Thunderclap Headache: When You Should See a Doctor Immediately

  • A short one Overview of headache
  • Of the thunderclap headache
  • Of the ice pick headache
  • Of the weightlifting headache
  • Conclusion

Surely everyone has had a headache at least once in their life, because they are one of them most common health problems worldwide. But in addition to the types of headaches that are very common, there are also rarer specieswhere it is best to see a doctor immediately.

Brief overview: headache

Basically, experts distinguish between above 200 different types of headache. Alone in Germany have more than 54 million people occasional or chronic headaches. This corresponds to a share of over 70 percent of the German population.

A distinction is made between primary headache and secondary headache. While no direct cause can be identified for primary headaches, secondary headaches occur as a symptom of a disease. About 90% of all primary headache types are harmless. Most frequently the so-called tension headache occurs; the next places are taken by migraine and the so-called cluster headache.

But in addition to these three frequently occurring variants, there are also types of headaches that rather rare appear. If you suffer from any of these types, it is important to know how you recognize them and what you should do.

Thunderclap headaches: you need to know that

Of the thunderclap headache is called “Thunderclap Headache” in English. The headache type gets its name from the fact that it suddenly and with extremely high intensity entry. Colloquially it is often referred to as annihilation headache called: It starts out of nowhere and reaches the maximum pain very quickly, usually within just a minute. The pain can last an hour at worst multiple days last for.

Frequent companions of the headache are Nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light. The thunderclap headache can be primary or secondary. Despite the severe pain, the primary headache is usually harmless. It is possible that it is a precursor to a migraine.

However, if it is a secondary thunderclap headache, it is health risk to take seriously. For example, it is often the case that he is life threatening cerebral hemorrhage was caused. Bleeding in the brain accounts for about 15% of strokes. If there is a suspicion of this, the emergency call to choose. Other conditions that could be behind the thunderclap include meningitis, sinus vein thrombosis, and sinus infections.

Stabbing Headaches: The Ice Pick Headache

Another rare type of headache is the ice pick headache. This is also called a primary stabbing headache. It occurs suddenly and without any identifiable cause only a certain place on. You can usually feel the stitches on the top, front, or sides of your head.

This type of headache usually lasts only fractions of a second up to a few seconds. A single moment of pain is possible, but also a series of several short moments.

Especially people with frequent migraines often suffer of ice pick headache. In addition, he can coldfor example by a cold ice cream or drink, be evoked. If you want to find out what the trigger is for ice pick headaches that occur more frequently, it can be helpful diary respectively. In this you document activities, emotions, food intake and the occurrence of headaches. If you can make a connection, you should try to avoid this trigger. If the headache severely restricts you in your everyday life, you should with a doctor discuss possible drug treatment.

Headaches after physical exertion: the weightlifting headache

A third rare type of headache is the so-called weightlifting headache. It is a primary exercise headache. Alternatively, you might also come across the term stress headache; this term already suggests that the pain is during or after sustained physical exertion occurs.

Weightlifting headache is characterized by: throbbing painwhich usually no longer than five minutes stop. Rarely, the pain can last from several hours to two days. If the temperatures are a little higher, the risk of developing this type of headache increases.

One possible cause that could be behind this is one venous insufficiency, which causes the headache due to blood congestion. Another possible background of the headache is a Overstretching of the veins or arteries as a result of physical exertion. If the pain sets in, it often helps if you take the triggering activity. To prevent this, you should first switch to careful training after frequent occurrences of this type of headache and avoid training in high temperatures or at high altitude.


In summary, there are a lot of different types of headaches, each own characteristics and have causes. Especially with secondary thunderclap headache, caution is required and the emergency doctor should be called.

Do you suffer from headaches again and again and can no reason recognize this, you should have them medically clarified. You should also see a doctor’s office if the headache is from symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, fever, flatulence or limitations in motor skills, perception or speech.

Your contact person is first of all family doctor or dermatologist. If necessary, they can refer you, for example to an ophthalmologist or an oncologist.

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