What is headache?

  • (noun): Pain in the head caused by dilation of cerebral arteries or muscle contractions or a reaction to drugs.
    Synonyms: head ache, cephalalgia
    See also — Additional definitions below


A headache or cephalalgia is pain anywhere in the region of the head or neck. It can be a symptom of a number of different conditions of the head and neck. The brain tissue itself is not sensitive to pain because it lacks pain receptors. Rather, the pain is caused by disturbance of the pain-sensitive structures around the brain. Nine areas of the head and neck have these pain-sensitive structures, which are the cranium (the periosteum of the skull), muscles, nerves, arteries and veins, subcutaneous tissues, eyes, ears, sinuses and mucous membranes.

Read more about Headache.

Some articles on headache:

Headache - Children
... Children can suffer from the same types of headaches as adults do although their symptoms may vary ... Some kinds of headaches include tension headaches, migraines, chronic daily headaches, cluster headache and sinus headaches ... the constant pressure placed on the jaw area) are also known for causing occasional to frequent headaches in adolescents ...
Management Of Chronic Headaches
... Chronic headache, or chronic daily headache (CDH), is classified as experiencing fifteen or more days with a headache per month ... It is estimated that chronic headaches affect "4% to 5% of the general population" ... Chronic headaches consist of different sub-groups, primarily categorized as chronic tension-type headaches and chronic migraine headaches ...
NIH Classification Of Headaches - Vascular
... The most common type of vascular headache is migraine ... Migraine headaches are usually characterized by severe pain on one or both sides of the head, an upset stomach, and, for some people, disturbed vision ... changes are evident during a migraine, the cause of the headache is neurological, not vascular ...
Lupus Headache - Diagnosis
... Although specific complications of SLE may cause headache (such as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis or posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome), it remains unclear whether specific investigations (such as lumbar ... of these findings remains unclear, and they have not been able to distinguish a special "lupus headache" from other headache types in people with lupus ...
Lupus Headache
... Lupus headache is a proposed, specific headache disorder in patients suffering from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) ... Research shows that headache is a symptom commonly described by SLE patients —57% in one meta-analysis, ranging in different studies from 33% to 78% of which migraine ... The existence of a special lupus headache is contested, although few high-quality studies are available to form definitive conclusions ...

More definitions of "headache":

  • (noun): Something or someone that causes anxiety; a source of unhappiness.
    Synonyms: concern, worry, vexation

Famous quotes containing the word headache:

    Living in New York is like being at some terrible late-night party. You’re tired, you’ve had a headache since you arrived, but you can’t leave because then you’d miss the party.
    Simon Hoggart (b. 1946)

    It is immoral to get drunk because the headache comes after the drinking, but if the headache came first and the drunkenness afterwards, it would be moral to get drunk.
    Samuel Butler (1835–1902)

    And you might have been a headache but you never were a bore.
    Leo Robin (1900–1984)