Causes of Headache


A headache is defined as “a pain or ache in the head…It accompanies many diseases and conditions, including emotional distress.”1

Headaches are one of the most common symptoms that can be experienced. Most people will experience a headache at some point of their lives. They can affect anyone regardless of age and gender.

Primary Headache: Primary headaches are stand alone illnesses which are caused directly by the overactivity of, or problems with, structures in the head that are pain-sensitive. This includes the blood vessels, muscles and nerves of the head and neck, as well as chemical activity taking place inside the brain.

Primary headaches can occur when pain-sensitive structures in the head do not work properly.

Common primary headaches include migraines, cluster headaches and tension headaches.

There are other types of headache that are considered to be primary headaches, although on occasion they can be symptoms of another illness and, therefore, secondary conditions. These headaches can be categorized under the following associations:

  • Direct physical stimuli, such as temperature and external pressure
  • Pain over the scalp (epicranial)
  • Physical exertion
  • Other miscellaneous headaches.

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