Synonyms in a broader sense

Headache, migraine Medical: Cephalgia


All in all, headaches are one of the most common symptoms of ailments. The causes of such pain can be very different. Nevertheless, even today, it must be said that the exact processes that trigger the individual forms of headache can be suspected in many cases, because they can be proven.

Occurrence in the population

About 30% of Germans (that is almost 25 million) have at least occasional headaches. Almost 12% of them are children (mostly of school age) and over 20% of them suffer from migraine. Worldwide, headache patients alone consume almost 13,000 tons of aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid).

These enormous quantities of painkillers that patients consume are in most cases freely available. On the one hand, this bears the risk of developing a drug addiction, but on the other hand, it can also lead to massive organ damage. It is known, for example, that almost 10% of today’s dialysis patients have massively damaged their kidneys by regularly taking painkillers.


The classification is made according to the International Headache Society. An experienced physician will usually be able to make the correct classification after a specific questioning. A basic distinction is made between headache without external influences (primary headache) and headache due to external influences. Primary headache:

  • Episodic (the pain comes and goes)
  • Chronic (permanent pain)
  • Without Aura
  • With Aura
  • Tension headache episodic (the pain comes and goes) chronic (permanent pain)
  • Episodic (the pain comes and goes)
  • Chronic (permanent pain)
  • Migraine without aura with aura
  • Without Aura
  • With Aura
  • Cluster headache and chronic paroxysmal hemicrania
  • Various headaches without damage to the head or its organs

Secondary headache

  • Headache after brain injury (trauma)
  • Headache attributed to vascular disorders
  • Headache attributed to other brain disorders
  • Headache attributed to substance abuse or withdrawal
  • Headache caused by infections that do not affect the brain
  • Headaches with metabolic disorders
  • Headache due to pain in nerves (facial neuralgia e.g. trigeminal neuralgia)
  • Headache caused by diseases of the skull, eyes, nose, ears, sinuses, teeth or mouth
  • Very often headache caused by high blood pressure is found especially in people over 40 years of age.