According to data from the Spanish Migraine and Headache Association, headache is a neurological symptom that affects around half of the population. Primary headaches, that is, they are benign and do not hide any serious pathology behind they represent up to 90% of headaches, the most common being tension headaches (70% of headaches) and migraine (affecting 12-15% of the population). The rest are made up of the cluster headache and other less common headaches that are associated with specific moments, such as cluster, hypnic, cough, exertional, sexual headaches, etc.
Headache can also be associated with stress, nervous or muscular tension, taking certain medications, illnesses, lack of sleep, infections, tumors, etc. For this reason, many headaches are very difficult to diagnose or to associate with a specific cause. One of these pains is the one that occurs when we bend over, a type of pain that can be caused by several causes.
It is a headache that can be very annoying, as it happens suddenly and can be very stabbing. But nevertheless, it also tends to disappear quickly and, in general, there is no serious disease associated with it.
Sinus or sinus headache
Sinusitis is an infectious process, either caused by viruses or bacteria, which causes inflammation of the nasal and paranasal sinuses. This inflammation, as well as the accumulation of mucus that it produces, it can cause a pressure that favors the appearance of headache. This pain, which affects the area of the cheekbones and the middle of the forehead, becomes more sensitive when we bow our head or move it sharply. It is usually accompanied by nasal congestion, so it is easy to diagnose.
To alleviate them we can take an anti-inflammatory type ibuprofen, apply dry heat in the area and take remedies to combat congestion, such as mucolytics, drink plenty of fluids, use humidifiers at home and, if the doctor considers it, antibiotics.
If the headache also occurs when we get up, it may be an exertional headache. This type of pain is usually pulsating, occurs on both sides of the head and appears suddenly when enhancing physical effort by stooping or getting up abruptly. It lasts between five minutes or several hours after exertion, although it is normal for it to be mild. To avoid this, it is enough to not make sudden movements and bend down and get up carefully.
Cough headache is a sharp, strong, and brief headache that occurs mainly in the forehead and the lower part of the neck. It lasts a few seconds or a few minutes and then it shrinks and disappears. It can occur when bending over and also when we cough, blow our nose, sneeze or laugh or cry loudly. It is a benign headache that, if it is not accompanied by other symptoms such as visual changes, we do not have to worry.
Drinking water or relaxing for a bit can help the pain go away more quickly.
Headache is a common symptom of dehydration, even if it is still mild. If dehydration progresses, the headache may get worse. In addition, this pain increases if we bend, shake or shake our head sharply. If the headache when bending over is a sign of mild dehydration, it is probably accompanied by fatigue, thirst or dry mouth, among others. In those moments, and when in doubt, it is best to drink water and rest so that neither dehydration nor headaches get worse.
If you suffer from migraine, especially after a certain age, the most normal thing is that you have a diagnosis, since it is a very disabling headache that usually appears in adolescence. As with sinus headaches, it is very stabbing and is much worse when we bend over, it can also be accompanied by congestion or tearing. However, migraine, in addition to being a stronger pain, is accompanied by more symptoms, such as visual alternations, nausea, sensitivity to light and is stronger on only one side of the head. Migraines must be diagnosed by a neurologist and in many cases require specific treatment.
When to go to the doctor
In most cases, suffering from a headache that appears or empowers when we bend down does not require medical attention, as its causes are benign. However, you have to be careful, because sometimes serious pathologies can hide. We should go to the doctor if:
•The pains are severe and frequent
• The pain is comparing visual alternations that do not remit immediately
•There are nausea and vomiting
• There is fever
• appear other neurological symptoms or no clear cause, such as cognitive impairment, muscle weakness, seizures, etc.