Diagnosis and Symptoms
Cluster & TACs
Cluster and Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalalgias (TACs) Headache: a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent, severe headaches on one side of the head. Eye-watering, nasal congestion, and swelling of and around the eye often accompany the headache and are confined to the side with the pain. Individuals typically experience repeated attacks.
Hemicrania Headache: a chronic and persistent form of headache marked by continuous pain that varies in severity and always occurs on the same side of the head.
Medication Overuse Headache
Medication Overuse Headache: also known as a rebound headache, usually occurs when analgesics are taken frequently to relieve headaches. They can occur daily and be very painful. They typically occur in people who have another underlying headache disorder (such as migraine or tension headaches) that are transforming from intermittent occurences to long-term ones due to an excess of headache relief medications.
Migraine: a chronic neurological disorder that can cause intense throbbing or a pulsing sensation in one area of the head. It is commonly accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound, and is made worse by physical activity. These headaches typically affect one half of the head and may last from 2 to 72 hours. Some migraine sufferers report an aura, or a visual, sensory, language, or motor disturbance that acts as a signal that a migraine will soon occur. Migraines are caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors and typically affect more women than men. Please visit our Migraine Center of Excellence for more details.
New Daily Persist Headache
New Daily Persist Headache (NDPH): a headache that has many symptoms in common with other headaches. NDPH is constant and and daily, but unlike the hemicrania headache, it occurs on both sides of the head. It is not aggravated by physical activity, but it may be accompanied by sensitivity to light or sound, or mild nausea. While treatable, the condition may persist for years.
Occipital Neuralgia: also known as C2 neuralgia or Arnold’s neuralgia, is a type of headache that generally begins in the neck and then spreads up through the back of the head, causing throbbing, piercing pain. This pain may be felt behind the eyes and be accompanied by sensitivity to light. It is caused by injury or irritation to the occipital nerves, which travel up from where the spine connects with the neck to the back of the head. Trauma to the back of the head or nerves compressed by swollen or tight neck muscles are the most common causes of this type of headache. Pressure on the occipital nerves can result in a worsening of symptoms, and physical tension often triggers an attack.
Spinal Headache: a complication that occurs after a spinal tap or spinal anesthesia, or an unintentional puncture during another procedure. They are caused by leakage of spinal fluid through a puncture hole in the membrane that surrounds the spinal cord. This leakage decreases the pressure exerted by the spinal fluid on the brain and spinal cord, which leads to a headache. The pain can be dull and throbbing to quite intense, and typically gets worse when the sufferer sits up. Laying down decreases the pain. Spinal headaches usually resolve themselves on their own with no treatment.
Tension Headache: the most common headache. Pain can radiate from the lower back of the head, the neck, the eyes, or other muscle groups in the body. Tension headaches are not normally associated with nausea, sensitivity to light, or vomiting, and physical activity does not make the signs worse – which distinguishes this type of headache from a migraine.
Thunderclap Headache: a headache that has a sudden onset and is severe in nature. It takes seconds to reach maximum intensity and often indicates a number of other medical problems. Most significant among those is subarachnoid hemorrhage, which can be life-threatening.