Why can a headache occur?
Each of us has repeatedly experienced a feeling of headache – the so-called symptom of “cephalgia” ( Greek kephale – head, algos – pain) . Why is this rather unpleasant sensation arising, giving general physical discomfort and lowering the quality of life?
In fact, there are many reasons and mechanisms for the occurrence of cephalgia. Some of them require immediate medical attention. Consider the most common.
Why can vascular headache occur?
The most common triggering factor for cephalgia is vascular problems, the so-called vascular headaches . It could be:
- spasm or sharp expansion of the arteries;
- lack of vein tone;
- violation of the rheological properties of blood;
- atherosclerotic or athero-thrombotic vascular lesions;
- compression of the vessel by a pathological focus from the outside.
All this causes a violation of the blood supply to the brain. The first reason leads to hypoxia and ischemia of brain tissue, the second – to overfilling and stretching of the walls of blood vessels. In turn, a violation of the tone of the veins contributes to a violation of the venous outflow and leads to venous distraction of the brain. As for atherosclerosis of cerebral vessels, it all depends on how atherosclerotic plaque overlaps the lumen of the vessel, thereby affecting hemodynamics. The same can be said about the resulting pathological focus, which compresses the lumen of the vessels, blocking the blood flow. These may be brain tumors, aneurysms, cysts.
Constant stresses, emotional overstrain, overwork on study, work, hypertension, vascular atherosclerosis, etc. can lead to the aforementioned problems with blood vessels. Therefore, if you have:
- frequent headache of a pulsating nature;
- noise, ringing in the head;
- a feeling of “bursting” and heaviness in the region of the skull;
- headache, accompanied by nausea, and sometimes vomiting;
- cephalgia arising from fluctuations in blood pressure;
- you can judge the vascular nature of the occurrence of headache.
The second significant cause of headache may be a pathology of the cervical spine. In such cases, we can talk about cervicogenic headaches .
Why does a cervicogenic headache occur?
From the previous version of cervicalgia, this type of headache is directly related to neck involvement and is characterized by the following symptoms:
- headache occurs or intensifies when moving in the cervical spine;
- amplified by pressing on the spinous processes of the spine in the cervical region or on the occipital tubercles, along the small and large occipital nerves;
- has a constant aching character and bothers mainly in the nape of the neck on one side with the transition to the neck;
- often accompanied by dizziness and nausea (usually with bending and turning the head);
- sometimes it can migrate from the neck to the orbital-frontotemporal region of the same side;
- occurs mainly at night or in the morning with an uncomfortable head position during sleep.
Causes: consequences of a past neck injury, degenerative changes in the cervical spine and other structures of the cervical spine (vertebral instability, arthrosis, spondylosis, hernia, disc protrusion). All this leads to compression and irritation of the nerve roots, there is a reflex tension in the muscles of the neck and occipital region and a feeling of headache appears.
Features of the occurrence of liquorodynamic headache
The most dangerous and requiring immediate medical attention is cerebrospinal fluid cephalgia . It is associated with an imbalance in the production and outflow of cerebrospinal fluid. This is the most excruciating headache that has:
- Bursting in character.
- Accompanied by a pressing painful sensation on the eyes.
- Often occurs in the morning and intensifies with straining, sneezing or coughing.
- In severe cases, accompanied by severe vomiting, bringing short-term relief, sometimes loss of consciousness.
The most common causes of such cephalalgia are neoplasms that occupy the intracranial space and compress the structures of the brain – tumors, cysts, abscesses.
In any case, if you are concerned about prolonged, ongoing headaches that cannot be relieved by any painkillers, cause you discomfort and reduce your performance, and are also accompanied by any other symptoms, you should definitely consult a doctor. Early diagnosis will not only simplify and speed up treatment, but also prevent complications, remember this.