Headaches Risk Factors

Headaches are quite common in modern daily living. There are so many risk factors that can lead to headache and some of the more common ones for different types of headaches are included in this article.

Risk Factors for Tension Headache

  • Getting little sleep
  • Living a sedentary life
  • Smoking
  • Anger
  • Fatigue
  • Emotional stress

Tension headaches can start when the parts of the head like the scalp, face and neck experience some muscle tightening due to:

  • Excess weight
  • Neck arthritis
  • Sleep apnea
  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Risk Factors for Migraine

Specific Lifestyle Factors

  • Sudden, unpleasant or loud noises
  • Hangover
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Smoking
  • High emotions
  • Inadequate sleep
  • Too much sleep

There are certain foods that can start your migraine. Keep a list of the foods you think or are certain that create this headache. Know the foods that contain additives that might be the triggers for your migraines. These are foods that are likely triggers for migraine:

  • Processed or cured meats
  • Pickled or ferments foods
  • Certain nuts and fruits
  • Vetsin (monosodium glutamate)
  • Old cheese
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Aspartame


Some medications may cause side effects such as headaches. They include:

  • Analgesics (when used almost everyday)
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Birth control pills

Teenage years is the age with the highest risk of headaches while regarding gender risk factors, females are 3 times more likely to experience headaches than males.

People who have a family history of migraine are most likely to end up with migraines as well.

Other risk factors or causes for headaches:

  • Specific scents or perfumes
  • Bright glaring lights
  • Weather or altitude changes
  • Jet lag
  • Fatigue
  • Menstruation

Risk Factors for Cluster Headache

Specific Lifestyle Factors

  • Smokin

Medical Conditions                                   

  • Head trauma
  • Head surgery

People ages 20 to 50 years old are more prone to headaches. Cluster headaches strike males more than females.

Risk Factors for Sinus Headache

  • Injuries in the face that block the sinus
  • Past surgery in your sinus
  • Immune system dysfunction
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Nasal structural problems like deviated septum
  • Nasal polyps
  • Ear infections
  • Long term upper respiratory infection or cold
  • Allergies

7 Fast Ways to Stop a Headache without Drugs

Brad Whisnant, L.Ac.
Pinpoint Acupuncture Clinic
36200 Pittsburg Rd,
St. Helens, Oregon 97051
(503) 397-1505