Headaches, especially in some types and forms, represent one of the most disabling and intense pains there is.

Generally, however, it lasts how long a headache can last most disabling and intense there is. It is therefore normal for those who suffer from it to wonder how long they will be sick and whether the situation can be resolved in the short term. In reality, it is not easy to say exactly.

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Headache: what is it

Commonly, the expression “headache” it is used to indicate all types of pain affecting the cranial region. In reality, there is not just one of headache (this is the scientific term for headache), but many different forms, some also linked to other diseases such as sinusitis or neuralgia.

However, there are three main forms of headache:migraine, tension headache and cluster headache. They can all beepisodic or chronic: in the first case, the painful crises have a sporadic frequency, appearing for less than fifteen days a month.

We speak of chronicity, however, when the pain appears with a high frequency, for at least fifteen days a month, for more than six months, without responding to treatments and often associated with depression and disability. The form that becomes chronic most easily is migraine.

The pain has a variable intensity

Headaches do not always appear with the same intensity. In some cases the pain is contained and does not prevent you from carrying out normal activities of daily life, or at least it is easily resolvable with the adoption of small measures and/or with the taking of medicines. Sometimes, however, the crises are very disabling, so the person is forced to stop, isolate themselves and perhaps go to bed because the pain is so strong that it prevents them from to do anything.

Tension headache

Tension headache represents the most widespread form of headache and is characterized by the appearance of a circle on the head, i.e. a vice that affects both sides of the head and causes a sense of constriction and heaviness, almost as if you were wearing a helmet too tight.

In most cases, the pain is localized in the occipital and parietal region, that is, the posterior and lateral part of the skull, above the nape. Most likely, this headache is caused by an involuntary and continuous contraction of the muscles< a i=6> of the nape of the neck, forehead, temples, neck and shoulders.

Usually, attacks last a variable between half an hour and a week.


After tension headache, it is the most widespread form of headache, recognizable by intense pain, of a throbbing nature, a real and precisely pounding which generally involves only one side of the head and which intensifies with movement. It begins progressively, initially involving the frontal area above theeye, and then spreading to the entire forehead and temple.

Pain may also be associated withnausea, vomiting, photophobia (discomfort with light), phonophobia (discomfort with sounds), osmophobia (discomfort with noises), chills and paleness . In a small percentage of cases, from 10 to 30 minutes before the crisis or in conjunction with the crisis itself, the so-called “aura” appears, that is, a series of reversible neurological symptoms.

The migraine attack can last a few hours or, in more serious cases, a few days (up to three days). In many cases it appears upon awakening.

Cluster headache

It is a headache so disabling that it was once also called “suicide headache”: the pain is intense, stabbing and unilateral , is localized around the eye and cheekbone, and sometimes radiates to the temple, jaw, nose, dental arch and/or chin. In some cases the entire side of the skull is affected, even the follicles of the hair.

The name derives from the fact that the painful attacks follow one another at a short distance of time: they group together “like the grapes of a bunch of grapes . Then it decreases rapidly until it disappears completely.from 15 minutes to three hours” at certain times of the day and seasons of the year. The attack, which reaches maximum intensity within 2-15 minutes, can last.

During the cluster, i.e. the period during which the crises appear, there can be from one crisis every two days to multiple crises in 24 hours, however the attacks have extremely variable frequencies, durations and intensities from person to person.

The other forms

Headaches linked to other diseases and those due to specific situations have a variable duration from case to case, for example headache due to sinusitis< a i=2> may persist (perhaps appearing intermittently) until the nasal congestion and inflammation underlying the problem improve.

Headaches triggered by exposure to cold, on the other hand, are generally called “cold-induced headaches”, they resolve within about ten minutes of returning to room temperature.