March 6


Anatomy of a Headache and Head Pain

By Sue Ingebretson

March 6, 2018

allergies, aspartame, chronic illness, dehydration, fibromyalgia, Food Allergies, head, headache, hormone, hydration, migraine, MSG, pain, sinus, sweeteners, weather

Do headaches and head pain accompany your fibromyalgia and chronic illness symptoms? Do your headaches reoccur in the same physical location each time or are they more random? What about the frequency? Is your head pain predictable, sporadic, or perhaps seasonal?

These clues and more can give you insight into treatments and preventative actions that can help to relieve this frustrating condition. 

The Anatomy of Headache and Head Pain

Discovering what type of headaches you experience can give you much needed clues about your health. Deciphering the clues your head pain can help you to prevent and / or shorten the duration of your next head pain episode. Becoming proactive doesn’t take much effort once you’ve got the info you need.


First, where is your head pain located?[1]

Are your headaches located primarily on the top or back of the head? Or are they located in the face and behind the eyes? Is your forehead the primary site for your pain?

What about the neck and shoulders?


Next, consider the frequency.

Do your headaches occur every so many days? Or, are they more likely to be seasonal? Do they happen for several days in a row and then give you a break or are they fairly consistent and constant?


There may be circumstantial contributors that tip off your body’s tendency toward headaches. Fevers, hormonal shifts, and tension might be triggers for you. Food can also play a significant role in creating headaches and head pain. Food sensitivities, and artificial additives such as fake sugars (aspartame, nutrasweet, splenda, sweet & low, etc.) and MSG are known triggers. Lack of proper hydration may be another contributor. And, have you ever noticed these health challenges preceding your headaches – strenuous activities, change in weather patterns, or stressful events?

Headaches can also occur as a reaction to sudden, deep emotions such as anger, frustration, fear, or anxiety. One example is the hurt or insult you may feel at the words or actions from a thoughtless person. To discover the type of insult I mean, as well as tips to remedy the situation, check out this post entitled, 4 Steps to Outwit a Jerk

Headache and Head Pain Types

Here are some of the headache types we’ll discuss next week. Once you’ve established the above factors, you can determine which types of headaches affect you most.

We’ll get into more details next week.

For now, answer the questions above and from the information you glean, take a look at the list below. What types of headaches do you believe affect you most? What type(s) of the following headaches have you been part of your fibromyalgia and chronic illness diagnoses? 

What type(s) of #Fibromyalgia Headaches do you experience most? Share on X

Headache and Head Pain Types

  • Migraine
  • Sinus/Allergy
  • Hormone
  • Tension
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Caffeine
  • Food Sensitivity
  • Cluster
  • Hypertension
  • Exertion
  • Dehydration

Ready to find out more about your headaches and head pain? Check back next week for Part 2 and then part 3 of this series! 


Part 2 – Types and Triggers


Part 3 – Remedies and Treatments




  1. I had recurring headaches for weeks. I found 2 reasons for them. My pillow and my eyeglasses. My sons bought me a great pillow and when I had my eyes checked we discovered my vision os improving and my prescription was too strong. Sometimes it just takes some detective work! Thanks for this great article Sue and I am looking forward to part 2. Weather seems to be my number one issue since Fibromyalgia came into my life. I tease that I am a walking talking barometer.

    1. So grateful for your input here! Weather is a biggie when it comes to symptom increases and it’s so crazy that “authorities” keep telling us it’s not. I’m so glad you figured out your specific issues with your glasses and your pillow. At one point in time – before my fibromyalgia diagnosis – I thought my mattress was the cause of all of my pain. You’re right – it DOES take detective work!

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