Mon - Fri: 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Monday – Friday8:00AM - 5:00PM
Saturday Open for MRI
Sunday Closed
Migraine treatment same day as your first appointment.
Visit our Healow Portal
Visit our Healow Portal Call 214-619-1910
CALL 214-619-1910

Explore Different Types of Headaches: A Guide

Lone Star Neurology
Medically reviewed by Lone Star Neurology
Book appointment
Lone Star Neurology
Medically reviewed by Lone Star Neurology

Tired of headaches? You’re not alone. Headaches impact millions globally. They’re more than just a nuisance – they can disrupt your life. But why do we get them? Headaches happen for various reasons. Stress, poor posture, and even weather changes can trigger them. Sometimes, they’re a sign of something more serious. 

Comprehending the different types of headaches is paramount. Numerous varieties exist, each with unique symptoms and origins. Ranging from tension to cluster headaches, they may manifest in varied regions of the head. Data indicates that tension headaches are the prevailing type. They affect about 80% of adults at some point. Migraines are also prevalent, affecting over 1 billion people globally. 

While most types of headaches are harmless, some can be dangerous. For example, headaches after a traumatic brain injury can indicate internal damage. Knowing when to seek medical help is essential. So, let’s explore the kinds of headaches together. We’ll dive into the various types, their locations, and when to see a doctor.

By understanding headaches better, you can take control of your health and well-being. Let’s embark on this journey to unravel the mysteries of headaches and find relief!


Different Types of Headaches and Their Causes

Headaches can stem from various factors, including stress, dietary choices, or hormonal fluctuations. Understanding the different types of headaches and their causes is crucial. It helps come up with proper management and treatment.

Visual guide to different headache types

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are the most common type. It is often characterized by a dull, aching pain that wraps around the head like a tight band. They typically occur due to neck, shoulders, and scalp muscle tension. Stress, poor posture, and eye strain often trigger them.

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are excruciatingly painful headaches that occur in clusters or patterns. They often come on suddenly and are accompanied by intense pain around the eye or temple, along with nasal congestion or a runny nose. The exact cause of cluster headaches is still unknown. They may be related, however, to abnormalities in the hypothalamus or trigeminal nerve.

Migraine Headaches

Among the most common types of headaches are migraines. They are debilitating headaches distinguished by throbbing pain, frequently on one side of the head. Additionally, symptoms like queasiness, retching, and heightened sensitivity may accompany them. They can last for hours or even days. Diverse factors can trigger them. Among such triggers are hormonal fluctuations, specific dietary items, stress, or sensory stimuli.

Sinus Headaches

Sinus headaches occur when the sinuses become inflamed or infected, causing pressure and pain around the cheeks, forehead, and eyes. They often accompany sinus infections or allergies and may worsen with temperature or air pressure changes.

Rebound Headaches

Rebound headaches occur when you take pain medications frequently. This leads to a cycle of headache recurrence. Overuse of over-the-counter or prescription medications can disrupt the brain’s natural pain-relief mechanisms. This causes rebound headaches.

Hormone Headaches

Different types of headaches include hormone headaches, such as menstrual or hormonal migraines. They occur in relation to hormonal fluctuations, particularly in women. They often coincide with menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause and may be triggered by changes in estrogen levels.

Exertion Headaches

Exertion headaches occur during or after physical exertion, such as exercise or sexual activity. They are often described as throbbing or pulsating and typically occur on both sides of the head. Dehydration, overexertion, or changes in blood pressure may trigger exertion headaches.


Types of Headaches: Chart

We have created a comprehensive chart detailing various types of headaches, their symptoms, and causes. Understanding these distinctions can aid in accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment:

Type of Headache



Tension Headaches Dull, aching pain like a tight band around the head Muscle tension, stress, poor posture
Cluster Headaches Intense, excruciating pain typically around one eye or temple Possibly related to the hypothalamus or trigeminal nerve
Migraine Headaches Throbbing pain, often on one side of the head. Sometimes nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity Hormonal changes, certain foods, stress
Sinus Headaches Pressure and pain around the cheeks, forehead, and eyes Sinus inflammation, infection, or allergies
Rebound Headaches Recurrent headaches due to overuse of pain medications Overuse of pain medications
Hormone Headaches Headaches related to hormonal fluctuations, often in women Menstruation, pregnancy, menopause
Exertion Headaches Throbbing or pulsating pain during or after physical exertion Dehydration, overexertion, changes in blood pressure


Types of Headaches by Location

Woman with headache holding head in discomfort

Understanding the location of a headache can provide valuable clues about its underlying cause. Different types of headaches can manifest in various regions of the head. Here’s an overview of different types of headaches based on their location:

  • Frontal Headaches. Pain in the front of the head, often associated with tension headaches or sinus headaches. These headaches may feel like pressure or a dull ache behind the forehead.
  • Temporal Headaches. Types of headaches by location may include temporal headaches. They Affect the sides of the head near the temples. They are common in tension headaches and migraines, often causing throbbing or pulsating pain in this area.
  • Occipital Headaches. Pain at the back of the head, near the base of the skull. These headaches may indicate tension headaches, cervicogenic headaches, or cluster headaches. They can cause aching or pressure in the back of the head and upper neck.
  • Sinus Headaches. Pressure and pain around the cheeks, forehead, and eyes. These headaches typically result from inflammation or infection of the sinuses. They may worsen with changes in air pressure or temperature.

Understanding the types of headaches by location is crucial. It can help narrow down the possible causes and guide appropriate treatment. Whether it’s frontal, temporal, occipital, or sinus-related. Identifying the location is the first step toward finding relief.


Identifying Your Headache: When to See a Doctor

Healthcare professional with a headache at work

While most headaches are benign, you can manage them with over-the-counter medications and lifestyle modifications. However, some kinds of headaches may indicate a more serious underlying condition. It’s essential to seek medical attention if you experience any of the following:

  • Severe or persistent headaches. Headaches that are unusually severe or last for an extended period may require medical evaluation. It can help rule out underlying causes.
  • Sudden onset headaches. If you have a sudden, severe headache, immediately get medical attention. Look for help if you have other symptoms like confusion, weakness, or loss of consciousness.
  • Headaches after head injury. If you develop a headache following a head injury or trauma, it’s essential to see a doctor. Professionals can rule out serious complications such as a concussion or brain injury.

If you’re unsure about the types of headaches or if your headaches are severe or persistent, don’t hesitate to reach out to Lone Star Neurology. Our team of expert neurologists is here to provide compassionate yet effective treatment. Our approach to treatment is compassionate yet effective.

For a no-obligation free evaluation, call 817-270-9443 or visit our Contact Us page to schedule an appointment. Get the care and support you need to get back to your daily activities as soon as possible.



What are the most common types of headaches?

Tension headaches and migraines are among the most common types of headaches experienced by adults.


Do different types of headaches require different treatments?

Yes, different types of headaches may respond better to specific treatments. So, it’s essential to accurately diagnose the type of headache before initiating treatment.


Can lifestyle changes reduce the frequency of headaches?

Yes, lifestyle changes can help reduce the frequency and severity of headaches. Manage your stress, stay hydrated, sleep regularly, and avoid trigger foods.


When should I see a doctor for my headache?

You should see a doctor if you experience severe or persistent headaches or sudden onset headaches. Consider also visiting a doctor in case of headaches after injury or headaches accompanied by other symptoms.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Book appointment