20 Type of Headache Chart, Identify Which One Do You Have?

Updated in 2013, the Global Burden of Disease Study reported headache disorders to be the 3rd most common cause of years lost due to disability worldwide.

To overcome this statistic, we need to fight the condition.

If you have ever had a headache, you need to know which one you had, why it happens, and how to treat it. 

That’s why here we are with the most common 20 types and a headache chart that will help you identify the headache based on its location.

20 Types Of Headaches With Headache Location Chart 

Did you know – almost 75% of the world’s population of adults in the range of 18–65 years have suffered a headache in the last year?

And there’s not just one type. There are over 150 types of headaches classified by the International Headache Society.

Here’s a headache chart describing the locations of the most common ones. Stay tuned till the end, as we’ll talk about some rare headaches too.

headache chart

Source: healthline.com

Primary Types of Headaches

1. Tension-Type Headaches (TTH)

When you worry a lot, spend too much time staring at screens, or have a boss yelling at you for no reason, the headache you experience is a tension headache.

Such instances tend to trigger inner depression or emotional stress. Thus leading to constant throbbing pain.

When you have a TTH, it’s possible to experience mild to severe headaches, with pain around the eyes.

2. Cluster Headaches

These headaches are unbearably painful headaches that occur in series. You go through periods where you have headaches and then periods where you don’t.

Cluster headaches appear out of nowhere and last for a long time. You might notice flashes of light before they start.

At a time, they appear around or behind one eye or on one side of the face. You may notice swelling on the headache-affected side. Or even redness, sweating, and flushing with a lot of pain.

3. Migraines

Migraine is most common in people between the ages of 35 and 45, and it usually starts during adolescence.

It’s produced by the activation of a deep-brain process. This process causes the production of pain-producing inflammatory compounds that surround the brain.

It is a headache with an intensity that is moderate to severe. As mentioned in the headache chart above, it is one-sided. So, this headache on left side of head or right. 

It can last anywhere between a few hours to 2 to 3 days.

There are two different kinds of it:

When you have pain, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound, it is said to be without aura. When you have a migraine with aura, you will notice all of these symptoms, plus warning signs such as numbness in your legs and visual disturbances.

headache chart

Source: timesnownews.com

Secondary Types of Headaches

1. Allergy Headaches

At times, pollen, mold, dust, and seasonal allergies can lead to allergy headaches. Nasal congestion and watery eyes usually accompany the headache. Fortunately, you can treat it by curing the underlying allergy or using an antihistamine medication.

2. Sinus Headaches

With sinus headaches, you experience a burning pain in the nasal area that grows worse throughout the day.

It occurs when there is an infection, causing the sinus ducts to become blocked and preventing normal drainage.

3. Caffeine Withdrawal Headache

If you’re used to getting a particular quantity of caffeine, a stimulant, every day, you can develop a headache if you don’t get it. It could be because caffeine alters brain chemistry. 

So, withdrawal from it can trigger your brain and make it feel like something is terribly wrong. The consequence is a headache. 

Thankfully, it’s easy to prevent it. Just don’t drink too much tea or coffee.

4. Menstrual Headaches

The effects of menstruation, birth control pills and pregnancy all contribute to changes in female hormone levels. The hormone fluctuations can trigger a headache.

Since the hormonal imbalance is more active during your periods, that’s when you experience this type of headache. Ovulation and pregnancy are other times when these headaches might ruin your sleep.

5. Hemicrania Continua

This unusual headache only affects one side of your head or face, as shown in the headache chart. In fact, the word comes from the Latin phrase “pain in half of the head.”

This terrible headache occurs on a daily basis. There are no pain-free periods you get.

A prescription medicine called indomethacin is the primary treatment for HC. This is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine (NSAID).

6. Hypertension Headaches

With hypertension headaches, you experience generalized or “hairband” type pain. It’s most severe in the mornings. But slowly goes away as you move on with the day.

All you need to treat it is to get your blood pressure normal, either with medication or healthy lifestyle choices.

7. Rebound Headache

When we get a headache, we usually reach out for an over-the-counter pain reliever such as aspirin or ibuprofen.

When the pain medication wears off, your body may experience withdrawal symptoms. Thus, encouraging you to take more medicine, which may result in another headache.

This is called a rebound headache, and you can prevent it by avoiding excessive medication. Instead try relieving your headache with natural remedies like ice packs and herbal tea.

8. Post-Traumatic Headaches

As the name suggests, these headaches often follow trauma. They feel similar to migraine or tension headaches. The location – as shown in the headache chart – is around the neck, ears, and forehead. 

A doctor may advise you to take beta-blockers or triptans to treat them.

9. Exertion Headaches

These headaches usually occur for short periods after prolonged exertion. This can be active exertion like running or lifting heavy objects. Or this can be passive exertion that happens due to activities like sneezing and coughing.

10. Spinal Headaches

A puncture hole in the thick membrane that covers the spinal cord causes spinal headaches. The pressure exerted by the spinal fluid on the brain and spinal cord reduce due to the leaking. Thus, resulting in a headache.

11. Hangover Headaches

Many of us have experienced hangover headaches, and the cause is straightforward. It’s alcohol. Alcohol dilates and irritates the blood vessels in the brain and around the head, resulting in headaches.

12. Hunger Headaches

If you find your head aching right before a meal or after skipping one, you most likely have hunger headaches. This can happen due to low blood sugar or muscle tension. You can easily prevent such headaches by consuming wholesome and nourishing meals at the right intervals.

13. TMJ Headaches

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Headaches are painful and feel like muscle‐contraction pain. They often come with a clicking sound when you open your jaw.

They usually happen due to stress, so relaxing can help you avoid them.

14. Fever Headaches

When infection causes fever, your body uses the process of inflammation to help itself heal. However, the inflammation of blood vessels in the head can lead to headaches.

Aspirin, antibiotics, or antibacterial and anti-inflammatory turmeric milk can help you find relief.

15. Arthritis Headaches

Just like fever headaches, arthritis ones also happen due to swelling of blood vessels in your brain. Arthritis is a condition where the bones start paining due to inflammation. Along with your bones, your head may also pain if the condition isn’t treated soon. You can see diagram headache types.

Muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs may help treat these headaches.

headache chart

Source: hawaiipacifichealth.org

Rare Types of Headaches

1. Thunderclap 

Thunderclap headaches are exactly what they sound like: they hit you like a bolt of lightning. Within 60 seconds, the pain from these intense headaches reaches a pinnacle. 

Thunderclap headaches are infrequent. But they can signal the onset of potentially life-threatening illnesses, most commonly bleeding in and around the brain.

2. Icepick 

These are similar to thunderclap. Such headaches happen for a few seconds only. But the pain is so awful it feels like someone pricked ice in your head.

Also Read: Sugar Headache Causes, Conditions, Treatment, and Symptoms

Here’s A Tabular Headache Chart Of The 20 Types [Overview]

Type of Headache Symptoms Home Remedies
Tension Pain in the neck or scalp. Emotional stress. Use ice packs. Try to relax.
Cluster Excruciating pain. Comes in a series of episodes then vanishes for months. Try deep breathing exercises.
Migraine One-sided pain. With cold hands & vomiting. Use ice packs. Apply essential oils like lavender on the head.
Allergy  Pain with watery eyes. Drink lots of water.
Sinus Pain with stuffy nose. Take steam 2 to 4 times a day.
Caffeine-withdrawal Headache after skipping a regular coffee or tea. Apply ginger or lavender oil to your head. Try eating a little chocolate or sip some tea.
Menstrual  Headache during periods, pregnancy, or ovulation. Apply cold and hot compresses. Drink ginger tea.
Hypertension Headache in the morning. With high blood pressure. Drink water. Meditate for 5 to 10 minutes.
Rebound Poor sleep. Irritability.  Try herbal or green tea.
Post-traumatic Insomnia. Sensitivity to light. Poor concentration. Meditate or exercise. Try to relax.
Exertion Neck pain. Double vision. Vomiting. Consume warm drinks like broth and soup.
Spinal Dizziness. Seizures. Ringing in the ears. Bed rest. Drink coffee.
Hangover Fatigue. Excessive thirst. Drink coconut water or green tea.
Hunger Weakness on one side of the face. Numbness in arms. Eat something nourishing.
TMJ Pain in the jaw or face. Eat soft foods. Apply ice pack.
Fever High temperature. Nausea. Sleepiness. Rest. Take a warm bath. Drink soup.
Arthritis Weakness in arms and legs. Try massage and yoga.
Thunderclap Numbness. Weakness. Change in vision. Headache just for seconds but painful. Try a pain reliever.
Icepick Sudden, sharp pain. Apply peppermint or menthol oil on your head.

The Final Word

Headaches can be painful and, with so many types, also confusing. Even though such a headache chart is helpful to narrow down the possibilities, the best way to know which headache you have and what to do about it is to consult a doctor. These are the type of headaches chart.

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