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Headache: 3-Category Classification of the Disorder


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Everyone knows that headache is that pain somewhere in the head or neck region. And not for nothing, because most headaches are the symptoms of certain conditions of one’s head and neck. It is important to know that the ‘head’ pain occurs when pain-sensitive, around-the-brain structures are disturbed. These are 9 areas of the neck and head: the cranium, muscles, arteries and veins, nerves, subcutaneous tissues, eyes and ears, mucous membranes and sinuses. Also, there are many different systems for headache classification. One of the most recognized classifications is that of International Headache Society. In fact, headache is definitely a non-specific symptom, so it has a plenty of possible causes. Typically, the treatment of headaches depends on the underlying cause, but it commonly involves analgesics.

International Classification of Headache Disorders
Primary headaches: migraines, tension-type and cluster headaches, trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias, stabbing headaches, headaches due to exertion, cough and coital cephalalgias, daily-persistent headaches, hypnic headaches and thunderclap headaches.
Secondary headaches are caused by head or neck traumas; by vascular and intracranial disorders; by ingestion of certain substances; by HIV/AIDS; by homeostasis disorders; by injury of facial structures; by psychiatric disorders.
Neuralgias and facial pain (19 types), plus all the headaches that can’t be classified.

NIH Classification of Headaches
This classification consists of a limited number of headaches and their brief definitions. The NIH system describes only 5 categories of headaches: vascular, cervicogenic, myogenic, traction and inflammatory. Generally, there are over 200 types of headaches, so the causes are ranging from harmless to even life-threatening.

2 Types of Headache Treatment
There are 2 types of treatment for headaches. The first one means acute abortive treatment, and is aimed to immediately relieve the symptoms. The second method means preventive treatment, focusing on controlling the headaches. The primary goal of any preventive treatment is to reduce the severity, frequency and duration of headaches. Such treatment involves medication, taken on a daily basis for 3-6 months.

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  • Posted On August 4, 2012
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