What is a pressure headache?

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Batman55
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 136
   Posted 8/8/2009 7:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Is it the same thing as a tension headache?
 
Can heavy lifting/strenuous exercise aggravate a pressure headache?
 
Are there any medical disorders where pressure headaches is a major symptom?
 
Hoping to hear back,
Batman

Batman55
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Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 136
   Posted 8/9/2009 9:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Anyone?
 
I'm sure someone has an answer...

tysmyboo
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Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 921
   Posted 8/10/2009 9:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Batman,
I'm trying to figure out how to respond to your post. I have never really heard a "classification" of heading being called a "pressure headache" so I can't really speak to that. Now, for me when I say I feel pressure (like when you blow up a balloon and put too much air-feeling like its going to explode) that seems different from a tension type headache.

Can you explain a little more? Do you feel a "band" of pressure like wearing a headband? Are there times when your head hurts more than others? (a storm for example)

As for your second question-there is something called Exertional Headaches which can be brought on by exercise, sex etc (read more here: http://www.headaches.org/education/Headache_Topic_Sheets/Exertional_Headaches)

A huge problem with headaches of any kind is that it can be so many things! Its not like we can say "ok, my head hurts...it must be xyz" like some other conditions. I have researched pressure headache as a symptom and found anything from rhinitis (sinus infection) to brain cancer (obviously less common-and if I must say my cousin died of brain cancer and never once had a headache) so, here is a website you might want to look at and compare some of your other symptoms to see if anything sounds familiar. I'm sorry I don't have enough information to give you a better idea of what it might be.

http://symptoms.wrongdiagnosis.com/cosymptoms/pressure-in-head-desc.htm

Do you have a physician you are working with on this?

Hope you are feeling better soon!
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korbnep
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 327
   Posted 8/10/2009 10:13 PM (GMT -7)   
By pressure do you mean a change in blood pressure? Because that can certainly be a trigger for headaches. Postural changes can cause cranial hypoxia and more general hyper or hypotension can equally trigger headaches.

But in general pressure, as I understand what you're saying, is more of a headache trigger than a pathology. Tension type headaches are a specific condition. It's possible for someone to have an underlying condition that may be particularly aggravated by exertion (though it is one of the most common headache triggers for really any type of headache disorder). That could be anything from a cardiac problem to an acute injury or just a normal migraine, tension type headache, cluster headache, neuralgia, etc.

If there's a specific activity that tends to be worse or a particular area of your body that you notice this in, that more detailed information could point in the direction of a particular disorder. Unfortunately physical exertion on its own doesn't do much to narrow down the possible diagnoses than experiencing sleep disturbances as a trigger.

But don't let the lack of a clear diagnosis deter you from taking control of your headaches. Whether you have cluster headaches or ischaemic stroke one of the most important steps in controlling the problem is isolating its triggers and learning to avoid them.

I hope this helps somewhat. If you can give me a more detailed description I'd be happy to try to help more.

Good luck :)

Ben
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tysmyboo
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Date Joined Dec 2004
Total Posts : 921
   Posted 8/10/2009 11:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Ben...I was really trying to figure how to understand the term "pressure headache" and had a lot of thoughts, but getting them out the way wanted to just didn't happen. :-)
Sara-Migraine/Headache Forum Moderator
Battling headpain for 17 years.
DX: occipital neuralgia-radiofrequency nerve ablation every 6mo
 
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Batman55
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 136
   Posted 8/11/2009 8:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for both of the responses, I really appreciate the thoroughness both of you employed in your response.
 
Disregarding my attempt to get "pressure headache" defined, I'll just tell you what my basic symptoms are.  The core symptom is just a feeling of pressure in my head, not like there's a  tight band around my head, but more of a sensation that things are moving around inside my head and are "clogged."  In other words it feels as if something is present inside my head that shouldn't be--perhaps this may be the only way to describe it?
 
I've just turned 28, my blood pressure is always normal, no diagnosed physical health problems.  I've had this "head pressure" for nearly 6 years now.  It seems to subside a little through the process of eating, but comes back a lot worse 30-60 minutes after the meal is done.  The same phenomenon with exercise: exercise initially reduces it, but then makes it worse.  The more rigorous the exercise, the worse the "rebound" effect.  Lifting heavy objects seems to make head pressure worse.  Lying flat on my back, or in any position, often does nothing for it.  Sometimes it's even worse when I'm lying down than when I'm standing up.
 
It's really killing me because I can't concentrate with it and it seems to cause intense brain fog.  Have not seen a neurologist or gotten any scans because I have no insurance.
 
Lemme know if you can think of anything,
Batman
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