressure, a tumor.
- If the headache appears regularly, is intense, associated with a change in body position and changes with movement.
In December 2020, after a spinal injury, she could not move. On call from the clinic Baratov V.V. arrived at the house with a nurse. After examination, he was diagnosed with a compression fracture of certain vertebrae and found additional hernias of the spine. He ordered an examination and complex treatment, organized the delivery of a corset, the nurse made a blockade and an IV. In January 2021, she did an MRI of the spine and the diagnosis was fully confirmed. This is high professionalism, which is already an infrequent phenomenon. Other doctors have argued that a diagnosis cannot be made without an MRI. I am very grateful to Valery Vladimirovich for real help and I wish him HEALTH!
To accurately determine the cause of the headache, a comprehensive examination is necessary. The doctor of the clinic "Health Workshop" in St. Petersburg will examine, interview the patient and make the correct diagnosis. You will help the doctor if you describe the nature of the pain, remember when it appeared. We use the following diagnostic methods:
Doctors at the Masterskaya Zdorovya clinics in St. Petersburg have been treating headaches with conservative methods for more than 14 years. Conservative treatment helps relieve headaches and stops the progression of the disease.
The doctor draws up a course of treatment individually for each patient. The course takes into account the cause of pain, age, gender and characteristics of the patient's body. The patient undergoes procedures 2-3 times a week. The treatment will take 3 to 6 weeks. The course is composed of the following procedures:
Headache treatment in the “Workshop of Health” relieves spasms of blood vessels in the brain. The procedures improve blood circulation and metabolic processes, and normalize blood pressure. Headache attacks are less frequent or disappear altogether. The patient's immunity is strengthened and the state of health improves. After the end of the course of treatment, the doctor will advise what else to do to get rid of the headache.
To prevent headaches, doctors advise:
- go in for sports: aerobics, swimming, jogging, yoga;
- spend more time outdoors. Lack of oxygen causes headaches;
- take breaks from work, do not overexert yourself;
- drink 1.5-2 liters of water a day to avoid dehydration;
- drink less tea and coffee, give up alcoholic beverages, cigarettes;
- sleep 7-8 hours a day;
- do not give in to panic, avoid stress;
- eat less sweet and fatty foods, smoked foods;
- exclude spices: cardamom, red pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon.
5 stages of treatment in the "Health Workshop"
Consultation by phone
The medical consultant will ask about the symptoms, select the right doctor, tell you about the cost of the procedures and make an appointment for the first appointment.
Online doctor consultation
Do you need a consultation from a neurologist, orthopedist or rheumatologist, but there is no way to come to the clinic? Doctors of the "Health Workshop" are ready to conduct an online consultation.
Appointment with a neurologist or orthopedist
from 30 to 40 minutes
We offer a full-fledged examination by a neurologist or orthopedist, during which the doctor will conduct an examination, collect anamnesis, study the results of the study or prescribe a diagnosis, and make a preliminary diagnosis.
Diagnosis and treatment in one day
To quickly achieve the result and organize maximum patient safety, we carry out diagnostics and prescribe complex procedures. A patient in one day can undergo several procedures from the course of treatment.
Take off the sharp pain
After the examination, the doctor will carry out procedures to relieve acute pain. You will feel significant relief on the day you visit the clinic.
Doctors of the clinic go home
Doctors of the highest, first and second categories work in the “Workshop of Health”. Our specialists have 5 to 40 years of experience in the treatment of diseases of the spine and joints. The doctor draws up a course of treatment, taking into account the profession and lifestyle of the patient, the trauma and operations suffered. The clinic's orthopedists and neurologists regularly attend refresher courses and study professional literature.
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In the life of anyone, someday there comes a moment of acquaintance with painful sensations in the head, when the temples and forehead hurt, and also nauseous and throws from side to side. Someone gets to know her in childhood, some at an older age. Basically, people do not pay due attention to such ailments, taking it for granted. The question "why does the head hurt?" often goes unanswered and even ignored.
Indeed, in 80% of cases, discomfort does not pose a threat to the patient's life, but there is still 20% (!), And this number includes cases when pain indicates the presence of serious pathologies. If your head hurts regularly, this review will tell you what to do.
Headache in scientific circles is called cephalalgia. A similar term is often found when characterizing the causes of a huge number of diseases. This type of pain syndrome cannot be considered a specific disease, but a symptom of any disease. Why does the head often hurt? The answer is simple: 99% of all known pathologies can be considered the causes of cephalalgia.
Do you know what ...
- Complaints such as “headache and nausea” are most common among general practitioners and therapists. About 70% of doctor visits are related to this problem.
- Children also suffer from pain syndrome. By the age of 7, 40% of children complain of pain, and by the age of 15, up to 75%.
- About 10% of people suffer from recurrent migraines, but only one quarter of them see a doctor. The rest suffer pain in the head area, which leads to complications.
There are no receptors in the brain tissues. The reasons that hurt in the temples or in the head as a whole are sprains, spasms, damage to blood vessels, membranes or muscles located in the skull and next to it.
- Many medications provoke painful sensations in the head. Read the instructions for use carefully! Even safe paracetamol can cause complications.
- Cephalalgia associated with hypertension is much less common than most high blood pressure patients believe. Many people complain that they are nauseous (the main causes of nausea and headache are described here), and the discomfort is concentrated in the head and temples.
- When there is discomfort in the temples, disorders that are not associated with the brain at all are to blame. For example, dental problems, eye diseases and other causes.
- Office workers most often complain of cephalalgia due to a sedentary lifestyle.
Treatment and examination in case of headache is always carried out by a neurologist.
To determine why it hurts in various areas of the head, it is necessary to identify its type by the accompanying symptoms. The nature of the symptoms can be very different. If you have a headache, a pain in your temples, a feeling as if you are sick, and all this is accompanied by dizziness, then the situation can be dangerous to your health.
Experts share cephalalgia for several potential reasons:
In connection with a change in diameter, deformation or inflammation of blood vessels in the head, squeezing, pulsating symptoms appear, which is difficult to get rid of. Patients say they feel nauseous and complain of dizziness. The first place among the causes is secondary hypertension or essential hypertension. If you feel sick and have a headache, this may be due to an increase in blood pressure, which causes deformation of the blood vessels. How to get rid of such problems? Simple Paracetamol will hardly help.
With a decrease in pressure indicators, the patient is tormented by dull, constricting and pulsating sensations that spread to the head area, as well as passing into the temples, the affected area and the nature of the symptoms can be very diverse. Why else can such a syndrome appear in the head? The reasons for the appearance of discomfort in the head or temples can be venous insufficiency, atherosclerosis, discirculatory encephalopathy, vegetative-vascular dystonia.
Such pathologies in the head can cause discomfort in the back of the head (the pain in the back of the head is described here), temples, the frontal part of the head and even the neck, patients feel sick, there are complaints of dizziness and acute pulsations in different areas. , it is necessary to accurately identify the underlying disease. If a head hurts, a number of diagnostic measures are usually prescribed:
- delivery of a blood test;
- constant monitoring of blood pressure readings;
- X-ray of the cervical spine;
- computed tomography of the brain;
- MRI of the brain and cervical spine;
- examination of the fundus.
It should be remembered that the examination and treatment will always be prescribed by a doctor, therefore, to solve the problem in your particular case, you should consult a neurologist.
Sometimes paracetamol and other anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed to relieve headaches, which work together with drugs that help control pressure and get rid of discomfort in the head area. Nootropics are widely used to improve metabolism in the head and blood circulation (described here). In hypertensive crises, antihypertensive drugs are prescribed, and herbal medicines are also systematically used.
Patients complain of pulsations and cramps in the head. The same person may report that he has a pounding at the temples, pressure is felt in the back of the head and forehead and other areas with varying intensity. Getting rid of pain in these areas is difficult.
Often, psychogenic symptoms are accompanied by a change in heartbeat, increased sweating, tremors and a feeling of shortness of breath, nausea.
Irregular mood swings, accompanied by depression, also indicate the presence of a disorder. The head may suffer, especially in the occiput and temples, more severely in the morning or evening. How to get rid of such problems? To block crises and feelings of anxiety, tranquilizers of the benzodiazepine group are prescribed with shortened periods of use, anti-inflammatory drugs like Paracetamol usually do not help. If a psychological disorder occurs against an affective background, long-term treatment with antidepressants is prescribed, sometimes together with Paracetamol.
All drugs after diagnosis are prescribed by a neurologist.
If the back of the head hurts with migraines, the reasons and what to do need to be determined as a matter of priority. Basically, a painful focus is formed in the back of the head, the pain sometimes spreads further, the head, temples and even the neck suffer. Patients notice a sharp deterioration in vision, complain of severe dizziness, accompanied by fainting, and that they are nauseous, and the head hurts very badly. At the same time, the causes of pain in the back of the head and temples are very difficult to explain. How to get rid of such a headache? Initially, the doctor simply talks with the patient to identify the nature of the symptomatology, determine when it begins, how long it lasts, where it is localized (the back of the head, temples, or the whole head) and under what conditions it manifests itself. After this, an examination is carried out, in which the occipital area is of priority. If necessary, instrumental and laboratory techniques are prescribed. All this will help get rid of symptoms in the future. Laboratory tests include:
- Complete blood count to identify and localize the inflammatory process.
- Analysis of cerebrospinal fluid. The state of the fluid in the spinal cord is being clarified.
Instrumental diagnostic methods are more informative in the diagnosis of cephalalgia, concentrated in the back of the head, temples and other areas. As a rule, the whole head suffers. One or more methods are assigned:
- ultrasound procedure;
Doctors prescribe analgesics and paracetamol to help relieve symptoms. The therapeutic plan can only be medication, but in some situations, surgical intervention is possible. It all depends on the nature and reasons.
Frequent headaches require the elimination of many irritating factors - nervous shocks, inadequate colleagues, rude neighbors, etc. At the same time, household or work moments can be eliminated only during the vacation, by going or flying somewhere. Upon return, everything piles on with renewed vigor, few people can maintain a positive attitude. Therefore, it will be useful in such a situation to drink soothing herbal preparations, use an aroma lamp with mint before going to bed, make it a habit to walk for an hour in the fresh air before going to bed, you can take a pleasant companion or a dog with you.
Cluster pain is expressed by the fact that traditional pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs like Paracetamol do not work.
Patients suffer from systematic attacks of cephalalgia, sometimes they feel sick. The intensity makes patients think only about how to get rid of discomfort when there is discomfort in the back of the head, temples and in general in the head. Suddenly onset migraine cycles with increased intensity are considered clustered, they can be localized in the back of the head, temples and, in general, the head. Men are more susceptible to such diseases. KGB (cluster headaches) are divided into chronic and episodic (irregular migraines lasting more than a month). Attacks are classified by time, by number per day and by origin, it is also important to determine the localization sites (headache, back of the head or temples). After the diagnosis is made, therapeutic therapy is prescribed. It is found out what are the accompanying problems. For example, if you have a headache and nausea, then some type of treatment will be needed to get rid of these problems. The whole range of measures is usually aimed at reducing the intensity and frequency of episodes, as well as relieving pain in the back of the head, temples and other areas.
To get rid of pain in the head, the following are used: triptans - for migraines, ergotamites - pain relievers, lidocaine - for immediate relief of acute pain, it is also possible to use Paracetamol. Oxygen inhalation is also used. In addition to drug treatment, massages, courses of acupuncture and warming up based on paraffin are prescribed.
These include cases when there is pain in the back of the head, temples or the entire head caused by changes in infectious diseases due to a general disruption of the normal functioning of the body during inflammatory processes associated with injuries, low physical activity and other factors. Sometimes a Paracetamol tablet is enough to relieve symptoms, but more often you have to resort to complex methods of treatment to get rid of pathologies. After all, the head can be the site of the development of a variety of diseases.
The medicine cabinet should contain one of the commonly available anti-inflammatory pain relievers. Paracetamol for headaches helps to get rid of cephalalgia and pain in the head; it is a safe drug that can be taken by both pregnant women and children. Ibuprofen, along with Paracetamol, is considered one of the safest anti-inflammatory with a minimum of side effects.If the pain is short-lived, and is not localized in the back of the head and temples with increased intensity, then in order to get rid of the symptoms, you can turn to simple traditional medicine:
- Brew lemon balm and chamomile tea. It will also help if you also feel sick with pain.
- Rosemary tea and mint leaves reduce nervous tension.
- Apply a warm compress of sea salt solution to forehead and temples.
Self-medication and treatment with alternative methods at home should be discontinued if there is a suspicion of a more serious illness or in cases where the use of pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs does not bring relief. If you have a headache and nausea, it is better to seek advice.
After undergoing a rehabilitation course and improving their condition, many clients return to their old habits. Simple Paracetamol is used, it helps when there is a pain in the back of the head or temples, or the whole head. To get rid of relapses, you should listen to the recommendations of doctors:
- Follow proper nutrition or diet;
- Remove caffeine from the diet;
- Limit tobacco and alcohol use;
- Drink at least 2 liters of clean water per day;
- Adhere to a normal routine;
- Be outdoors regularly;
- Get rid of stress and nervous breakdowns.
Uncontrolled intake of painkillers leads to the appearance of an abusal headache - a paradoxical back reaction to taking an analgesic. With an abusal headache, the discomfort is not eliminated, but only intensifies. This happens when taking NSAIDs, analgin more often than 20 days a month. The group of sumatriptans used for migraine pains does not give such an effect.
If the doctor deems it necessary, he can prescribe medications for preventive therapy to help relieve pain in the head area. Some of them are not dangerous, and some are manifestations of diseases that require attention. Contact a specialist at the first signs of discomfort. The doctor will help you understand why your head hurts, get rid of symptoms and avoid possible worsening of the condition.
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Persistent headaches are a common reason for patients to turn to neurologists at the Yusupov Hospital. People are worried about headaches in the evening, in the morning after sleep, which do not go away after taking painkillers, at night. Frequent headaches in men can occur in the presence of pathology of cerebral vessels or brain neoplasms.
Persistent headache is an indication for a comprehensive examination of the patient. Neurologists carry out instrumental analyzes using the latest equipment from the world's leading manufacturers. Analyzes are performed by experienced laboratory technicians. Patients are consulted by candidates and doctors of medical sciences. Leading experts in the field of headache treatment collegially develop tactics for managing patients whose headache does not go away for several days.
Non-pathological causes of daily headaches
The activity of the brain is disrupted with minor violations of blood supply, metabolism, innervation. Night headaches occur for the following reasons:
- lack of oxygen;
- high temperature in the bedroom;
- drinking alcohol in the evening;
Healthy sleep depends on bedding and posture. On a high pillow, the cervical spine bends strongly. Even in the absence of discomfort in sleep, muscle tension occurs, and cerebral blood flow is disrupted. Sleeping without a pillow can also cause pain in the head and neck. Substandard fabric dyes and fabric conditioners used to wash bedding often contain harmful ingredients that cause breathing problems and headaches in the morning.
Overstrain of the brain is caused by experiences, intense mental activity in the evening. At night he cannot shut down. The patient cannot sleep, often wakes up. After waking up, there is discomfort, pain in the head, fatigue. He has morning headaches.
Pathological causes of headache
Oxygen is a common cause of nighttime headaches. It can be caused by abnormalities in the nasal passages and diseases of the respiratory tract. Nighttime headaches occur after sleep apnea.
Blood supply to the brain is impaired with hypotension. The outflow of venous blood worsens due to a decrease in the tone of the intracranial veins. In the morning, the patient feels in the head.
With arterial hypertension during sleep, blood pressure may rise. The reason is the patient's age, disturbed sleep and rest patterns. Violated vascular tone in diseases of the thyroid gland, heart. Nocturnal hypertension is dangerous for the development of heart failure and stroke. The headache occurs at night or in the morning.
Stress, anxiety, mental trauma affect the central nervous system and change the tone of blood vessels. This provokes an increase in blood pressure, irritation of pain receptors in the walls of blood vessels. Night headaches that arise under the influence of psychogenic factors are varied in nature. They are accompanied by irritability, palpitations and are not relieved by analgesics.
Diseases of the cervical spine and temporomandibular joint can provoke a nighttime headache. With back pain, a person is forced to take an uncomfortable position, which causes spasms of the neck muscles. They cause headaches.
Failure to comply with the dosage of hypoglycemic drugs, refusal of dinner in diabetes mellitus ends with a sharp decrease in blood glucose levels and severe headache. Histamine disease is characterized by prolonged bouts of acute headache in the eye socket in the evening and at night.
In the presence of neoplasms of the brain, patients complain of night and morning headaches. As the disease progresses, it increases. The head hurts when changing position, the patient's hands become numb.
Throbbing morning headaches are felt with migraines. They often intensify when the light is turned on, accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Persistent headaches that bother the patient at night and during the day are characteristic of brain infections.
Attacks of cluster (beam) headache are paroxysmal and are difficult for patients to bear. Pain has the following characteristics:
- localized in the eye area;
- gives to the forehead, temple, cheek;
- accompanied by lacrimation, sweating of the forehead, rush of blood to the face;
- more acutely felt in the supine position of the patient;
- starts and ends suddenly.
Nighttime headache begins for no reason between 9:00 pm and 9:00 am. The peak of pain occurs at night, from zero to three hours. Attacks occur cyclically, followed by painless periods. Seizures are seen mainly in men. Pain occurs after drinking alcohol.
At risk are men whose relatives suffer from cluster pain. The risk of developing a pain attack increases with head injuries, migraines, sleep disorders, mental and physical strain. Neurologists include the following possible causes of cluster headache:
- hypothalamic anomalies;
- pathology of the blood vessels;
- failure of circadian rhythms.
Patients at home relieve an acute attack with lidocaine nasal drops. For symptomatic therapy, neurologists prescribe special drugs and oxygen inhalations. In difficult cases, electrostimulation of the brain is performed, nerves that cause pain are removed. During the cluster period, doctors recommend giving up alcohol and nicotine.
Neurologists at the Yusupov Hospital determine the cause and type of persistent headache based on the data of the patient's clinical examination, instrumental and laboratory research methods. Doctors of the Neurology Clinic prescribe the following diagnostic procedures:
- ultrasound dopplerography of the vessels of the head and neck;
- diagnostic spinal puncture (if neuroinfection is suspected).
Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging is performed if there is a suspicion of the presence of a mass of the brain. To clarify the state of the cerebral vessels, contrast angiography or multispiral tomography is done.
Treating persistent headache
If the headache is caused by brain hypoxia, doctors prescribe pain relievers, massage of the neck area, and acupuncture. Nighttime headaches caused by psycho-emotional stress go away after massage or rest. To reduce the intensity of pain, sedatives and analgesics are prescribed.
Nocturnal headache caused by hypertension is treated with blood pressure lowering drugs. In this case, the patients of the neurology clinic are consulted by a cardiologist. In infectious diseases, the headache is relieved by pain relievers. Infectionists conduct antibacterial therapy aimed at destroying pathogens. For migraines, sumatriptans are prescribed. To relax the spasmodic vessels, antispasmodics are prescribed.
If there is a suspicion of a tumor nature of night headaches, the patient is consulted by a neurosurgeon. Severe cases of headache are discussed by neurologists at a meeting of an expert council with the participation of professors and doctors of the highest category.
For the prevention of night and morning headaches, it is recommended:
- ventilate the room before going to bed:
- control blood pressure;
- timely identify neurological and infectious diseases;
- to treat pathology of the spine.
In order to reduce the intensity of the night headache, to increase the interval between attacks, it is necessary to play sports, eat right, maintain a sleep and rest regimen, and give up bad habits.
Single episodes of nocturnal headache are relieved by analgesics. If the headache persists for a week, see a neurologist. You can make an appointment by calling the Yusupov Hospital.
Frequent headaches, as well as persistent or severe headaches, are a reason to consult a doctor, especially if symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and weakness are simultaneously observed. If a child often complains of a headache, this should not be ignored by the parents: it is necessary to understand the causes of the headache and exclude the most dangerous diseases.
Headache symptoms and accompanying symptoms
We call headache any pain in the head region, but the mechanism of its occurrence is different. It causes irritation of pain receptors of the dura mater, as well as - vessels, nerves - trigeminal, glossopharyngeal, vagus, skin nerves, head muscles, cervical spinal roots. It can also manifest itself in different ways: it can be dull, pulsating, squeezing, bursting; can concentrate in the forehead, temples (on one or both sides), occiput, crown. Attacks can be severe, moderate, or mild, and vary in duration and frequency. The pain may be accompanied by other symptoms (nausea, vomiting, visual disturbances, dizziness, high or low blood pressure, etc.). All of these characteristics are relevant to the diagnosis.
Distinguish between primary and secondary headache. Pain is considered primary if it is not a concomitant symptom, but is an independent disease. In this case, it is the headache that is the main problem. Secondary headache is one of the manifestations of a disease that is not limited to a headache. A severe headache can be accompanied by infectious diseases, poisoning of various natures (both poisonous substances that enter the body from the outside, and those produced inside the body, for example, toxins that are formed as a result of the activity of viruses and pathogenic microbes in the body). The head can ache as a result of stress, changes in the weather, hypothermia or overheating of the body, with a lack of sleep, hunger, overeating, with a lack of oxygen - everything that leads to a violation of the metabolism necessary for the brain's activity can become the cause.
Thus, if you have a headache, it does not necessarily mean that you are sick: it may just be the result of a random factor. However, if the headache occurs intermittently or persists for a long time, then, most likely, there is some kind of disease. In 95% of such cases, primary headache occurs, and only in 5% of cases - secondary.
Primary headache. Major diseases.
The most common forms of primary headache are "tension pain" and migraine, more rarely - cluster headache and other forms.
Tension headache (HDN) can occur in every person. This is the most common form of headache and is often described as a "normal" or "normal" headache. Attacks can last from 30 minutes to several days. The frequency of seizures varies from person to person, and it can also vary from person to person at different times in their life. The pain is described as squeezing, squeezing the head like a hoop or tight cap, usually bilateral, moderate. In a certain proportion of people, it can become chronic (chronic pain is diagnosed if there are more days with a headache than without it). A person with chronic headache becomes irritable. Weakness, high fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep disturbances can be observed. The cause of HDN is the physical tension of the muscles and ligaments of the head and neck - the so-called "muscle stress", which may be the result, for example, of working in an uncomfortable position. HDN often occurs for those who work at a computer or whose work is associated with the need to peer into details (jewelers, watchmakers, assemblers of electronic equipment, masters of artistic embroidery, etc.). The emotional factor is also important: emotional stress caused by stress or a state of heightened anxiety can also lead to pain.
Migraine characterized by severe and painful attacks of headache, which are often accompanied by nausea (and in some cases, vomiting), as well as intolerance to light and sounds. Perception of smells changes, thermal sensations are disturbed. Migraine attacks last from 4 hours to 3 days and can be repeated with a frequency of 1-2 times a year to several times a month. During an attack, the so-called "harbingers" can be observed - irritability, depression, fatigue, arising several hours or even days before the onset of pain. In a third of cases, pain is preceded by phenomena called "auras": 10-30 minutes before the attack, there may be visual disturbances (blind spots, flashes, zigzag lines in front of the eyes), tingling and numbness, starting from the fingertips and spreading up the body and dr.
The predisposition to migraine is congenital and is associated with abnormalities in the structures of the brain responsible for the conduction of pain and other sensations. Migraine affects one in seven adults, while women are three times more likely than men. In girls, migraines usually begin during puberty.
Factors contributing to the development of migraine attacks: chronic fatigue, anxiety or stress, in women - menstruation, pregnancy and menopause.
But a predisposition to seizures does not mean that an attack will necessarily happen. There are factors that trigger an attack. An attack can be provoked by: skipping food, insufficient fluid intake, some foods, sleep disturbances, physical activity, a change in the weather, a sharp change in emotions.
Cluster (or cluster) headache characterized by one-sided sharp ("dagger" or "boring") pain. The intensity of the pain rapidly increases within 5-10 minutes, and the attack itself lasts from 15 minutes to 3 hours, during which the patient cannot find a place for himself. The pain is usually localized to the eye area, and the eye may turn red and watery. Recurrent attacks form a cluster (that is, follow one another), the duration of the cluster is 6 to 12 weeks. This form of pain is five times more common in men than in women. At the same time, those who smoke a lot or smoked in the past are more susceptible to it.
Secondary headache and diseases in which it occurs
In general, the primary headache, although it disrupts the normal course of life during the period of attacks, does not carry serious consequences for the general state of human health. And secondary pain, despite the fact that it occurs much less often (in 5% of cases), can be the result of a dangerous disease.
Headache is necessarily present among the symptoms of the following diseases:
- vegetative-vascular dystonia (headaches can be combined with dizziness, nausea, fluctuations in blood pressure);
- hypertension (pain is mainly localized in the occipital region, there may be dizziness, noise in the head, "flies" in front of the eyes, fever in the head, pain in the heart);
- traumatic brain injury;
- eye diseases (eg glaucoma);
- diseases of the ear and nasopharynx (otitis media, sinusitis);
- renal failure;
- oncological diseases.
When should you see a doctor for a headache?
Many people choose to just take popular pain relievers and not see a doctor. However, self-medication can lead to overuse of such drugs, which can cause gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, as well as chronic abuse headache caused precisely by taking medication. In addition, without passing a medical examination, you can miss the development of a dangerous disease. And the momentary effect obtained with the help of a random drug will still not be the solution to your problem.
You should definitely consult a doctor:
- if pain occurs for the first time in life (especially important for people over 50);
- with very severe headaches;
- if the pain continues for a long time (more than a week);
- if the intensity of pain increases over time;
- if a headache occurs or worsens after a change in position or a sudden movement of the head;
- if there are cases of loss of consciousness, memory impairment, changes in personal qualities;
- if the pain persists after taking antipyretic and pain relievers.
Which doctor should I see if I have a headache?
A complaint about a headache should be addressed, first of all, to a therapist. To make it easier for the doctor to understand your disease, it is advisable to prepare answers to the following questions before visiting the doctor:
- How long has the pain started?
- How often do seizures recur?
- How long do they last?
- How strong is your pain (weak, medium, strong, intolerable)?
- What is its character (pressing, bursting, pulsating)?
- Where is the pain in the head?
- Are there and what are the accompanying symptoms?
- At what point does pain occur (what contributes to its occurrence)?
- Do you manage to relieve pain (prevent attacks) and how do you do it?
- Do your relatives have similar complaints?
We all experience headaches, though not so often. But what if the head hurts constantly, and not three times a month? The reason may be both in lifestyle and in poor health.
How lifestyle affects headaches
If you suffer from regular headaches, pay attention to your habits. Discomfort can come from fatigue, hunger, lack of sleep, overexertion, or stress. To relieve pain, try changing your routine for at least a couple of weeks:
- Go to bed early - a person needs at least 8 hours of sleep to rest. But don't sleep for more than 10 hours. In this case, the oxygen and blood sugar levels will drop and cause headaches.
- If you sit for a long time at books, a computer, or your work is connected with looking at small details, be distracted every half hour. Get up, stretch, do not strain your eyes for at least a couple of minutes.
- Stop drinking alcohol. It affects blood pressure and affects the state of blood vessels in the head.
Try to avoid stressful situations and negative emotions. If your headache isn't caused by illness, then these simple tips can help you avoid it.
To relieve pain, you can take an analgesic (which medicine is right for you, the doctor will help you choose), have a snack, lie down to sleep for half an hour, ventilate the room and do a head massage.
When to see a neurologist
There are very few diseases that affect nerve tissues and the brain. Headache can be caused by:
- Neuralgia of the facial and trigeminal nerves - with it, the nerve fibers are pinched and inflamed, due to which you can constantly feel pain;
- Neoplasms. Both benign and malignant tumors press on blood vessels, increase intracranial pressure. The head hurts only on the side where the tumor is located. The disease can be suspected by a general deterioration of the condition, fever, lethargy and fatigue.
If the causes of the headache are not clear, the neurologist will refer you to an MRI or CT scan of the brain - they will quickly determine the cause of the discomfort. And if everything is in order with the brain itself, a competent neurologist will be able to find the source of the pain and send it to the doctor of the required specialty.
Heart and spine as the cause of pain
Often the head hurts due to problems with the heart and blood vessels. Usually older people are prone to this, but some diseases are common among young people:
- High and low blood pressure. The head hurts when the weather changes, with a sharp rise, dizziness can begin and darken in the eyes. This is due to vascular tension and oxygen starvation of the brain.
- Vascular diseases. With them, the pain lasts for several hours in the eye area, and blood may flow from the nose.
- Sclerosis and pinched vessels are inevitable companions of atherosclerosis and scoliosis. Due to the reduced lumen of the vessels, less oxygen enters the brain, the head begins to ache either over the entire area, or in the back of the head and temples.
- Stroke is a thrombosis or rupture of blood vessels in the brain. Severe dull pain appears, a person can lose mobility on one side of the face or body, and stop distinguishing familiar objects. At the first symptoms of a stroke, it is necessary to urgently call an ambulance - after a few hours, the brain will begin to die.
To detect problems with blood pressure, you just need to monitor your condition. It is no coincidence that at every appointment with a therapist, you must measure your blood pressure. Do not be alarmed if it changes on some day: this is completely normal. But vascular disease can only be seen on MRI of the brain or magnetic resonance angiography. You will be referred for these examinations in order to accurately establish a diagnosis if it did not work out right away.
If you have back problems, it is most likely that your head hurts because of them. Any curvature of posture, an increase in bone tissue on the vertebrae, hernias and protrusions lead to pinching of blood vessels. And because of this, oxygen and nutrients cannot enter the brain, which causes pain, fatigue and drowsiness. Much less often, the pain from the spine radiates to the head. This happens with injuries, hernias and curvatures of the cervical and upper thoracic regions.
Spine problems are dealt with by a neurologist and an orthopedic surgeon. The doctor will pay attention to the curvature of the back, first of all, even on a simple visual examination. To clarify the diagnosis, the doctor may prescribe an X-ray, MRI or CT scan of the damaged spine.
Headache after injury and illness
Pain can be caused by two types of injuries: injuries to the skull and spine. The reason for their discomfort is different:
- With traumatic brain injury, a hematoma is formed, which increases intracranial pressure. It squeezes blood vessels and proximal parts of the brain. If the skull is damaged, debris can get inside and cause bleeding. In this case, the pain occurs some time after the injury. The eyes will darken, dizziness and nausea will begin. There is pain all over the head, but at the site of the injury it is especially strong.
- With spinal injuries, large vessels are clamped, which causes oxygen starvation. If the neck is injured, then the head will ache simply from the proximity of the injury.
In both cases, you must immediately consult a doctor. To clarify the nature and extent of the injury, the doctor can do an X-ray or MRI, but only after the acute phase has passed.
Diseases can affect headache both directly and indirectly:
- Severe infections can lead to inflammation of the brain structures, thinning of the vessel walls, and destruction of the meninges.
- With flu, colds, sore throats, and any other respiratory disease, breathing is disturbed. And because of the smaller amount of incoming air, oxygen starvation and headache begin.
In these conditions, it makes no sense to go to a neurologist complaining of a headache. It is better to tell your doctor about it so that he can analyze the situation, adjust the treatment or refer you to hospitalization.
Are there other possible reasons due to which the head hurts constantly?
Possible and even very likely! Headaches can be caused by:
- Medicines ... For many drugs, pain is listed as a side effect.
- Hormonal disbalance ... It can be both physiological (pregnancy, adolescence, menopause) and pathological (disruption of the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, ovaries). Hormones control our entire body, and when their concentration changes, the state of health will inevitably deteriorate.
- Mental illnesses and pathological conditions ... With neuroses, panic attacks and depression, headaches are not uncommon. Physiologically, they are also caused by hormones and oxygen deprivation, however, to get rid of the pain, you have to cope with mental ailments.
- Constant exposure to allergens can provoke a headache due to nasal congestion (and hence lack of oxygen) and pressure changes.
- Constant exposure to toxic substances causes respiratory distress and irritates mucous membranes.
There may be much more rare diseases, for example, multiple sclerosis or parasite infestation, which lead to the destruction of brain tissue.
At the first visit, the doctor will ask you about everything that may be related to the cause of the pain. Probably will refer you to another specialist: endocrinologist, psychotherapist, allergist. In the case of an incorrectly selected medicine, the doctor will be able to prescribe an analogue without side effects. Diagnostics may require:
- MRI or CT scan of the brain,
- MRI of the cervical spine,
- blood test for hormones,
- general and biochemical blood test,
- tests for allergens.
There are many causes of headaches and can be difficult to identify quickly. However, the diagnostic methods are very similar, and you do not have to spend a lot of time on examinations. And, even if the fifth doctor can cure you, and not the second, getting rid of a constant headache is worth all the time spent on it.