A headache or cephalgia is defined as “a pain or ache in the head…It accompanies many diseases and conditions, including emotional distress.”
Headaches are one of the most common ailments, with most people experiencing a headache at some point in their life. They can affect anyone regardless of age, race and gender.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that around 47% of adults worldwide will have experienced a headache within the last year. As well as being symptoms of other conditions, headache disorders can lead to the development of other illnesses. Depression is three times more common in individuals with severe headaches than in healthy people.
Headaches can radiate across the head from a central point or have a pincering vise-like quality. They can be sharp, throbbing or dull, appear gradually or suddenly and last for multiple days or less than an hour.
There are multiple ways to define headaches. The International Headache Society (IHS) categorize headaches as primary headaches or secondary headaches, depending.