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    Five myths about headaches you need to know

    Five Myths about Headaches You Need to Know

    Throbbing, distracting, annoying – almost all of us at some time have had to put up with a headache.

    From tension and cluster headaches to sinus headaches and migraines, each one is different. So uncovering these five widely held myths can help us understand them better.

     

    In this guide

    In this guide

    Myth #1

    Migraines are the most common type of headache

    Actually tension headaches are the most common type of headache. Stress can make muscles in the head and neck tense and knotted, and it’s these muscles that can be the source of tension headache. You may know the feeling of one of these headaches - a dull, aching pressure pain on both sides of your head.

    Myth #2

    Only adults get headaches

    Headaches aren’t just experienced by grown-ups. Children get them too, including tension headaches – with a difference being young ones can’t explain their headaches well. It’s important to keep an eye on a child's headache and consult a doctor if they get worse or you are concerned for any reason.

    Myth #3

    Migraines are just really bad headaches

    Not exactly true. Migraines are different to other headaches. They’re actually a condition related to the body’s nervous system (the brain and nerves) and can feel much worse than your normal headache. During a migraine attack, the brain does not process sensory data, such as lights, sound or touch, properly.

    If you’re suffering from a migraine, you may get other symptoms such as nausea and sensitivity to light. You might even experience visual or sensory problems known as auras and see flashing lights or blind spots.

    Myth #4

    Only women get recurring headaches

    Guess what? We all get them. And while men are at less risk from migraines, they’re more likely to get cluster headaches (although they are rare compared with other headaches like migraine). Cluster headaches get their name because you experience groups or clusters of frequent headaches for several weeks, and tend to occur every year around the same time. The pain’s usually felt behind your eye or on one side of your head coming on strong and unexpected.

    Myth #5

    All headaches are psychological

    Most headaches are usually triggered by an underlying physical cause. For example, tension headaches are thought to be caused by muscles in the head and neck becoming stressed. They in turn send out pain signals that are felt on both sides of the head. This explains why tension headaches often feel like a tight band around your head.

    If you’re experiencing one of these headaches, you might want to consider using an over-the counter pain reliever.

    Important information

    This article is for general information only and not intended as a substitute for medical advice. All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. In all health-related matters, always consult your healthcare professional.

    In this guide