Mild Headache Overview
There are many different causes of headache. The pain in different types of headache varies in intensity, location, and duration. Another important feature that helps distinguish among different types of headache is the quality of the pain -- whether it is sharp, dull, constant, intermittent, or pounding. Additional symptoms may accompany a headache:
All these factors help determine whether or not a headache needs emergency treatment. Ultimately, the cause of the headache is the determining factor in deciding the best treatment.
What Causes Headache?
Headache is caused by irritation or injury to pain-sensing structures of the head. The structures that can sense pain include the scalp, forehead, top of head, the muscles of the neck and head, major arteries and veins in the head, the sinuses, and the tissues that surround the brain. The brain has no sensory nerve endings so the brain itself cannot "hurt."
Headache may occur when these structures suffer compression, spasm, tension, inflammation, or irritation.
Research into the mechanisms of various headache types is ongoing. The causes of mild tension-type headache are not yet completely understood. A common theory involves nerve endings in the head that are irritated by tight muscles in the neck, face, and scalp, along with irritation to the arteries and veins nearby.
The events that trigger mild headache vary widely among people who get headaches. Each person seems to have his or her own pattern. Common headache triggers include:
Other causes of headache include:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017
Mark Langdorf, MD
Aaron Bright, MD
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