A headache is pain or discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck.
Common types of headaches include tension headaches, migraine or cluster headaches, sinus headaches, and headaches that begin in your neck. You may have a mild headache with the common cold, the flu, or other viral illnesses when you also have a low-grade fever.
Most people with headaches can feel much better by making lifestyle changes, learning ways to relax, and sometimes taking medications.
Problems with blood vessels and bleeding in the brain can present as a headache. These include:
Other worrisome causes of headaches include:
Take the following symptoms seriously. If you cannot see your health care provider right away, go to the emergency room or call 911 when:
See your health care provider soon if:
Digre KB. Headaches and other head pain. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 405.
Updated by: Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, and Department of Anatomy at UCSF, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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