Medical Library: Head & Neck – Headaches

A headache is defined as pain of any type that occurs in any part of the head. There are many types and causes of headaches, though they are commonly broken into these categories:

  • Tension-type
  • Migraine and cluster
  • Secondary headaches from an underlying condition, such as fever, infectious disease, sinus disorder, or in rare cases, a tumor or more serious illness
  • Cranial neuralgias, facial pain, and other headaches

In most cases, headaches are harmless and resolve on their own, although severe headaches that recur frequently can affect simple everyday tasks and can reduce your quality of life.

Fortunately, there is effective treatment for almost every type of headache. The first step (and the most challenging) is determining the type of headache, its cause, and in developing an appropriate treatment plan that will reduce both its frequency and intensity. Physical therapists can help determine the type of headache you have and are experts in managing pain from tension-type headaches.