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
Inner Ear 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 serious symptom and must be carefully assessed… Read More
Middle Ear pain 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 serious symptom and must be carefully… Read More
Outer Ear Pain 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 serious symptom and must be carefully… Read More
Brain Haemorrhages The blood vessels within the skull are sensitive to pain stimuli, as to are the surrounding membranes that hold the brain in the correct position. When a blood vessel ruptures (either spontaneously or due to trauma / or pressure), it usually causes a sudden, severe headache, and may displace some of the brain… Read More
Brain-Nerve Tumours Tumours in and around the brain can certainly cause headaches, but fortunately they are fairly rare in occurrence. Depending on the type of tumour and the location, symptoms will vary. Most often there is a slow progressive increase in pressure inside the skull (as the tumour grows), so symptoms are usually also slow… Read More
Nerve Infections Some infections such as Meningitis can cause headaches and migraine like symptoms. Usually these cases will also be accompanied by the associated symptoms of an infection (such as fever, rash, and feeling unwell); but this may not be the case in all patients. Other symptoms can include stiffness in the neck (usually of… Read More
Brain and Nerve Diseases and Damage Some conditions involve inflammation or degeneration of nerve tissue in the brain, spinal cord, and / or nerves in the body itself. This situation can cause irritation to these nerves and consequently can lead to pain in the head and face regions. Multiple Sclerosis is one such condition, and… Read More
Post Trauma Headaches and other problems Post trauma headaches are a common result of ‘concussion’, where there has been a blow to the head or sudden jolting of the head (ie: car accident, falling off a horse). It is very important to get these headaches properly investigated by a medical expert, as there may be… Read More
Brain / nerve pains IntraCranial Pressure: pressure within the skull INCREASED PRESSURE INSIDE THE SKULL The brain is surrounded by fluid called ‘cerebrospinal’ fluid which bathes it with nutrients, and provides a cushion for the sensitive nerve cells (called neurones) which make up much of the brain tissue. The pressure of this fluid is usually… Read More
Jaw Pain – TMJ & TMD and Headaches The joint of the lower jaw is known as the Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ), and it joins the skull in close proximity to the ears. Problems arising within either of these joints are often referred to as Temporo-Mandibular joint Disorders, or (TMD). TMD can arise from many factors… Read More