Why headaches occur with hypertension and how to treat them

According to statistics, 90% of the world’s population periodically complains of a headache. All of them would have experienced an extreme degree of surprise if they knew that there was nothing to hurt, since nature, when creating the brain, limited us from the slightest concern. Of all the organs, this is perhaps the only one that does not have pain receptors.

This allows neurosurgeons to carry out any operations without anesthesia, while all other interventions are accompanied by anesthesia.

Causes of headache

With such a wise arrangement of the brain, only the lining of the brain and vessels with many nerve endings are very sensitive to pain. Discomfort (like migraine) can occur in the cortex and in the subcortical centers.

According to scientists, only 5-10% suffer from headaches of organic origin (structural changes in the brain, skull, vertebrae), when medical care is indispensable. And most often we suffer pain for the reasons that we create ourselves:

  • Constant stress, overwork without proper rest at night, high noise, pungent odors;
  • Under adverse weather conditions, forced to stay in an uncomfortable position for a long time, with excessive eye strain (bad glasses, etc.);
  • With colds;
  • Starvation, hypothermia, intestinal dysfunction;
  • At the time of the visit to the dentist, with a long journey by car and air;
  • Uncontrolled intake of alcohol and certain drugs.

If the cause of the pain is known, and it can be tolerated, if it reminds itself not more often than once a month and stops in simple ways, you can not worry about anything. You need to sound the alarm with a combination of several symptoms:

  • Strong pain in the morning;
  • Edematous face with bags and puffy eyelids after waking up;
  • The pain is especially acute in the occipital part;
  • Malaise enhances physical activity;
  • By dinnertime, the discomfort is reduced.

If suffering accompanies you every day, without days off and holidays, this is arterial hypertension. The source of pain in this case is the narrowing vessels of the brain. It creates a threat of hemorrhage (stroke). To prevent a catastrophe, you need to study all its manifestations and take blood pressure under the control of antihypertensive drugs.

Types of headache with high blood pressure

This type of pain appears when the tonometer readings reach critical levels – 100/200 mm Hg. Art. At the initial stage of hypertension, when the pressure is still within 140/90 and higher, the discomfort and diagnosis of others is a pain of tension.

If the difference in blood pressure is 25% of the working pressure, this factor is guaranteed to cause a hypertensive type headache.

The following types of cephalgia are distinguished:

  1. The pain of muscle tension – increases gradually, creates a feeling of a squeezed skull; accompanied by nausea and dizziness. Prerequisites are stresses provoking spasm of soft tissues.
  2. Vascular pains are sluggish, characterized by severity, pulsation in the temporal and occipital parts of the head; bending or coughing increases discomfort. The reason for their appearance is a violation of the outflow of blood from the skull and a decrease in the tone of intracranial veins with irritation of receptors of intracranial vessels.
  3. Liquor pains – pulsating, bursting in nature, increase with active movements. They are caused by sharp drops in blood pressure, cause spasm of cerebral arteries and venous outflow.
  4. Ischemic pains – aching, dull, with dizziness and loss of orientation, nausea, sensation of a skull compressed by a hoop. Discomfort creates a compensatory spasm of the cerebral arteries.
  5. Neuralgic pains – are sharp, radiating to neighboring departments. Develop after squeezing the trigeminal nerve with an increase in intracranial pressure. The reason for their appearance is mental disorders. A feature of this type are relapses.

When medical attention is needed

Symptoms in which you can not postpone a visit to the doctor:

  • Sharp pain is felt for the first time – hemorrhage in the brain is possible;
  • An attack of a headache is accompanied by painful sensations in the orbits;
  • The appearance of an aura and confused consciousness is also a sign of hemorrhage;
  • Severe nausea;
  • Children’s complaints of persistent headache are one of the symptoms of a developing tumor.

At the initial examination, the doctor evaluates the complaints of the victim, clarifies the list of drugs used by hypertensive patients, measures blood pressure and heart rate, records anthropometric data. After identifying all the symptoms, a preliminary diagnosis is made.

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The headaches characteristic of arterial hypertension are symptomatic of signs of secondary hypertension. They also intensify in the back of the head, have a aching character, can be accompanied by problems from the side of vision, with any activity, tensions, discomfort intensifies.

  • Edema;
  • Heart palpitations;
  • Cutting pains in the eyes;
  • Discomfort in the heart.

An attack of pain usually begins at night or in the morning. Comparative analysis (differential diagnosis) is conveniently placed in the table.

Pain stressMigraineRџSЂRё RіRёRїRμSЂS,RѕRЅRёRёIf hypotension
The nature of painCrushing, burstingThrobbingConstant pressure or pulsatingCrushing
LocalizationOn both sides, stronger – in the back of the headOn the one hand, mainly forehead and whiskeyOcciput and eyesThe crown of the head
Intensity levelModerateStrongAverageAverage
DurationFrom 30 minutes up to a weekFrom 4 hours up to a weekDifferentLong
Features of the courseGradually increasingSilence includes 3 phasesPermanent characterPermanent character
EvidenceLight intoleranceIntolerance to light and sounds, nauseaIncreased blood pressure, nausea, pain in the eyesDizziness, weakness, drowsiness, tinnitus
CausesNeck strain, sleep disturbanceStress, lack of sleep, bad weatherInadequate physical and mental stressBody position

Additionally, for diagnosis, they can apply:

  • X-ray of the skull;
  • X-ray shop with functional tests;
  • EEG;
  • REG;
  • MRI or CT;
  • Lumbar puncture.

Among the reasons that provoke primary hypertension, an important role is played by a genetic predisposition and constant stress.

Analgesics, NSAIDs, antibacterial and antifungal drugs, antihypertensive drugs, heart medications, peptic ulcer drugs, hormones can cause a headache “from a pharmacy”. The disease is complicated by diabetes, obesity, heart disease and blood vessels.

A feature of secondary hypertension is not sharp changes in blood pressure, but its constantly high parameters. In such a situation, one can think of organic changes.

Remedies for headache with hypertension

Headache is a separate symptom that requires special treatment. But do not rush to the pharmacy with the first symptoms for pills – you can try to solve the problem with home remedies:

  • Soothing drops;
  • Hot foot bath;
  • A mustard plaster mounted on the back of the head;
  • Self-massage of the eyes, cervical spine, neck, shoulders;
  • Warm tea with lemon (if there is nausea);
  • Low salt diet;
  • Medicinal plants.

If you ignore the headache, you can get grade 3 hypertension, dangerous complications in the form of coronary heart disease or microinfarction.

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Headaches with high blood pressure caused by spasms of blood vessels. Atherosclerotic changes, disorders of the nervous system affect their tone. You can relieve cramps and significantly improve well-being with Papaverine. In addition to monotherapy, it can be combined with Nicotinic acid or Phenobarbital.

Good results in the treatment of the cephalic lobe are given by Dibazol, which smoothly lowers arterial pressure and vascular tone of the brain.

To enhance the effect, Dibazole with Papaverine can be used. The universal antispasmodic No-shpa is also popular. He guarantees symptomatic treatment, but the cause of the headache remains.

Tempalgin, which relieves pain quickly and for a long time, can also be considered as a combination drug. When dealing with severe pain, you can not rely only on pills – you need to consult a doctor.

Beta blockers

This group of medicines lowers blood pressure and improves well-being by neutralizing the effects of adrenaline on receptors located in the vessels of the brain.

Medications are characterized by a prolonged therapeutic effect, they can be combined with other medicines.


Of the tranquilizers that may be useful for hypertensive patients, Xanax, Phenazipam, Valium can be called. Medications are characterized by a minimum of side effects and high efficiency. With an increased level of anxiety and blood pressure, small doses of sedative drugs will relieve fever and heaviness in the head, and improve overall well-being.

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Tranquilizers are prescribed for certain signs:

Sedatives stop the nape discomfort that occurs in the morning with an increase in the diastolic threshold. Blood pressure up to 120 mm Hg. Art., relieve tension and chronic fatigue in the evening.


Stressful situations are always accompanied by the production of adrenaline, the appearance of vascular pathologies, and an increase in blood pressure. Antidepressants compensate for the negative impact of stress factors on the body, dull the pain.

Constant headaches quite naturally cause depression in hypertensive patients.

Antidepressants not only level the mood, but also enhance the effect of analgesics. For evening use, clomipramine, amitriptyline, imipramine are suitable, their effect is designed for 7 hours.

Not dangerous side effects and Minseran. If the headache takes on the nature of a chronic disease, the effective drugs are Nefazadon, Fluoxetine, which permanently relieve at least half of the patients from unreasonable anxiety and depression.

With symptoms of hypertension in the form of tingling in the frontal part, painkillers such as Analgin, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen temporarily eliminate pain, but do not have a positive effect on the cause. Nonsteroidal drugs are not recommended for patients with a 3rd degree of hypertension and serious cardiac pathologies.

For patients of mature age, Analgin, Aspirin, Nurofen are contraindicated. Children can relieve headaches with half the Paracetamol tablet. But the continued use of drugs in this group increases the percentage of side effects.

Combined Medicines

Combined drugs have a number of active ingredients, this makes it possible to enhance their effect. Relieves peripheral vascular pressure and reduces the tone of smooth muscles Afelfan.

Brinerdin works even more effectively, rapidly expanding blood vessels, with mild side effects.

According to the doctor’s recommendations, persistent symptoms can be eliminated with central medication: Albarel or Rilmetidine. They are normally tolerated by most hypertensive patients, have a prolonged effect (throughout the day).

Folk remedies for hypertension with headache

At the first stages of hypertension, it is advisable to get rid of a headache using traditional medicine methods.

Fruits and flowers of hawthorn

For centuries, headache with hypertension has been treated with tincture of hawthorn.

It is enough to take 30 drops before breakfast, before lunch and dinner.

You can combine tincture of hawthorn with drops of valerian or motherwort.

Pink clover

The course of treatment with tincture of clover is designed for 3 months. To prepare the medicine, fill the clover flowers with a liter jar without sealing them. Add 0,5 l of vodka to it and insist the raw materials in a dark place for 2 weeks. Every day, tincture should be shaken. Use for half an hour before eating 1 tbsp. l in a day.

Wash the onion with the peel. Put the whole, unpeeled bulb in a jar (0,5 l), add a glass of water and leave it all night. Take morning and evening 0,5 cups for two weeks. Every day you need to prepare a new infusion. After a two-week rest, the treatment should be repeated.

Apple vinegar

Dissolve in 1 liter of water 1-2 tbsp. l apple cider vinegar, soak a napkin in the solution and apply for 10 minutes to the soles and temples – the headache will noticeably subside.

Useful to hypertensives and cranberries, lowering blood pressure with regular use. With all the advantages of folk remedies, it must be remembered that herbal treatment is rather symptomatic and cannot completely replace the course of traditional therapy.


Simple tips will help reduce the symptoms of hypertension and prevent the progression of the disease:

  • If you feel unwell, you need to lie down for 15 minutes and relax in a darkened room in complete silence;
  • Prepare a cold compress from a wet towel and a few drops of essential oil (mint, lavender) and put it on your forehead and whiskey;
  • Brew herbal tea (chamomile, mint, lemon balm);
  • Massage the temples, neck and shoulders, kneading and pressing the skin for 10 minutes;
  • Ventilate the room, if possible walk on foot in the fresh air.

To defeat the enemy, you need to know the disease in person. Get acquainted with our guidebook with a verbal portrait of your headache, choose the option that suits your situation and develop a defense tactic.

Tatyana Jakowenko

Editor-in-chief of the Detonic online magazine, cardiologist Yakovenko-Plahotnaya Tatyana. Author of more than 950 scientific articles, including in foreign medical journals. He has been working as a cardiologist in a clinical hospital for over 12 years. He owns modern methods of diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and implements them in his professional activities. For example, it uses methods of resuscitation of the heart, decoding of ECG, functional tests, cyclic ergometry and knows echocardiography very well.

For 10 years, she has been an active participant in numerous medical symposia and workshops for doctors - families, therapists and cardiologists. He has many publications on a healthy lifestyle, diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular diseases.

He regularly monitors new publications of European and American cardiology journals, writes scientific articles, prepares reports at scientific conferences and participates in European cardiology congresses.