If you suffer from chronic, recurring headaches, you are not alone. The National Headache Foundation reports that over 45 million Americans suffer from recurring headaches. Roughly 28 million of these people also suffer from migraines.
The causes vary significantly by individual. In fact, there have been 150 types of headaches identified in research and case studies. It is easy to see why a solution for one person may not work for the next person.
Potential Causes of Recurring Headaches
Unfortunately, the normal, common headache that can occur daily in some individuals may not have a specific cause.
Although most headache causes are not understood well, there are some common reasons that you may be suffering from recurring headaches.
- Contraction of the neck and scalp muscles: Tension headaches are by far the most common type of headache. If you are experiencing a tension headache, then you may feel pressure at your temples, back of the head, and neck. Although experts are unsure of why this headache occurs, they suspect that contraction of the neck and scalp muscles may be to blame. This could be a stress response, but they are otherwise unsure why these muscles would contract.
- Dehydration: Being dehydrated can cause headaches. Try drinking water and resting to help your headache go away faster. Skipping meals can cause headaches as well.
- Rebound headaches: This type of headache occurs when you take too much over-the-counter pain medication. You are at a higher risk for this type of headache if you take pain medication for more than two days a week or nine days during a month.
- Sinus headaches: Those who having trouble with their sinuses may experience recurring sinus headaches. This type of headache is generally caused due to inflamed sinuses or sinus infections. However, some sinus headaches occur without an infection or other signs of sickness like fever or fatigue.
- Genetics: Believe it or not, your genetics may play a role in whether you have recurring headaches. Cluster headaches and Migraine headaches, two of the most severe types of headaches, can be passed down from generation to generation. There is no cure for these types of headaches, and pain killers generally only reduce the severity or the length of an episode.
Other Headache Causes
Headaches are also more likely to occur in people that have certain attributes. For example, if you are overweight, you are more likely to get headaches. Severely overweight individuals have an 80 percent higher risk of having recurring headaches. A related finding determined that those who are inactive are more likely to get headaches compared to those who engage in 20 to 30 minutes of cardio activity five times per week.
The type of headache that you normally have can say a lot about the causes. Talk to your doctor about your specific type of headache—with a detailed description of the symptoms—so he or she can help you fight back against your recurring headaches.