Understand Pain

Understand Your Headache Pain

A headache. It can feel quite literally like the worst thing in the world. Let’s get to the cause of your headache so you can get back to living your days uninterrupted by pain.

See the cause of your headache pain
The basics of headache pain

Headaches happen when the nerve endings in different parts of your head and neck become irritated. There are many different kinds of headaches that occur for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the most common:

  • Tension headache

    • Dull pressure or tightness on both sides of the head and sometimes the neck

    • Can last anywhere from half an hour to a whole week

    • Can cause fatigue in some people

    • Exact cause is unknown—stress appears to be a common trigger


  • Migraine

    • Throbbing on one or both sides of the head

    • Can range from moderate to severe pain

    • Usually lasts 4-72 hours

    • Can cause additional symptoms, like nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sounds

    • Exact cause isn’t entirely understood, but environmental factors and genetics may contribute

    • Triggers include stress, changes in sleep patterns, certain foods and food additives (like the sweetener aspartame), certain types of medications, and hormonal changes in women

  • Cluster headaches

    • Sharp, severe pain that comes on quickly, usually around or behind one eye

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    • Occur in frequent attacks, or “clusters,” that can go on for weeks or months

    • Each attack can last 15 minutes to 3 hours

    • Can cause additional symptoms, like tearing, runny nose, congestion and agitation

    • No known causes, but an abnormal hypothalamus (part of the brain that plays a role in nervous and endocrine systems) may play a role

    • No known triggers, but drinking alcohol during a cluster headache can cause an even worse headache

"Get back to living your days uninterrupted by pain."
What you can do about it

The first step to relieving your headache pain is trying to figure out what kind of headache you have. Consult with your doctor for a diagnosis as some can be serious.

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For tension headache symptoms, try over-the-counter pain medications, like Aleve, [Link to 3.1 The Aleve Difference] which can help with the pain when used as directed. If that isn’t enough, consult with your doctor.

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There are also drug-free options for everyone. People who suffer from headache may benefit from supporting therapies, whole-living strategies and better-quality sleep.