Other Headaches

1.   Analgesic Rebound Headaches

These headaches occur when over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol, Excedrin, aspirin or prescription ergotamines or triptans are taken more than 2-3 days per week for treatment of headaches. These headaches are described as a daily dull ache that is caused by sensitization of the trigeminal nerve.

2.   Caffeine-Withdrawal Headache

These headaches occur through sensitization of the trigeminal nerve as well and may be described as a mild to moderate aching to throbbing pain. The amount of caffeine necessary to cause a headache depends upon the sensitivity of the individual.

Diagram – Headaches

3.   Sinus Headache

Contrary to what is believed, sinus headaches are relatively uncommon. Most headaches experienced around the sinus area are caused by tension or migraine headaches. Sinus headaches do occur during acute infection of the sinus lining. This is indicated by nasal discharge and stuffiness.

4.   Post-Traumatic Headache

These occur when the lining of the brain is disrupted due to impact with the skull. This can occur with a direct head trauma but has also occurred in a whiplash injury. It is often felt as a throbbing pain and can be accompanied by neurological symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, memory difficulties, or concentration problems. These headaches usually just take time to improve.

5.   Cluster Headache

This accounts for less than 1% of headaches. It is 6 times more prevalent in men than women. There is also an increased incidence among smokers and manic-depressives. It is a very intense unilateral pain often described as feeling like a hot-poker being thrust from the back of the head in behind the eye. It is often associated with other symptoms such as nasal drip, redness and tearing of the eye, and sweating on the affected side.

The pain tends to come on quickly in periodic intervals of 4-8 weeks of attacks and remission. Most attacks occur at night and alcohol is the most common trigger for cluster headaches. Besides medications, physical exertion and ice can provide relief for these headaches.