Headache is a pain in any region of the head. Headaches may occur on one or both sides of the head, be isolated to a certain location, radiate across the head from one point, or have a viselike quality.
A headache may appear as a sharp pain, a throbbing sensation or a dull ache. Headaches can develop gradually or suddenly and may last from less than an hour to several days.
A primary headache is caused by overactivity of or problems with pain-sensitive structures in your head. A primary headache isn’t a symptom of an underlying disease.
Chemical activity in your brain, the nerves or blood vessels surrounding your skull, or the muscles of your head and neck (or some combination of these factors) can play a role in primary headaches. Some people may also carry genes that make them more likely to develop such headaches.
The most common primary headaches are:
1. Cluster headache
3. Migraine with aura
4. Tension headache
5. Trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias (TAC), such as cluster headache and paroxysmal hemicrania
A few headache patterns also are generally considered types of a primary headache but are less common. These headaches have distinct features, such as an unusual duration or pain associated with a certain activity.
Although generally considered primary, each could be a symptom of an underlying disease. They include:
1. Chronic daily headaches (for example, chronic migraine, chronic tension-type headache, or hemicranias continua)
2. Cough headaches
3. Exercise headaches
4. Sex headaches