Why Throbbing Headaches Occur and How to Stop Them
Headaches are described in a variety of ways: sharp, dull, aching, pounding, and throbbing. This last description, throbbing, is a common sensation that is experienced, but it is often confused with other similar symptoms.
This article describes what throbbing headaches feel like, the types of headaches that cause this sensation, why throbbing occurs, and how to stop these types of headaches.
What Throbbing Feels Like
Throbbing pain feels like a pulsating sensation that comes and goes rapidly. It can also feel like a vibration with a steady and pronounced rhythm. Throbbing may also mimic a heartbeat.
This sensation is not limited to just headaches either. For example, one may feel throbbing when stubbing a toe or having a muscle spasm as well. The pain associated with throbbing can cause stress and anxiety because it is unclear when the sensation will slow down or stop.
Types of Headaches that Throb
Cluster headaches are often described as throbbing pain, as well as a piercing pain behind one eye. But depending on the individual, cluster headaches can have either throbbing or constant pain. Headache disorders like migraines are also frequently accompanied by throbbing pain. This type of throbbing can last for a few hours or even a few days, and migraine sufferers often feel this pain a couple times per month. However, tension headaches do not typically involve throbbing because this type of pain is more constant and does not come and go.
Caffeine withdrawal headaches can also cause a throbbing sensation. After consuming large amounts of caffeine, throbbing headaches can persist for several days. Hangover headaches also cause throbbing pain, typically on both sides of the head.
How Throbbing Sensations Occur in the Body
Throbbing is a natural response of the body that is caused by rebounding dilation of blood vessels in the body. Veins produce throbbing sensations because they are increasing blood flow to a particular part of the body. When the body experiences a headache, it’s the natural response is to deliver blood remedy itself.
The head region experiences pain when a headache develops, which triggers sensory neurons in that area to become sensitized. This allows the region to respond to pulsations of the blood vessels nearby as blood is pumped upward from the heart.
How to Stop Throbbing Headaches
Throbbing headaches are painful, frustrating, and distracting. There’s nothing more important than making one go away when it strikes. But it is important to get an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to determine which type of headache one has and the best course of treatment. Throbbing can be caused by many different types of headaches and other medical conditions that cause the headaches to form in the first place. For example, throbbing could be caused by a stroke, meningitis, or even a brain tumor.
For minor-to-moderate throbbing, over-the-counter headache medications like Vanquish provide quick and long-lasting relief to help the throbbing stop. Spending time in a dark, quiet room can promote relaxation and ease pulsating feelings as well. Placing a cool, wet washcloth or ice pack across the forehead may help, as well as staying hydrated and avoiding foods with sugar and artificial preservatives.
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