What Causes Severe Pain in the Head?


Quick Answer

Headaches, blood clots, tumors and strokes can all cause severe head pain, according to Harvard Medical School. Patients should seek medical attention if the pain is exceptionally severe, unremitting or different from any type of headache they've had before.

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What Causes Severe Pain in the Head?
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Full Answer

Physicians don't really know what causes most headaches, although there are about 300 categories of them, claims Harvard Medical School. Interestingly, the brain and the skull don't register pain, but the blood vessels, tissues and nerves around the brain do. A headache can also originate from the scalp, the teeth, the muscles and joints in the neck, and the sinuses. Migraine and cluster headaches are notorious for the severity of pain they cause.

Aneurysms in the brain are another cause of severe head pain, says MedlinePlus. Aneurysms happen in a weakened part of a blood vessel wall. Some of them resemble tiny berries and have a genetic component. In other types of aneurysms, the blood vessel balloons out. Pain results when even a small amount of blood leaks out of the aneurysm. This leakage is a warning that the aneurysm may rupture, which leads to a stroke.

With a brain tumor, headaches become more severe and more frequent over time, notes Mayo Clinic. In addition to headaches, patients may experience nausea or vomiting, difficulty speaking and vision problems.

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