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Poking sensation in the head may be due to primary headache or secondary headache, I will explain these terms below. Headache can present as pain anywhere in the head. The pain may occur on one side or both sides of the head. Many types of headaches have been described; some of these can present with sharp pain, pressure pain, dull ache or just throbbing sensation. Pain can be restricted to a one specific location, have a vise-like band quality or spread across the head. Headaches may appear suddenly or gradually, it may last for few minutes or for several days. These characteristics of pain symptoms are what allow doctors to determine the cause of the pain.

Most headaches are not caused by serious conditions, and are more annoying than dangerous, but some may result from a serious lethal condition, sometimes emergency care maybe required.

Headaches are usually classified in two groups, headaches that are not caused by medical conditions and are just headaches this group called "primary headaches", the second group is caused by another medical condition, here the headache is just a symptom this group called "secondary headaches".

Primary headaches

As mention above these headaches are not symptoms for medical condition but rather result from the spasm of the neck and head muscles, chemical imbalance in your brain or in the blood vessels of your head.

Primary headaches include:

- Migraine can cause painful throbbing sensation over one location of the head, this is often associated with sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and vomiting. Migraine attack can last for hours to days; the pain can be so severe that all you want to do is lay down in a dark, quiet place. Some migraine attacks are preceded by warning symptoms called aura, aura can be anything but most often flashes of light or blind spots in front of your eyes. Several medications are used to reduce the number of attacks and the pain in each attack.

- Cluster headaches occur in clusters usually at the same time of day and same time of year. Pain is very severe and may awaken you in the middle of the night. Pain is often located around one eye and associated with red eye, tearing or runny nose. After a cluster of headaches that may last for days or months, a remission period follows; this may last for months or even years.

- Tension headache results from the spasm of the neck and head muscles. Relieved by pain killers.

o Trigeminal Neuralgia is a pain condition that affects one of the nerves in the face. Patients who have neuralgia suffer from pain that can be induced even by mild stimulation of the face, such as from brushing teeth.

- Exercise headaches

- Cough headaches

- Sex headaches occur only during sex, especially at orgasm.

Secondary headaches

In this case the headache is just a symptom for another medical condition. Examples:


- Brain Aneurisms, a weakness in the arterial wall that protrudes as a sac.

- Brain Vascular malformations, due to abnormal communications between arteries and veins.

- Brain tumor, not a common cause for headache.

- Chiari malformation. This condition results from a structural problem inside the skull.

- Dental problems

- Ear infection

- Brain inflammation called encephalitis

- Giant cell arteritis, this is very serious condition that can lead to blindness if not treated.

- Bleeding in the brain, can cause a loss of consciousness.

- Stroke

Many other conditions can cause headache. We recommend you visit your general practitioner if the headache is severe or lasts for a long time. If the headache is associated with arm or leg weakness, difficulty speaking, or any other new neurological symptom please call emergency services.

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