HEADACHE & MIGRAINE CAUSES:
There are many known causes of headaches and migraines and many more triggers which set off attacks.
'Causes'- refers to conditions which pre-exist and can make an individual more susceptible to a headache or a migraine
Common causes of Headache and Migraine
Nose and Throat Pain & conditions such as Sinusitis.
Ear Pain & problems such as ear infections.
Dental & Jaw Pain & conditions such as dental caries, occlusion problems.
Neck Pain & problems such as whiplash, postural strain, myofascial triggers.
Eye Pain & problems such as eyestrain, glaucoma, short sightedness etc.
Nerve Pain & brain conditions such as tumours and nerve inflammation.
Food Triggers & poor dietary habits such as eating irregularly affects blood sugar levels.
'Triggers' usually refers to factors which make an attack of head-pain start and is often used in the literature when referring to migraines.
Read more about common headache and migraine triggers:
Common food triggers are wine, chocolate, cheese.
Common environmental triggers are heat, bright light, loud noise.
Menstrual - it is thought that hormonal fluctuation is more a 'predisposing' cause.
Many other factors have been cited as triggers. The best way to identify triggers is to keep a headache/ migraine diary. The best way to identify causes and address them is to see an appropriate health professional.
Treatments should always account for a combination of 'Causes' and 'Triggers'
It is common to see a combination of these 'Ingredients'. Read More about Combined treatment approach. Your Health Professional should take any/ all of these into account and refer where necessary to experts in related fields.
You can read all about the different factors which can contribute to headaches and migraines by clicking on the various sections of the head slider sections on the home page (which comes up when you first see this web-site); for convenience they are all referred to as 'causes'.
This is because the vast majority of headaches and migraines have more than one cause / or 'trigger' involved, and it is easier to put them all together as 'causes', as they can all contribute to head-pain at the end of the day!
This is an important point, because many headache and migraine sufferers have a number of factors which interact to produce an episode of head-pain; and many have tried one treatment or another without success- because the other problems have been left unaddressed and are enough to still produce a migraine or a headache.
This site is designed toward addressing this 'multiple cause' model in the hope that it will draw together the expertise of all the professions which regularly deal with headaches and migraines, and formulate a 'combined approach' to the problem- dealing with any / all potential causes or triggers simultaneously and more effectively.
This may often involve a number of health-care professionals working together to ensure there are no 'serious' causes, and then addressing the ones which can be dealt with through therapy/ life-style modification/ diet modification/ home exercises e.t.c
Your family doctor should be able to help co-ordinate the overall process.
See Treatments section Combined Approach & Treatment Options for specific areas.
Head Pain Articles by Head Pain Experts
Pain Relief-Medications for Headache & Migraine Suffers. Dear Reader, Please read Disclaimer first. Disclaimer:- Information given here is for information only, not a substitute for medical advice, always consult your doctor and pharmacist for tailored individual advices. This is of particular importance as overuse of all drugs (including aspirin and paracetamol) use to treat headache… Read More
Blood Sugar Levels: HYPO vs HYPER-GLYCAEMIA There is some evidence that suggests our blood sugar levels play a role in the causation of headaches and migraines. Blood sugar levels fluctuate according to intake of food and medications, and are regulated by a number of hormones, mainly Insulin and Adrenalin. Our bodies system for regulating sugar… Read More
Caffeine Addiction Many people’s headaches are related to their consumption of caffeine, most commonly in the form of coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate, and medications. Generally the headache is due to a “withdrawal” effect. Caffeine is very similar in structure to another chemical in our body called adenosine. One of adenosine’s jobs is to dilate… Read More
Common Food Triggers Certain types of food additives and preservatives, as well as some naturally occurring food chemicals are known to be active “triggers” in the causation of headaches and migraines. This is generally due to their vaso-active properties, which means their ability to affect our bodies blood vessels, particularly those supplying the head and… Read More
Upper Neck Stiffness Cervical Joint Dysfunction: Upper neck problems are a common cause of referred pain into the head region. Research has demonstrated how the nerves in the upper neck (when irritated), can send pain signals into the head and face regions; researchers believe this happens because the nerves supplying the skin and other sensitive… Read More
Muscular Trigger Points Muscular ‘trigger points’ commonly refer to discrete areas within a muscle which send a sensation of pain to an adjacent area; when pressed upon. Researchers believe that these points consist of tight areas within a muscle which are extraordinarily sensitive, due to a build up of wastes and chemicals which the body… Read More
Tension Type Headaches This category of headaches is not well defined in the literature and is often a diagnosis given for aching or tightness around the back of the skull, temples, and even in around the forehead; of variable intensity and duration, but often long lasting and commonly related to stress and tightness in the… Read More
Neuralgia (Nerve Pain) Occipital Neuralgia: This condition is believed to be due to irritation to the main sensory nerve in the back of the head; (that which supplies all of the skin and pain sensitive structures in the upper neck and back of skull). It is believed that this irritation may be caused by tightness in… Read More
General Ear Pain:Problems Headache Secondary to Diseases of the Ear, Nose & Throat Headache Introduction:In preparing notes for a lay persons web site about the ear, nose and throat causes of headache, one must appreciate that only a brief and incomplete description of the causes, clinical presentation, investigation and management of these conditions can be… Read More
Referred Ear Pain: Otalgia Ear pain is known as otalgia. The ear is generally described in three parts: outer, middle and inner. Different conditions can affect each of these separately or can progressively involve all parts of the ear bone and its surrounding structures. Pain, especially constant or worsening pain about the ear, is a… Read More