Headaches and Facial Pains

Headaches and facial pains are among the most common types of pain that society often sees as unimportant and rarely consults a physician. When the causes of headache are investigated, there is generally no underlying malignancy, but some of them can be serious and negatively affect the standard of living.

No organic cause has been found for 80% of the headaches that people of all ages experience at least once in their lives. Headaches of this type are called primary headaches. Frequently among the reasons; migraines, tension-type headaches or cluster-type headaches. In the remaining percentage, there are types of headaches, which are defined as secondary headaches, where there is an underlying pathology as a result of research. Intracerebral hemorrhage, neurological and psychiatric reasons, brain tumors, traumas, infections, ear, nose and throat diseases such as otitis and sinusitis can be counted among the causes of secondary headaches.

Bone Structure of the Head

The cranium, that is, the skull, is a system with a unique structure that consists of the combination of many bones and protects the brain. The junction points of the skull bones are not flat and consist of many indented structures. In this way, bones can easily integrate with each other. In humans, the skull structure is divided into two: neurocranium and viscerocranium. Neurocranium; It consists of bones surrounding the brain and central nervous system. These; frontal bone, parietal bone, occipital bone, sphenoidal bone and temporal bone. Viscerocranium is the bone structures that form the face. (Upper jawbone, lower jawbone, cheekbones and palate)

Main Nerves Effective in Headache

Neural structures may be among the factors that cause headaches in humans. Especially nervus trigeminus and nervus facialis are among these neural structures. Tension-type headaches, which are the most common in society, occur as a result of the effects of these neural structures due to stress or neuropsychiatric reasons.

Headache Types

Headaches are classified into two main groups; primary and secondary headaches. In addition, the International Headache Society has made a broader classification and detailed it into 14 main groups and hundreds of subgroups.

Primary, in other words, functional headaches are pains that do not have any underlying pathology. Among its subtypes; tension-type headaches, migraine headaches and cluster-type headaches.

Migraine: As a result of various researches, headaches whose cause is unknown are called primary, and those whose cause is known are called secondary headaches. Among primary headaches, the most common headache type epidemiologically is Migraine. If we look at the migraine attack rates experienced by the society, women experience migraine pain approximately twice as much as men. If we look at the frequency of migraine in our country, one in every 8 people suffers from migraine pain. It is most common between the 3rd and 4th decades.

Cluster Headache: In this type of headache, patients usually experience clusters of headaches that are quite severe and unbearable and can last for several weeks.

Headache is a severe, usually bilateral, throbbing pain around the eyes that wakes patients up from their sleep. After the cluster period in which attacks occur, there is a recovery process that takes months or even years. Cluster headaches are thought to reduce people’s quality of life considerably and are mostly caused by biological clock anomalies originating from the hypothalamus. Unlike migraine and tension headache, it is not associated with triggers. Alcohol consumption greatly worsens cluster headaches. Another aggravating cause is the drugs containing nitroglycerin used by heart patients. Although it is seen in all genders, it is more common in men and usually occurs between the 2nd and 5th decades.

Headaches Originating from the Neck: Although headaches do not originate only from the skull, neck-related headaches may occur due to the deformation of structures such as joints, discs and nerve roots located in the neck and back of the head. Although this type of pain is usually bilateral, head and neck trauma is more common in the patients’ histories. The pain usually starts in the neck and is non-stinging and may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. In the treatment of neck-related headaches, painkillers are used, as well as physical therapy and rehabilitation practices. If the patient does not benefit from these, interventional methods are evaluated for treatment.

Tension-Related Headaches: Hypertension patients often experience throbbing pain at the base of the neck. In the treatment of tension-related headaches, treatments are generally applied to the cause.

Headaches Caused by Drug Use: In the type of headaches usually caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, the pain disappears when the drugs are discontinued under the supervision of a doctor.

Headache Occurring with Exercise: Stinging pain attacks may occur during exercise and effort. In the treatment of these pains, regulation of exercise methods and the use of painkillers can be applied.