Headache Causes

Headache pain occurs when certain nerves of the blood vessels and head muscles are activated. Those nerves then send pain signals to your brain.

Headaches can be caused by many different things. Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. They are believed to be caused by tight and tensed muscles in your upper body such as shoulders, scalp, neck, and jaw muscles. Tension headaches are also known as stress headaches.

Certain behaviors can trigger headaches. You can help prevent headaches by avoiding the following activities:

  • Overworking
  • Lack of sleep
  • Missing or skipping meals
  • Clenching or grinding teeth
  • Over-exertion of muscles and joints
  • Poor sleep positions
  • Keeping your head in one position for an extended time
  • Consuming alcohol

Headaches can also be triggered by particular foods or substances, including:

  • Cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)

Understanding more about the causes of headaches can help you take steps to avoid or reduce your exposure to triggers that cause your headache pain.

Read more on Headache Prevention>

Health Topics—Headaches. MedlinePlus Web Site. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003024.htm  Accessed July 27, 2016.