As an anesthesiologist and chronic pain expert, one of Dr. Subrata Chakravarty’s most-often seen patient symptoms is chronic head pain. While some headaches do indicate serious illness or injury, most are common and routine.

Here is a quick guide by Subrata Chakravarty to help explain the different kinds of chronic head pain that people commonly experience.

Routine Chronic Head Pain

Even when there is a strong chance that one’s headache is routine, every patient should consult with their primary care physician first to rule out serious illness or injury. That being said, here are some of the common types of routine head pain.

Stress-Induced Head Pain

Chronic stress is unfriendly on the human body. Not only is it responsible for millions of headaches in Canada, stress will cause back and neck muscles to contract. When these muscles contract, it often triggers painful headaches.

Sinus-Induced Head Pain

Colds, sinus infections, the flu, and congestion in general typically causes headaches. These minor illnesses can cause one’s sinuses (the caverns behind one’s face) to inflame. This can create pressure around the nose, ears, throat, and temples. 

Dehydration

Subrata Chakravarty notes that not paying attention to one’s water intake is a classic reason why people suffer headaches. This is especially common in extreme dry or hot conditions.

Withdrawal

Alcohol and drug abuse not only create collateral damage while someone is intoxicated, it is also very difficult for the average human to break free from these addictions. As one begins the process of withdrawal, they tend to experience pain, aches, and sickness as the body purges itself from the addiction. Headaches are common.

This includes withdrawal from cigarettes, caffeine, and sugar. Those that are trying to improve their diet frequently experience headaches as their bodies long for their favorite junk foods.

Serious Chronic Head Pain

In some cases, chronic head pain is a symptom of a more serious issue. As a professional anesthesiologist, Subrata Chakravarty insists that anyone experiencing head pain not from one of the doctor-diagnosed conditions above seek medical attention as soon as possible. It is also important to note that a serious issue usually has additional symptoms beyond mere head pain and may require additional medical aid.

Concussion

If someone has recently banged their head in an accident, a headache could be a sign of a concussion. When left untreated, even minor concussions can lead to more serious issues. It is recommended that you visit a doctor if you are worried about having a concussion.

Stroke Symptom

If blood is blocked from getting to the brain, that person can experience a stroke. They will not only suffer from a headache, they will also feel disoriented, numb in parts of their body, and have difficulty seeing clearly. Strokes can be dangerous and if you begin experiencing these symptoms, contact a medical professional immediately.

Skull Fracture

If a head injury is severe enough, a person may actually fracture the bone of their skull. In addition to ongoing headaches, patients will exhibit some of the same symptoms as a stroke victim, along with bleeding from holes in the face (ears, nose, and eyes).

Tumor

In the case of a brain tumor, the brain will become enlarged and place pressure on the rest of the head. These headaches can be intense. Additional symptoms of a brain tumor include drowsiness, confusion, nausea, and seizures.

Subrata Chakravarty concludes that chronic head pain is something that should not be taken lightly especially if the symptoms could involve one of the severe cases.

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