Types of Headache: Traction Headache


Traction headaches happen when the nerve fibers are pulled, stretched or displaced. It feels as if a strong pressure is being applied to the head. Although there are no pressure sensory nerve fibers in the brain tissue, but when a foreign substance like a tumor or a haematoma is present, it presses against the structures within the skull. This causes a traction headache. In this case, the only option is surgical removal of the cause.

Traction headaches may be caused by other factors as well, like cysts and aneurysms in the brain.

One of the most common reasons leading to the development of traction headache is the squinting action of a person suffering from poor eyesight. The repeated squinting can lead to the developing of traction headaches.

The pain in a traction headache may also happen due to leakage after a lumbar puncture (a diagnostic test). Or because of an obstruction in the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid.

Traction headaches involve the whole head and can turn out to be quite severe. It feels as if they are deep-seated. They become worse even with simple movements like coughing or changing your position. They can improve during the course of the day but, if they recur they can trouble you for hours.

Occasionally, a high temperature might develop along with the headache. In that case, it is extremely important to analyze the underlying causes. There might be some very rare symptoms but if present, they must be taken quite seriously. These symptoms include skin rash, especially a purple one, severe stiff neck, unconsciousness, visual problems and vomiting, especially when it bears no relation to food or nausea. There might also be sensitivity to light as happens in the case of migraine.

Traction headaches are potentially serious and should be referred to the doctor at the earliest for treatment.