Headache Causes: Why does my head hurt?

Why does my head hurt everyday? There are many reasons for head pain and it is relatively complicated to find the headache causes!

It’s just that under the circumstances of recent weather changes, clinicians have found that more people have so-called “cough headache”. The doctor explained: Coughing , sneezing, blowing your nose and other sudden big movements can also cause headache.”

Why Does My Head Hurt when i Cough?

Most of the head pain caused by cough are benign coughing headache . Characterized by cough. Sudden, bilateral headache that usually subsides within 1 minute, Besides coughing.

Head pain can also be caused by sneezing, and laughing. 40 years old with a common headache in men. It seems that there are many before and after. As a remedy, it is not a usual pain reliever, but indomethacin.

Loop medicine may work. It’s a benign headache, but some of them are Arnold Chiari. If it is accompanied by a shape , it may occur due to a brain tumor in the cerebellum or brain stem.

So be careful, Chiari malformation is a brain where the part called the cerebellum peach is depressed below.

It is a malformed lesion. It is said that the intracranial pressure rises with coughing and causes head pain. vinegar. In addition, subarachnoid hemorrhage, sinusitis, etc. may cause headache with coughing .

When a person catches a cold, large or small, accompanied by sudden big movements such as coughing, sneezing, blowing the nose, etc., it will cause a headache.

Lin Zhihao, the chief physician of the Department of Neurology of Linxin Hospital, said: “This is called a cough headache. , Refers to the headache that is immediately induced simply by coughing or other exerting behaviors.”

The time is usually a few seconds to a few minutes, and a few people can take as long as two hours, but some people will cough more, and the head will hurt.

Because the intracranial pressure suddenly rises when a person coughs, it will pull the meninges and induce headaches.

headache causes
Headache Causes

Headache Causes

Sore throat, which is accompanied by cephalalgia, occurs mainly in men over 40 years of age. The main causes of headache when coughing are as follows:

  • Sharp lifting of weights;
  • Arnold-Chiari Syndrome;
  • Excessive physical activity;
  • Violent sneezing;
  • High pressure in the vessels of the brain;
  • Smoking;
  • Bronchial asthma;
  • Allergic reaction.

In most cases, if a person has a headache when coughing, intensive medication is not required. The only exceptions are tumor formations. To establish how serious the cause of cephalalgia is, it is necessary to undergo a study with a specialized specialist.

Back Head Pain

The painful sensations present during a cough sometimes occur due to a cold, but this symptom can also indicate pathological processes developing in the body. First you need to figure out what kind of pain in the head is with a cough symptom.

The reasons for which the cough symptom “shoots” in the head.

  1. Diseases of the peripheral nerve can cause painful head spasms. The pain increases not only with coughing, but also with sudden movements, head tilts, turns. This deviation is usually caused by a draft. Most likely, the patient was drawn out and an inflammation of the trigeminal nerve occurred.
  2. When pains in the head occur with a cough symptom and they radiate to the back of the head, cervical osteochondrosis is the culprit. The discomfort is worse when turning the head. In addition to head cramps, a person may experience other symptoms – dizziness, tinnitus.
  3. Often, oncological diseases, aneurysm, cyst can serve as a factor causing painful spasms of the head with a cough symptom.

Sometimes a strong cough gives off to the head due to pathologies in which urgent surgical intervention is necessary. In some cases, this symptom is fatal.

Primary cough headache

A bilateral (occipital) headache that lasts for about 1 minute and is triggered by a cough. It mainly occurs in men over the age of 40. 

In addition to coughing, headaches can also be caused by “sneezing,” “ikimi,” “Valsalva maneuvers (holding your breath and squeezing),” and “laughing.” Indomethacin (50-200 mg / day) is effective. 60% of coughing headaches are primary coughing headaches, while 40% are secondary headaches with other causes. 

Most often associated with Arnold Chiari malformation type I (a disease in which the cerebellar tonsils fall down), streptococcal infection, meningitis, subarachnoid hemorrhage, cerebral aneurysm, sinusitis and low cerebrospinal fluid pressure syndrome As it happens, various tests are required.

Cough headache is a benign headache! Slowly improve after treatment

Some people have other types of headaches such as migraine or cluster headache combined with coughing that aggravate their headache symptoms, but they are not classified as cough headaches.

But for patients with general cough and headache, don’t worry too much. Lin Zhihao explained: “Most cough and headache are “primary” benign headaches, which can be improved with appropriate treatment, and most of them will be cured slowly. ”

However, according to statistics, nearly 40% of cough and headache may be “secondary“! That is, it may be caused by brain lesions, and I am most afraid of some internal lesions of the head.

According to statistics, 16% of patients with cough and headache actually have brain lesions, and 22% have “sub medullary hernia malformation.”

Diagnostic criteria

A. I have more than one headache that meets AB-D

B. Occurs only with coughing, swelling, or other Valsalva maneuvers (or combinations thereof)

C. Occurs suddenly

D. 1 second-2 hours lasting

E. No other optimal ICHD-3 diagnosis

(Translated by the International Headache Society / International Headache Classification Committee: International Headache Classification 3rd Edition)


The prevalence is thought to be around 1%. Generally, it is common in men, and it is often seen at the age of 40 years or older (average 55 years).


Previously known as benign cough headaches and Valsalva maneuver headaches. A headache caused by a cough or breath in the absence of an intracranial disorder. 

In the absence of intracranial disease, a brain tumor or malformation in the skull induces the same type of headache with coughing or swelling. 

The most common are Arnold Chiari malformation type I (a disease in which the cerebellar tonsils fall down), brain tumors, streptococcal infections, meningitis, subdural bleeding, cerebral aneurysms, sinusitis and low cerebrospinal fluid pressure syndrome. .. 

It is common to primary headaches, but diagnosis cannot be made unless secondary headaches cannot be denied by performing various tests such as imaging tests. Of the headache induced by coughing and breathing, 40% are secondary headaches. 

In addition to coughing, headache can also be triggered by “sneezing,” “ikimi,” “Valsalva maneuvers (holding your breath and squeezing),” “laughing,” “crying,” “singing,” and “defecation.”

It appears after these inducers and reaches a peak of pain almost immediately. It disappears in a few seconds to a few minutes, but the diagnostic criteria are 1 second to 2 hours because some people have a mild headache that lasts for about 2 hours. 

Usually, it is bilateral pain and occipital pain is common. Two-thirds have dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and sleep problems.

Headache Treatment

Effective drug treatment for cephalalgia that occurs during coughing can only be prescribed by an experienced specialist. If the discomfort is short-lived, you can stop them with the help of pain relievers.

However, pills must be taken very carefully, especially when combined with other medicines. If your head hurts when you cough, compresses and herbal decoctions help well. It is best to contact a specialist with a problem.

Each patient who starts to have a headache when coughing will be assigned an individual treatment plan.

Note: Before taking any medicine please consult your doctor first.

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