Headache can be defined as pain in the region of the Head and Neck. According to International Headache Society, Headache is a non-specific symptom. Thus, Headache can occur because of a number of reasons.
According to International Headache Society, Headache is classified into two types as follows :
- Primary Headaches include tension-type Headaches, Migraines, Trigeminal Neuralgias, Exertion, cough and Sexual Headaches etc.
- Secondary Headaches include Headaches caused due to trauma to Neck or Head, Vascular Injury, Inflammation, increased Cerebrospinal fluid, Drug Overuse etc. In Secondary Headaches etiology (reason) is more important that the Symptoms
NIH classification of Headaches classifies Headaches as :
Classification by International Headache Society is accepted by the WHO.
In our Body Brain doesn’t have Pain receptors (nociceptors) itself. However Head and Neck region around the Brain has got these receptors at nine positions. These are Cranium, Nerves, Muscles, Arteries, Veins, Mucus membranes, Subcutaneous tissue, Eyes, Ears and Sinuses. When an underlying cause like trauma or ischemia affects these Receptors, Headache is perceived.
Some people have low levels of Endorphins (natural pain killer inside Nervous System) and suffers Headache more frequently.
People who take excessive Pain Killers can suffer Headache paradoxically.
Headache is treated by first ruling out the cause then treating that cause. However it mostly involves symptomatic treatment by analgesics.