A headache is defined as pain associated with the head or neck. The brain itself has no pain receptors so the pain comes from tissues surrounding the skull, sinuses, eyes, ears, nose or nerves. Any or all of these can become inflamed or irritated. The pain may be a dull ache, sharp, throbbing, mild or intense.

There are three classifications of headaches:

  • Primary
  • Secondary
  • Cranial neuralgias or facial.

A primary headache is caused by problems with over-activity of pain-sensitive structures in your head. A primary headache isn't a symptom of an underlying disease. Chemical activity in your brain, the nerves or blood vessels of your head outside your skull or muscles of your head and neck - or some combination of these factors - may play a role in primary headaches.

A secondary headache is a symptom of a disease that can activate the pain-sensitive nerves of the head. Any number of conditions - varying greatly in severity - may cause secondary headaches. Sources of secondary headaches include:

  • Sinusitis
  • Dehydration
  • Ear infections
  • Concussions
  • Flu
  • Hangovers
  • And many, many others.

Neuralgia is pain in a nerve pathway. Generally, neuralgia isn’t an illness in its own right, but a symptom of injury or a particular disorder. In many cases, the cause of the pain is not known. Older people are most susceptible, but people of any age can be affected. Almost everyone will experience mild neuralgia at some point, but these bouts are usually temporary and tend to ease by themselves within a few days.

If you are experiencing frequent headaches or are unsure of your condition, please schedule an appointment today.

Our Neighborhood Walk-In Clinic is:

  • Walk-in friendly
  • Open 7 days a week 8am-8pm
  • In-network for most Washington insurers
  • Open extended hours
  • Equipped with X-Ray and Lab on-site
  • Staffed by Doctors, Physician Assistants, and Nurse Practitioners