What Causes Headache? 5 Surprising Facts About Constant Headache


Having a headache is a pain and it’s even worse when your headaches feel constant and as if the pain is nagging you all the time. You might be surprised to learn that there’s a fairly lengthy list of causes of constant headaches. Some reasons behind chronic headaches are not serious, while other causes can signify a deeper health issue is at play.

What causes a headache?

Experts don’t completely understand what’s happening in our skulls when a headache hits, but the most likely explanation is that something causes the blood vessels to swell, subsequently stretching the nerves around them and firing off pain signals.

There are three primary types of headaches: migraines, tension, and cluster.

1. Stress

“Unresolved stress can really contribute to headache,” Dr. Hutchinson says. As mentioned, tension headaches happen when the muscles of the neck and scalp tense up, and this can be a physical response that your body has to stress and anxiety, MedlinePlus explains.

2. Dehydration

“With any kind of headache, a person needs to look at their health habits,” Dr. Hutchinson says. One important thing to look at is water intake, as dehydration can cause headaches. The exact connection is unknown, but experts believe it has to do with the way blood volume drops when you’re not getting enough water. Lower blood volume means less oxygen is getting to the brain.

3. Hormonal Issues, Like Menstruation.

Thanks to the drop in estrogen right before menstruation, many women experience PMS-related headaches. In fact, menstruation is one of the biggest migraine triggers for women.

4. Too Much Caffeine

Caffeine causes vasoconstriction in your blood vessels, meaning they get a little narrower. If you drink coffee or other caffeinated drinks every day, your body gets used to it, Dr. Hutchinson explains. So when you skip it one day, your blood vessels don’t become constricted and can make your head hurt. It becomes a vicious cycle, slugging back a mug to find relief, and just further deepening your need for caffeine

5. Could Be A Sign Of A Brain Tumor.

Googling your headache symptoms may result in a self-diagnosis of brain tumor. Rest assured: They’re rare, so chances are you don’t have one. But it’s a possibility, and something you don’t want to miss, Dr. Hutchinson says. “If a patient’s had a regular headache pattern [for months] and it hasn’t changed, it’s usually not a red flag,” she says.