Pathogenesis of Acute Headache

In this article, we will discuss the Pathogenesis of Acute Headache. So, let’s get started.

Pathogenesis

The following are the pain sensitive structures inside or outside the head, the stretching of which leads to pain or headache.

  • Skin, subcutaneous tissue, muscles, arteries and periosteum of the bone
  • Intracranial dural venous sinuses or veins
  • Tissue of eye, ears and nasal sinuses
  • Duramater at the base of brain and the arteries within dura and pia-arachnoid mater

Headache commonly occurs due to:

  • Distortions, inflammation, distension and dilatation of intracranial or extracranial vessels.
  • Traction or displacement of large intracranial veins and/or dural sinuses.
  • Compression, traction and inflammation of cranial and spinal nerves.
  • Muscle spasms (voluntary or involuntary) or trauma to cranial and cervical muscles.
  • Meningeal irritation and raised intracranial tension. Headache due to mass lesions occurs only if they distort, displace or put traction on the blood vessels, dural structures or cranial nerves, hence, it may occur early before the raised intracranial tension develops, and produce typical bitemporal or bifrontal headache.
  • Cluster headache triggers trigeminal photonomic vascular system.
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