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We have all experienced a headache at one point in our life—some more than others. But what is a headache? A headache is commonly defined as pain that begins in your head or upper neck.  The pain originates fro the tissues and structures that surround the brain because the brain itself has no nerves that give rise to the sensation of pain. The pain of a headache may be described as a dull ache, sharp, throbbing, constant, mild or intense. A headache may also appear gradually or suddenly and may last as little as less than an hour or even for several days. 


What Causes a Headache?

A primary headache, which means it isn’t the symptoms of an underlying disease, is caused by problems with or overuse of pain-sensitive structures in your head. Have you ever experienced a headache after a stressful situation such as filing your taxes? When this occurs, chemical activity in your brain, the nerves or blood vessels of your head outside your skill, or muscles of your head and neck may play a role.  Some people may also carry genes that make them more prone to developing headaches. 
Most of the time, primary headaches can be triggered by lifestyle factors, such as:
  •   Alcohol
  •   Certain foods
  •   Changes in sleep 
  •   Poor posture
  •   Skipped meals
  •   Stress
Another form of headaches are considered secondary, which means they are a symptom of a disease that can activate the pain-sensitive nerves of the head. Any number of conditions can cause secondary headaches including:
  •   Acute sinusitis
  •   Blood clot
  •   Brain tumor
  •   Carbon monoxide poisoning
  •   Brain aneurysm
  •   Concussion
  •   Dehydration
  •   Hangovers
  •   Glaucoma
  •   Panic attacks
Regardless of the cause, it is important to seek care to find relief from the pain of your headaches. We can work with you to determine if an underlying issue causes your headache, or if it is due to your lifestyle. Remember, you don’t have to put up with pain caused by headaches, which is why it is important to seek care to find the cause.

For more information on Headaches in the Schaumburg, IL area call Neurology & Sleep Clinics of Chicago at (847) 929-4420 today!