Headaches & Migraines
Children, and adolescents especially, can suffer from painful headaches and migraines just as adults do, and they can be equally as debilitating.
Common headache types found in children are:
- Tension headaches are triggered by emotional or physical stressors, such as a tight or stiff neck and back muscles, or body tension due to anxiety, stress, or pain following an injury. The pain is typically described as a dull aching or feeling of constant pressure or squeezing around the head.
- Chronic daily headaches are nearly constant and can last weeks, or even months, in extreme cases.
- Migraine headaches are often inherited (run in the family) and are more common in girls than boys. They can be triggered by things such as stress, sleep deprivation, intense exercise, dehydration, menstruation, or certain foods. Migraines can also occur randomly.
Headaches are thought to be caused by changes in the nerve endings, chemical messengers (called neurotransmitters), and blood vessels of the head and face. These changes send pain signals to the brain, resulting in a headache.