Headache can be described as pain in the whole head or parts of it which may combine the neck region too. There can be many reasons why does one experience a headache.
Headaches have several causes and the three major categories of headaches are
The characteristics and location of pain in headaches and other associated symptoms depends on the cause of headache. Symptoms of tension headache, the commonest cause of headache in adults are:
A comprehensive history is important to make diagnosis of any type of headache. Your doctor will ask questions regarding how the headache starts, learn about the quality, quantity, and duration of the pain, and any associated symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or light sensitivity.
In tension headache, the pain is mild to moderate, located on both sides of the head, described as a tightness that is not throbbing, not made worse with activity and not associated with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or light sensitivity.
Physical examination is important in headache, and it is normal in primary headaches. Some patients with tension headache can have mild tenderness of the scalp or neck muscles. If an abnormality is present on physical or neurological examination the diagnosis of tension headache is not considered.
In patients with secondary headaches, history of the headache and physical examination provide the best means for determining the underlying cause.
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