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
Dental pain and Headaches Headaches which have their origin from or related to the oral cavity itself, are limited. Most pains originating from the oral cavity (mouth), remain localised to the source of the pain. The main causes of pain originating from the mouth are: Tooth Decay/Cavities Cracked Teeth A Dying Tooth Gum (Periodontal) Infection… Read More
General Ear, Nose, Sinus and Throat 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… Read More
Nose & Sinus problems Headache secondary to nose and sinus disease is not uncommon and well known patterns of headache are recognised according to the particular area of the nose and sinuses affected as well as the underlying disease process. There are four groups of sinuses: the maxillary, frontal, ethmoidal and sphenoidal sinuses. Most headaches… Read More
Throat / Neck Headache secondary to neck, pharynx and larynx (throat and voice box) conditions is not a common isolated presenting symptom. It is generally referred via branches of the lower cranial nerves or the cervical spinal nerves, or due to spread of pathology to head structures such as the meninges (coverings) of the brain…. Read More
Face, Nose and Sinus pain: Other: The face, nose and sinus structures are predominantly supplied with sensation from a nerve coming through the skull base called the “trigeminal nerve”. It consists of three branches, upper (ophthalmic), middle (maxillary) and lower (mandibular). It is the fifth cranial nerve and these branches are known as V1, V2… Read More
Headache and Stress Many people cite stress as an important headache trigger. Studies also show that people who are prone to stress as well as anxiety and depression are more likely to suffer from frequent headaches. Women are more at risk than men. A tension headache is caused by a tightening of the muscles in… Read More
Medication “Misuse” Headaches Certain medications are known to affect and possibly cause headaches and migraines. (Medication misuse headaches) It is important that you inform your Doctor if you believe this is the case, as sometimes a different drug or dose may be more appropriate. MEDICATION MISUSE HEADACHE (MMH) This type of headache may occur when… Read More
Temporal Arteritis Temporal arteritis is an inflammatory condition that involves any large or medium-sized artery. The cause of this condition is unknown. Those affected are usually over 50 years of age. The person may feel generally unwell along with a low-grade fever, muscle stiffness, weight and appetite loss. Due to tenderness of the temporal artery,… Read More
Hormonal Problems MIGRAINE IN WOMEN Menstrual Migraine: Approximately half of all women who suffer migraines report a relation between their headaches and their menstrual cycle, with attacks usually occurring in the few days prior to or following the onset of menstruation. At this time the blood levels of the hormones progesterone and oestrogen are at… Read More
Other causes for Headaches and Migraines There are many other miscellaneous factors which can contribute to headaches and migraines; and the mechanisms of how each might bring on an attack of head-pain are not always fully understood. Listed below are some other commonly reported factors which can bring on attacks of migraine and headaches; and… Read More