Doctors Explain The 4 Worst Types of Headaches (And How to Stop Them)

We all get an occasional headache, but when they occur repeatedly, they may be a symptom of a headache disorder.

Do you know what causes a common headache? If not, you’re not alone.

The answer, according to WebMD, is somewhat complicated: nerves of your head muscles and blood vessels switch on and transmit pain signals to your brain. As to why these signals activate in the first place is perplexing to even the most brilliant minds.

Most of us experience what is called tension-type headaches, which fall into one of two categories: chronic or episodic.

Episodic headaches are the most common and occur sporadically. About 90 percent of all headaches experienced are episodic. Episodic headaches last anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours and produce moderate pain.

Chronic headaches are more consistent, and occur most days, lasting for days at a time. Because of their frequency, chronic headaches usually require some type of pain management strategy.

Here, we’re going to talk about the five most painful types of headaches, including their symptoms, causes, treatment, and prevention.

Let’s get going!


1. Cluster

Cluster headaches may just be the most painful headache condition. Estimated to affect one in 1,000 people, cluster headaches target one side of the head and are excruciatingly painful. The pain feels burning and piercing, often located behind or around one eye.

Symptoms of cluster headaches include drooping eyelid (on one side), reddening of the eye, swelling, sweating, flushing, and nasal congestion.