Other Types Of Headaches: The List Goes On...

The list of the types of headaches is huge and can go on and on. Some common types of headaches which you should know about are...

Whiplash injury headache:
A whiplash injury headache may occur if the neck experiences a sudden bending forward and then backward motion, or vice versa. This usually happens during an automobile accident.

The commonest symptom experienced by a whiplash injury patient is neck pain followed by a headache. The headache can often be more severe than the neck pain. The headache can be felt all over the head or at the back of the head, or even in the forehead or behind the eyes.

Patients feel that heat improves their condition whereas cold worsens it. Neck movement becomes quite uncomfortable and is accompanied by shoulder pain. The inflammation in the neck muscles and the irritation of the nerves that go from the neck to the head are attributed as possible causes for whiplash injury headache.

It is also seen that women suffer more from whiplash injury headache compared to men.

There is no definitive treatment prescribed as such for whiplash injury headache. However, it is seen that apart from anti-inflammatory tablets, even physical therapy and acupuncture can be useful in treating it.

Medication overuse headache/analgesic rebound headache:
It is quite ironical but the medicines used to relieve the pain of migraine or tension-type headache, if taken on a regular basis, can actually lead to a headache. Again, even this problem is more common in women than in men.

It happens because we pop a pill for even the slightest of headaches. Over time, the body gets used to these medicines. A vicious circle develops where you are popping pills to prevent the headache and these pills only make your headache worse.

It is usually medications like codeine, paracetamol, anti-inflammatory medications, triptans and others taken for the treatment of migraine which are the culprit. Medicines taken for other diseases or conditions do not qualify as causing dependence.

The only treatment for this kind of a headache is to stop taking the medicines completely. Although initially this will result in withdrawal symptoms like nausea and vomiting, it is important to keep off them so that your condition starts improving in a few days.

This should be done under the supervision of the doctor and if the need be hospitalization may also become necessary required in certain cases.

Exertional headaches:
This category comprises of headaches which start due to intense and strenuous physical activity like weightlifting or even sexual intercourse. They signal abnormalities in the brain or other diseases. There is severe pain for a few minutes which is then replaced by a dull, aching pain which can last for hours together.

  They can occur whenever the activity is repeated. Life becomes quite difficult because even quite simple activities like running, coughing, sneezing and even straining with bowel movements can trigger these headaches.

The tests that need to be done to confirm this headache include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Magnetic Resonance Angiogram (MRA) of the blood vessels in the brain. Hence, any headache following a strenuous activity should be investigated for the possibility of an exertional headache.

Giant cell arteritis (GCA)/temporal arteritis:
This is basically an inflammation of the lining of the arteries leading to headaches, jaw pain, blurred or double vision, fever, loss of appetite, joint and muscle pain and then as the disease progresses, blindness or even stroke.

It usually affects people older than 50 and those who run a family risk of the disease, especially North European women. Pneumonia and parvovirus have also been labeled as precipitating the disease. Those with arthritis are more at risk for GCA.

It is the arteries carrying blood which get inflamed and swell and hence lead to GCA. The pain is most often felt in the temples.

As soon as GCA is confirmed, regular supervision of the doctor and religious following of the treatment is necessary in order to prevent the development of any kind of complications, especially stroke and blindness.

Read more about other types of headaches.

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