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It’s safe to say that everyone in the world at some stage or other has had some kind of a headache. However, how often have you paid attention to the exact headache locations?

Understanding why you are having headache pain in a specific region is helpful because it can allow you to choose the best possible treatment. Although headaches are incredibly common, sometimes they can be a symptom of another condition, and therefore should be taken seriously.

To get a better idea of the different areas of the head and neck where you can experience pain, here is an explanation of some of the most common types of headaches:

Headache Locations

Sinus Headaches

Your sinuses are the air-filled pockets around the bridge of your nose and in your lower forehead. When this is one of the headache locations you experience, it’s likely due to a sinus infection or allergies.

A sinus infection can occur when bacteria or a virus enter the nasal cavity. Your sinuses swell as the white blood cells try to protect your body from the intruder, and this swelling causes pressure in the face.

Sinus headaches from allergies are similar in reaction, except they’re caused by a triggering allergen in your environment.

Once you note the exact position of your sinuses, and understand how they work, it’s easy to identify these as one of the many kinds of headaches you can experience in this region.

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are felt around the eyes and temples, usually on one side of the face. Sufferers often describe the pain as sharp and intense, and they can last from weeks to months at a time.

While the definitive causes aren’t known, many believe they are caused by excessive alcohol consumption, excessive smoking, and stress. Treatment can vary from over-the-counter (OTC) medicine to requiring testing by a physician for the more intense type of headaches.

As this type of headache occurs in “cluster”, it’s quite easy to identify these headache locations,

Neck Headaches

Pain at the top of the skull and towards the back of the head is usually caused by strain in the neck and back. Specifically, when there’s a problem in the upper cervical spine segments, the brain can interpret that pain in unrelated areas.

There could be dysfunctional nerves or muscles in the back of neck pain base of skull, but the brain is translating that information into a pain in the head. When the pain is centralized in these headache locations, you should have a physician assess your spine, and neck and back muscles, for trauma or strain.

Tension Headaches

This kind of pain can be felt in the forehead and sometimes behind the eyes are due to tension in the eye muscles and muscle strain around the neck. The pain can be dull and nagging, sometimes lasting up to 7 days.

Natural remedies for tension headaches include ensuring you’re getting enough sleep, correcting bad posture, and wearing adequate eyewear. There are also OTC and prescriptive medicines available from a physician.

As one of the most common types of pain in this area, headache locations can vary, so it’s helpful to assess your overall wellbeing to understand whether or not you are experiencing this exact type of discomfort.


Migraines are an especially aggressive type of a headache that includes additional symptoms like nausea and vomiting. When it comes to headache locations, the pain usually occurs on one side of the head and can become so unbearable that emergency medical treatment is required. Migraines are often hereditary but can be triggered by the weather, stress, and hormonal changes.

There are preventative treatments for repeat sufferers that often involve a combination of acupuncture, massage therapy, and medication. In some cases, caffeine pills are used to treat certain types of migraines, even though caffeine has been associated with headaches as well.

As alluded to above, there are varying types of migraines, what defines them is the level of pain and associated symptoms, which includes sensitivity to light and sound, as well as intense pain.

TMJ Headaches

The TMJ (or temporomandibular joint) is the part of your jaw that connects to the skull. When there is strain or trauma to the TMJ, it can result in serious pain and limit the movement of the jaw. Some common causes are grinding the teeth, arthritis, or blunt trauma that causes the TMJ to dislocate from the skull.

When the pain in your TMJ restricts movement or the pain is simply unbearable, your physician will likely recommend pain medication and physical therapy. In severe cases, surgery is required.

You can often tell that it’s a TMJ type of pain due to the tension in your jaw. Relaxation techniques and wearing protective devices for your teeth can also help to lessen the intensity of jaw tension and pain.

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Tension Headache: Locations, Causes and Treatments