Severe headache: possible causes
Perhaps, headache is the most common complaint patient to the doctor. Unlikely to find at least one lucky winner who isn't familiar with this symptom. There is almost no disease which could not appear a headache, because it acts as a symptom of a disease and not a separate nosological form, although there are such, for example,
What a headache is considered to be strong?
It is important to say that the intensity of the headache is a purely subjective value. Today's existing diagnostic methods do not allow to measure it. There is also a sense of the intensity of the pain depends on the pain threshold of a man – the same intensity of headaches in two different patients can be evaluated quite differently.
But to somehow objectify the pathological sense, has been proposed the visual analogue scale (VAS) of pain.
This scale is particularly useful for long-term use and to assess the effectiveness of therapy. As can be seen, a severe headache is present when the patient assesses its intensity from 7 to 9 on YOUR balls, and when the pain interferes with basic needs of the body.
Headache of vertebrogenic nature
This type of secondary headache is one of the most common headache after tension that inappropriate to mention in this article, as it is almost never strong. The intensity of pain can vary from barely noticeable to unbearable. To understand where this pain comes from, you need to consider some anatomical and physiological characteristics of the cervical spine.
Virtually all cervical vertebrae have a hole in their transverse processes, which constitute a bone canal, where a very important anatomical structure of the vertebral artery. This blood vessel through this channel penetrates the skull and supplies blood posterior third of the cerebrum and cerebellum.
If the direct pathway is disrupted, what happens in osteochondrosis, deforming spondylosis, spondylosis, intervertebral hernia and other diseases of the vertebral, vertebral artery is pinched, leading to
This disease develops very severe headache, the localization of which depends on which branch of the nerve is damaged. The trigeminal nerve innervates the front of the head and face.
Causes of neuralgia several: nerve inflammation or mechanical damage, infectious agents, compression of the trunk of the nerve by tumors, vascular aneurysms, but in most cases the exact cause cannot be established.
Trigeminal neuralgia is called still
Severe headache migraine
Migraine refers to the primary headaches and is a separate nosological disease. Signs of migraine are so typical that the diagnosis can, only leaving describe the nature of the headache.
The reasons for the development of migraine, until today, just not installed. Scientists believe that the main role belongs to genetic predisposition of the person (it is allocated about 30 mutations of the genes that associated with migraine).
But the attack can provoke a large number of factors:
- stressful situation;
- eating some foods with a high tyramine content;
- physical and emotional stress;
- dishormonal disease;
- the intake of alcohol;
- oral contraceptives.
A migraine is never a small intensity, of migraine headache patients is estimated as average and, in most cases, strong. Localized soreness on one side of the head, is throbbing in nature, accompanied by a heightened sensitivity to light, sounds, any physical efforts, odors. A migraine attack lasts from 4 hours to 3 days,
Headaches, fluctuations in blood pressure
As a rule, severe headache accompanied by a sharp increase in blood pressure (
Vascular and neoplastic brain disease
Practically all vascular diseases of the brain may be accompanied by stroke (vascular aneurysms, malformations, vasculitis,
Frequently cause severe headache is a disturbance of CSF dynamics of the brain. The pain may accompany conditions that are manifested
Infectious causes of headache
Any infectious disease is accompanied by headache. For example, a single case of SARS or influenza is not leaking without a headache. But, as a rule, patients rarely evaluate it as strong, because of this article, it is irrelevant.
Among the infectious diseases, which are accompanied by really unbearable headache, can be called typhoid fever and infections of the Central nervous system (meningitis and encephalitis).
Typhoid fever is an intestinal bacterial infection called Salmonella typhoid. This is a very serious disease that may be complicated by intestinal bleeding and peritonitis. But, before the onset of intestinal complications, the main symptom of the disease is severe and persistent headache, which is caused by severe intoxication bacterial waste products.
Without exception, all infections of the CNS are accompanied by headache. It is a viral, fungal, ricketsiosis,tick-borne, bacterial encephalitis and meningitis. This files most often have to deal with meningococcal disease. Especially, this disease affects young children.
Suspect the problem according to the following criteria:
- strong and persistent headache diffuse nature;
- nausea and vomiting which does not bring relief;
- star hemorrhagic rash on lower extremities and buttocks;
- muscle strain of the neck;
- febrile temperature, which does not pass under the action of the usual antipyretics;
- various disorders of consciousness.
In the event of such symptoms in your child, immediately call an ambulance. Meningococcal disease in children tends to fulminant course with rapid development of infectious-toxic shock and a fatal outcome for several hours.
Severe headache in pregnant women
If severe headache occurs in pregnant women, it is always an alarming sign. First, during pregnancy, it can occur that the headaches associated with the above-described reasons. Most often, pregnant women have observed a migraine. Although, if the woman suffers from migraine, with the onset of pregnancy, the condition is greatly improved, but there are exceptions. Treatment
What to do when a severe headache?
Any headache that lasts for a while and has no objective reasons, for example, fatigue, viral infection, etc., and is particularly strong (even if it occurred once), requires a detailed medical examination to determine the cause. As the treatment will be successful only if we address the root cause of the pathological symptoms.
Diagnostic program with a strong headache:
- consultation of therapist, neurologist, ophthalmologist and ENT doctor;
- a full neurological examination;
- round-the-clock monitoring ;
- full laboratory examination of blood, urine, and, if necessary, cerebrospinal fluid (in cases of suspected infection of the CNS);
- CT and magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and cervical spine, if required – the use of selective angiography of cerebral vessels;
- measurement of intracranial pressure;
- radiography of the cervical spine;
- Doppler ultrasound of vessels of head and neck.
An important diagnostic point is the keeping of a headache diary. This allows you to identify patterns of occurrence of headache, its relation with various conditions, the effectiveness of a particular treatment.
Warning signs for headaches:
- the occurrence of severe headache suddenlyespecially the type of “kick in the head” (symptom of subarachnoid hemorrhage, stroke);
- headaches for the first time of the teenager and the elderly (a symptom of a brain tumor);
- the pain is accompanied by disturbance of consciousness, drowsiness, weakness, speech disorder, vision (symptom of stroke);
- the pain is accompanied by a high fever, or hemorrhagic rash (a symptom of meningitis);
- severe headache in pregnant women.
Video transmission that may be hiding under the guise of a headache: