For Patients

Headache (Migraine)

The causes and manifestations of headaches can be of various natures. In recent years, medical science has intensively studied the basics of headache. In the process, different causes have emerged for different forms of headache. Headache is therefore divided into different categories.

Tension headache is the most common form of headache. Causes include tension in the neck and back muscles. These tensions are caused by cramped postures of the head, e.g. at the workplace (computer screen) or while driving a car. Tension headaches can be recurrent, last minutes or days, and do not have the clearly separated attack character of migraine. The pain is typically felt as pressing and pulling and ranges from mild to moderate. It does not intensify with physical activity.

Stress headaches are headaches that can be attributed to factors such as mental tension or strain. They often get better with physical activity, such as exercise.

Migraine headache often occurs on one side, but it can change sides during the attack or on a case-by-case basis. Usually, the pain has a pulsating character and becomes even more severe with physical activity. Nausea, vomiting, and a particular sensitivity to light and sound are often unpleasant accompanying symptoms of a migraine attack. Without treatment, migraine attacks generally last 4 to 72 hours. Once the pain is fully developed, sufferers are often barely able to carry out their normal activities. In people who suffer from migraine with aura, the headache announces itself approximately 5 to 60 minutes before the actual headache. In the case of aura, there are neurological, i.e., nervous-related deficits such as visual disturbances, flickering, light flashes or restrictions of the visual field. In some cases, sensory disturbances such as tingling, numb limbs or even word-finding and speech disorders occur. Immediately after these symptoms subside, the migraine headache sets in. Of course, only a doctor (neurologist) can make an exact diagnosis of whether a migraine is actually present or whether the headache has other causes. The neurologist can also prescribe medication specifically for migraine headaches. In addition to the types of headache mentioned above, there are other causes for headaches, which can be caused, for example, by changes in the weather, lack of sleep, stimulants, infectious diseases, menstrual bleeding, toothache, accidents, tumors and a variety of other reasons.



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