Headaches can be a tricky condition. If you start to experience pain in your head, neck or scalp, it can be scary! Some headaches can indicate a serious problem, while others can just be a sign that you need to drink more water.

Thankfully, the majority of headaches don’t indicate a major issue and can be remedied by rest and fluids. Wondering what else you should know about headaches? Our AFC Urgent Care Hickory team shares the details below.

What Are the Different Kinds of Headaches?

The vast majority of headache complaints are due to primary causes. Primary headaches are caused by overactivity within the pain-sensitive structures in your brain and can cause discomfort and significant pain. While uncomfortable, primary headaches don’t indicate an underlying problem. These include migraines, tension headaches and dehydration headaches.

Secondary headaches are a different story. If you are suffering from something serious like a blood clot, brain tumor or stroke, you can experience significant pain and other symptoms below that should warrant immediate medical attention.

Serious Symptoms for Headaches

  • Sudden and severe pain
  • Pain accompanied by fever or stiff neck
  • Headaches after an injury or accident
  • Vision changes
  • Numbness or paralysis on the body

How Do I Know What Type of Headache I Have?

If you have never been diagnosed with a primary headache condition before like migraines, cluster headaches or tension headaches, a medical provider can help go over your symptoms with you and discuss any lifestyle changes or medications you can take.

If your doctor is concerned about a central nervous system issue, a CT scan or MRI will probably be ordered for you to catch any issues like blood clots or tumors. If a serious issue is found, a hospital stay or a referral to a specialist will be recommended.

Reducing Symptoms of a Primary Headache

  • Drink water.
  • Get plenty of rest in a quiet, dark room.
  • Take an OTC pain reliever.
  • Drink a small amount of caffeine.

Headaches are something to always take seriously. If you are experiencing symptoms you have questions about, come see our team at AFC Urgent Care Hickory.