One of the most common types of pain. A headache is only rarely a symptom of a serious underlying disorder. The pain arises from tension in the meninges, and in the blood vessels and muscles of the scalp. Many headaches are simply a response to some adverse stimulus, such as hunger. Such headaches usually clear up quickly. Tension headaches, caused by tightening in the face, neck, and scalp muscles as a result of stress or poor posture, are also common, and may last for days or weeks. Migraine is a severe, incapacitating headache preceded or accompanied by visual and/or stomach disturbances. Cluster headaches cause intense pain behind 1 eye. Common causes of headache include hangover and noisy or stuffy environments. Food additives may also be a cause. Some headaches are due to overuse of painkillers (see analgesic drugs). Other possible causes include sinusitis, toothache, cervical osteoarthritis, and head injury. Among the rare causes of headache are a brain tumour, hypertension, temporal arteritis, an aneurysm, and increased pressure within the skull. Most headaches can be relieved by painkillers and rest. If a neurological cause is suspected, CT scanning or MRI may be performed.


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