Common Headache Conditions
At Reed Migraine Centers we treat all types of severe headaches and head pain that occurs on a consistent and frequent basis.
Migraine headaches rank as the second most common type of headache. People often attribute any type of recurring, severe headache to a migraine condition. However, there are many common headache conditions with various symptoms and causes.
Migraine and Intractable Migraine
Migraine symptoms are quite specific and can include moderate to severe pain, sensitivity to light, noises or odors, blurred vision, nausea or vomiting, upset stomach, abdominal pain, appetite loss, warm or cold sensations, paleness, fatigue, dizziness, and the pain can shift sides or encompass the whole head. Intractable migraines are frequent and severe in nature and do not respond to conventional methods of treatment.
Migraines can affect children and adolescents, as well as adults. Before puberty, migraines affect girls and boys equally. After puberty, women are approximately 67 percent more susceptible than men to migraines. Pediatric migraines often last longer than in adults and affect both sides of the head, whereas adults are often affected on one side only.
Similar to pediatric migraines, adolescents commonly experience migraines which last longer than adult migraines. Adolescent migraines are also experienced bilaterally.
Tension Headaches are the most common type of primary headache, characterized by pain that wraps around the head causing a feeling of pressure. These headaches are commonly caused by stress, as well as noises and bright lights. Most people experiencing tension headaches will notice increasing intensity with time and pain originating in the back of the head (occipital) moving to the front of the head (supraorbital). Other notable causes include interrupted sleep cycles and depression.
The cluster headache is often experienced in cycles. Affecting men more frequently than women, these rapid onset headaches come in waves lasting from 15 minutes to three hours and may display increasing intensity with each “cluster.” Excruciating pain is felt behind the eyes and sinuses, unilaterally, on one side of the head. Cluster headaches can be frequent or infrequent.
New Daily Persistent Headache (NDPH)
NDPHs are chronic with daily onset and usually manifest bilaterally on both sides of the head. The pain may be unremitting from onset or rapidly build up to a continuous state of unremitting pain.
Occipital neuralgia is characterized by chronic pain in the upper neck, back of the head and behind the eyes. Pain originates from the lesser and greater occipital nerves in the back of the head and upper neck. Headaches most often manifest in the back of the head, as well as around or over the top of the head. The cause of this condition is attributed to damage to the occipital nerves and is commonly treated by nerve blocks, injections or peripheral nerve stimulation.
Supraorbital neuralgia is caused by damage or abnormal function of the supraorbital nerves located just above each eye. Pain is localized to the lower forehead, but may include areas of the upper forehead and scalp. Chronic headaches are often a result of this condition, which may be treated by nerve blocks, injections or peripheral nerve stimulation, among others.
Neuropathic Pain of the Head and Trigeminal Neuralgia
Neuropathic pain is a result of a disorder of the nervous system and is often chronic. Trigeminal neuralgia, a type of neuropathic pain, has a sudden and intense onset, with sharp, shooting pain in areas of the face, head and neck. There are usually specific triggers for this type of pain. Patients are often unable to perform simple everyday activities for fear of triggering onset.
Chronic Pain Syndrome
Chronic pain syndrome of the head and neck can result in severe chronic headaches. These headaches, which have underlying vascular or neurological causes, are often misdiagnosed as tension, cluster or migraine headaches.
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
Also called complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), RSD is characterized by intense chronic pain that is not in proportion to the apparent injury which caused the disorder. Pain associated with RSD usually gets worse over time. The causes of this condition are unclear.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
Also called reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), CRPS is characterized by intense chronic pain that is not in proportion to the apparent injury which caused the disorder. Pain associated with RSD usually gets worse over time. The causes of this condition are unclear.