Headaches are one of the most common medical complaints — nearly everyone gets a headache at some point. Over 45 million Americans (about one in six) suffer chronic headaches each year. Headaches therefore have a big economic impact — when you have a throbbing pain in your head, it’s hard to work. The cost of these headaches in absenteeism and medical expenses is estimated as high as $50 billion per year.
A headache is a pain sensed in the nerves and muscles of the head and neck, as well as the meninges (the membranous coverings of the brain and spinal cord). Your brain itself cannot sense pain, so a headache has nothing to do with your brain hurting. It is really a pain somewhere around your brain, being picked up by nerve endings located in your head.
There are two main reasons why people get headaches, and doctors therefore classify headaches into two broad categories: primary and secondary. – Primary headaches are not associated with any underlying medical condition. – Secondary headaches are associated with medical conditions like infections, fever, head injury, hypoglycemia, tumors, dental conditions or increased pressure in the skull and/or sinuses (sinus headaches).
There are three main causes for primary headaches:
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