top of page


Headache is the experience of pain in any region of the head. Headaches may occur on one or both sides of the head, or front and backside of the head, occasionally could be like a band around the head, it can be isolated to a specific location, radiate across the head from one point, or have a viselike quality.

A headache may appear as a sharp pain, a throbbing sensation, or a dull ache. Headaches can develop gradually or suddenly and may last from less than an hour to several days.

Different symptoms can help the physician to diagnose the cause of the headache and the appropriate treatment for it. Most headaches aren't resulting in serious illness, but it could result in life-threatening conditions that require emergency care.

There are two categories of headache:

Primary Headache

A primary headache is usually caused by overactivity of or problems with pain-sensitive structures in your head. This type of headache isn't a symptom of an underlying disease.

Chemical activity in your brain, the nerves or blood vessels surrounding your skull, or the muscles of your head and neck (or some combination of these factors) can play a role in primary headaches. Some people may also carry genes that make them more likely to develop such headaches.

The most common primary headaches are:

  1. Cluster headache

  2. Migraine

  3. Migraine with aura

  4. Tension headache

  5. Trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias (TAC), such as cluster headache and paroxysmal hemicrania

The less common types of Primary Headaches have distinct features, such as an unusual duration or pain induced by a particular activity.

They include:

  1. Chronic daily headaches (for example, chronic migraine, chronic tension-type headache, or hemicranias continua)

  2. Cough headaches

  3. Exercise-induced headaches

  4. Sex headaches

Lifestyle factors, including the following, can trigger some of the primary headaches: can trigger some primary headaches

  1. Alcohol, particularly red wine

  2. Certain foods, such as processed meats that contain nitrates

  3. Changes in sleep or lack of sleep

  4. Poor posture

  5. Skipped meals

  6. Stress

Primary Headaches usually respond well to conservative care such as Chiropractic, Physical Therapy.

 Although other causes such as hormonal and genetics can also cause neck pain and headache, through examination, Dr.Gilak can guide you in the right direction or referral to the appropriate Headache specialist in Newport Beach.

Sometimes he constant pulling of the muscles( muscle spasm ) can cause spine alignment and result in headaches. 

Secondary headaches

A secondary headache is a symptom of an underlying disease that results in symptoms of headaches. Any number of conditions may cause secondary headaches.

Possible causes of secondary headaches include:

  1. Acute sinusitis (sinus infection)

  2. Arterial tears (carotid or vertebral dissections)

  3. Blood clot (venous thrombosis) within the brain — separate from stroke

  4. Brain aneurysm (a bulge in an artery in your brain)

  5. Brain AVM (arteriovenous malformation) — an abnormal formation of brain blood vessels

  6. Brain tumor

  7. Chiari malformation (structural problem at the base of your skull)

  8. Dental problems

  9. Ear infection (middle ear)

  10. Encephalitis 

  11. Giant cell arteritis 

  12. Glaucoma 

  13. Hangovers, or dehydration

  14. High blood pressure (hypertension)

  15. Influenza (flu) 

  16. Intracranial hematoma

  17. Medications to treat other disorders

  18. Meningitis

  19. Monosodium glutamate (MSG)

  20. Overuse of pain medication

  21. Panic attacks and panic disorder

  22. Post-concussion syndrome

  23. Pressure from tight headgear, such as a helmet or goggles

  24. Trigeminal neuralgia (as well as other neuralgias, all involving irritation of certain nerves connecting the face and brain)

Some types of secondary headaches include:

  1. External compression headaches (a result of pressure-causing headgear)

  2. Medication-induced headaches 

  3. Sinus headaches (caused by inflammation and congestion in sinus cavities)

  4. Spinal headaches (caused by low pressure or volume of cerebrospinal fluid, possibly the result of spontaneous cerebrospinal fluid leak, spinal tap or spinal anesthesia)

  5. Thunderclap headaches (a group of disorders that involves sudden, severe headaches with multiple causes)

Seek emergency care

A headache can be indicative of a serious condition, such as a stroke, meningitis, or encephalitis. Go to a hospital emergency room or call 911 or your local emergency number if you're experiencing the worst headache of your life, a sudden, severe headache or a headache accompanied by:

  • Confusion or trouble understanding speech

  • Fainting

  • High fever, greater than 102 F to 104 F (39 C to 40 C)

  • Numbness, weakness or paralysis on one side of your body

  • Stiff neck

  • Trouble seeing

  • Trouble speaking

  • Trouble walking

  • Nausea or vomiting (especially if not clearly related to the flu or a hangover)

See a doctor if you experience headaches that:

  • Occur more often than usual

  • Are more severe than usual

  • Worsen or don't improve with appropriate use of over-the-counter drugs

  • Keep you from working, sleeping or participating in healthy activities

  • Cause you distress, and you would like to find treatment options that enable you to control them bette

References:Headache -

bottom of page