Important information about potential dangerous headaches

Headaches are a common symptom that brings many people into our practice. These are generally tension or migraine type headaches. Most commonly they are from stress, tension, poor posture, tight muscles or restrictions in the neck.

At times headaches can be a sign of something more serious, so it’s important to know how to differentiate between a common headache and a more sinister one.

1. New Headache

A severe headache never experienced before can be significant if you don’t normally suffer from headaches that has no obvious cause. It important to be assessed and make sure nothing dangerous or significant is underlying.

2. Thunderclap headache

This type of headache can be described as imagining someone has been hit by lightening.  This headache is especially alarming if you don’t normally suffer from headaches or migraines. Requires immediate medical attention.

3. Headache after an injury or knock to the head

Closely monitor someone who has experienced a knock to the head, even if the headache is delayed. If someone has received a blow to the head then avoid going to sleep straight after the incident and monitor closely.  Seek immediate help if a headache gets worse with time after impact .

4. Headache that is getting progressively worse

It is important to seek help if the headache is out of character and if associated symptoms such as vision loss and numbness.

5. Headache after physical activity

Most headaches can be put down to dehydration, so drinking plenty of water before and after exercise is important. If a headache persists after  hydration, then an assessment is suggested to investigate the cause.

 6. Headache associated with a stiff neck and fever

This can be a warning sign of meningitis, especially if a rash is present. Important for parents and caregivers to be aware of this.

7. Headache that wakes you up in the night

Headaches shouldn’t be waking you at night. If this is happening it’s important to seek medical attention. Especially if this is a new symptom and you don’t normally suffer from headaches.

8. Headache for the first time over 50 years old.

If an individual is over 50 years old without a history of headaches/migraines and experiencing a sharp headache for the first time, then immediate medical advice is advisable. It’s very important to be proactive in this situation if this is out of character.


This information will enable you to know what requires urgent care and be proactive with if you believe you have a dangerous headaches.

For other headaches that are more neck related, such as postural or some tension headaches, then call us on 9329 1118 for an assessment. 


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