What is a temple headache?

Dealing with headaches is not easy. They affect our work and daily activities. While some headaches like stress and hunger may go away on their own, headaches like tension and migraine headaches can worsen your condition. Temple headaches are a pain in temples, which often stems from stress or tension. It can also be a common symptom of migraine where you observe sharp pain in temples. Sometimes, your temples' pressure is also related to much bigger problems like temporal arteritis or disorders related to temporomandibular joints.

See: 5 Stretches To Help Relieve Tension Headaches

What causes temple pain and headache?

The following are some causes of temple headache and pain.

- Tension headache: One cause for feeling pressure in your temples is tension-type headaches (TTH). These types of headaches may last from minutes to weeks. You may also observe pain that is typically pressing or tightening in quality. It may be of mild to moderate intensity, can be unilateral or bilateral in location. Tension-type headaches do not produce nausea and vomiting, but sensitivity to light and sound may be present. These headaches can cause tenderness in head and neck muscles.1. 

A tension headache is a potential source of temple pain. There are no specific tests for diagnosing tension headaches, and they may be tricky to differentiate from migraine headaches. If tension headaches are frequent and durable, or chronic, a physician may recommend preventative therapy. This may involve massage and relaxation therapy. For acute or infrequent tension headaches, someone might benefit from taking over-the-counter drugs for pain relief.

- Migraine headache: Migraine is a severe and disabling neurological condition characterized by attacks of unilateral, pulsing, or throbbing pain in your temples. The person may be sensitive to movement, light, sound, and other afferents inputs. Various types of migraines can impact a person's life adversely. Symptoms include nausea and vomiting, vertigo or dizziness, pain in the left temple, which can be on one side of your head, right temple pain, front, or back, or in your temples. Migraines can begin as a dull ache that develops into a pulsing pain. Some folks feel pressure or pain in their temples.

A migraine episode could have phases, characterized by changes in symptoms: This point may include sensitivity to light and noise, fatigue, neck pain, nausea, and mood changes. A migraine aura is a disturbance of the senses. An aura may be visual, involving lighting, lines, or stains in the area of vision. Or, the air may be physical, causing a pins-and-needles feeling. Auras affect one-third of individuals with migraine. A migraine headache can cause pain that gets worse with movement. Someone may also have nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to noise smells light or a mix. The last phase of a migraine episode may involve fatigue, difficulty concentrating, weakness, and nausea. A person experiencing a migraine episode can benefit from natural remedies like sleeping that may put an end to a moderate episode. Botox injections can also help alleviate migraines.

- Temporal arteritis: Temporal arteritis is a condition that needs immediate medical attention. It is caused by the inflammation of blood vessels. The temporal arteries are responsible for supplying blood from the heart to the scalp. In temporal arteritis, the blood vessels are either inflamed or constricted.3. It is a common vascular disorder, but as rare as only 5 out of 10,000 people are affected. Those who are 50 years or older are more likely to develop this condition, especially women. 

What are the symptoms of temporal arteritis? Apart from the continuous throbbing sharp pain in the temple of your head, other symptoms include-

·         Fatigue

·         Fever

·         Muscle aches in upper arms or shoulders, hips, upper thighs, and lower back

·         Jaw pain worsens with chewing

·         Vision problems, such as double vision, blurry vision or others

·         Tenderness at scalps or temples

·         Loss of appetite or weight loss

- Temporomandibular Joint Disorders.4.

Another cause of temple pain is temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ). TMJ may cause pain due to compromised movement of jaw joints and surrounding muscles. Other symptoms include:

·      Pain in your jaws, sharp pain in the right temple comes and goes. It can also be on the left side or front or back of your head. 

·      Difficulty in chewing and clicking and locking of the jaw joint 

·      Headache while chewing the food, which involves jaw or neck.

·      Your teeth fit together differently, causing pain in your surrounding areas of the jaw.

·      Depression, anxiety, psychological distress, and impaired sleep are also common in patients suffering from TMD.

- Giant cell arteritis: Giant cell arteritis (GCA) causes inflammation in the blood vessels. This can result in pain that's intense, burning, and pulsating. The pain tends to happen in the temples, even though it can extend throughout the mind.

Frequent symptoms contain a fever, a loss of desire, fatigue, tenderness in the scalp or temples, pain in the jaw when chewing, and weight loss. Rarely, GCA may also lead to blurring, double vision, or loss of vision if it affects their eyes' blood supply. It's crucial to get a speedy diagnosis and immediate treatment in order to avoid serious complications. Doctors don't know the causes of GCA.

- Mild traumatic brain injury: A moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) is brought on by an impact to the head. About 85 percent of headaches that result from a TBI are tension headaches. Someone might feel this pain anywhere in the head, such as the temples. It's essential to seek medical care for head pain when it:

·     Increases in frequency and severity or does not stop

·     interferes with daily life

·     is accompanied by symptoms like nausea, confusion, a fever, or nausea

·     happens as a result of a head injury

Seek immediate medical help if a person encounters a sudden, excruciating headache, a headache accompanied by vision loss, a loss of consciousness, or nausea.

- Cervicogenic headache: A cervicogenic headache could result from a cervical spine disease, injuries to the throat, or arthritis of the top spine. Symptoms of a cervicogenic headache can include:

·    sensitivity to sound and light

·    a diminished range of movement of the neck

·    a headache that gets worse with specific movements of the throat·    pain on one side of the head, maybe in the temple

·    a rigid neck

·    nausea

·    blurry vision

Remedy for cervicogenic headaches entails exercise and physical treatment.

See: How To Get Rid Of Sinus Headache & Migraine

Summary

The reason for pain in the temples is often stress or anxiety. However, it's important to recognize when head pain or accompanying symptoms aren't manageable at home. If the pain becomes more intense or frequent, or if symptoms like confusion, dizziness, a fever, or vomiting occur, see a physician.

See: Nadi Shodana Pranayama - Alternate Nostril Breathing

References

1. Chowdhury D. Tension type headache. Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2012;15(Suppl 1): S83-S88. DOI:10.4103/0972-2327.100023

2. Shah, Bhupendra & Pandey, Dipesh. (2017). MIGRAINE REVIEW ARTICLE. European journal of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences. 4. 226-30. 

3. Mathew T, Aroor S, Devasia AJ, et al. Temporal arteritis: A case series from south India and an update of the Indian scenario. Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2012;15(1):27-30. DOI:10.4103/0972-2327.93272

4. List T, John MT, Ohrbach R, Schiffman EL, Truelove EL, Anderson GC. Influence of temple headache frequency on physical functioning and emotional functioning in subjects with temporomandibular disorder pain. J Orofac Pain. 2012;26(2):83-90.

5. Narouze, S. (2018, March 23). Chapter 22 — Cervicogenic headache (Abstract). Essentials of Pain Medicine, 177–182. Available from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B978032340196800022X

6. Secondary headaches. (n.d.) https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/secondary-headaches/

7. Occipital nerve stimulation may help with intractable headaches. (n.d.) https://headaches.org/2012/03/15/occipital-nerve-stimulation-may-help-with-intractable-headache/

See: Prevent Menstrual Migraines & Hormonal Headaches

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