The causes of headaches

The development of headaches is still unknown territory for many people, while everyone in the Netherlands has had to deal with it at some point. What types of headaches are there? And how do you ultimately get rid of your headache? Headaches are usually very short-lived, but if they persist they can seriously affect your life!

The onset of headaches

Usually a headache is not a big deal. It often starts very innocently and then quickly passes. Headaches can be a symptom of something more serious, such as migraines. What exactly is going on cannot be stated exactly. You cannot immediately see the cause of a headache and it can be due to many factors. It is known that the fifth cranial nerve plays an important role in the development of headaches. This nerve runs along the upper jaw, eyes, nose and lower jaw. All emotional signals from these points come together as a kind of junction. This junction is located between the skull and the brain and therefore receives all these sensory signals, including pain. These pain stimuli are transmitted to the brain. All this causes headaches.

What types of headaches are there?

A headache is not nice. There are different types of headaches that humans can get. The three types of headaches are tension headaches, cluster headaches and migraines.

Tension headache

Tension headache is pain that keeps coming back and becomes more frequent and severe. The cause can hardly be determined. Some people will therefore have to continue taking medication for a long time to reduce pain. Someone with a tension headache will not easily report sick to work. It is true that you cannot perform optimally at work with this form of headache.

Cluster headache

Cluster headaches come from behind the eye. It is an irritating and stabbing pain. This can cause the eye to swell and water. This is not a nagging pain, such as with a tension headache, but occurs in attacks. Such an attack can last from ten minutes to several hours. The number of attacks can also vary from one to ten attacks per day. The pain can be so severe that you start to bang your head against the wall.


Migraine is a headache that also occurs in attacks. These attacks can last a number of hours, but can also continue for a number of days. With physical exertion you will notice that the pain gets worse. The pain is characterized by a throbbing or stabbing pain on one side of the head. Someone with migraine cannot function properly in daily life, let alone work. There may sometimes be vomiting and hypersensitivity to light and sound. Sometimes a migraine is accompanied by an aura (classic migraine). This form of migraine has the same characteristics and is accompanied by spots in front of the eyes. This can take hours.

How do you treat a headache?

With headaches, it is important to determine what causes the headache and when it starts. You could keep this in a kind of diary to determine which event, situation or certain food causes the headache to increase. Certain foods may make headaches worse when eating. By keeping track of this, you can determine which type of food you will no longer eat. Chocolate, coffee and alcohol are often seen as causes of headaches. There are various ways to combat headaches, such as relaxation therapy, hypnosis, acupuncture and homeopathy. There is no evidence that these drugs actually work, but I would say that not shooting is always wrong.
If the headache persists, it is wise to consult your doctor. They can then prescribe a medication to reduce the pain.

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