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External Compression Headaches

  • External compression headaches

    External compression headaches External compression headaches can occur when anything worn on your head puts continuous pressure on your forehead or scalp. Symptoms: The pain of external compression headaches is often described as moderate, constant pressure. It hurts most in the area where the object is pressing on your head. As long as the headwear is in place, the pain may get progressively worse. Treatment: To end your headache, remove the headwear that's causing the pressure. Further treatment is rarely needed. If you have a history of migraines, wearing tight headwear may trigger an attack that requires migraine medication for relief.

    Epidemiology: The International Headache Society has classified the external compression headache as a kind of cranial neuralgia caused by continued external pressure over the head. This headache has peculiar characteristics and resolves after pressure is relieved. The aim of this study was to analyze the occurrence of this headache type among 82 police officers who reported headache after wearing a helmet. We retrospectively studied 82 patients (79 men, 3 women), age 19?35 years (mean, 26), who presented to an outpatient neurology department in a military police hospital with complaints of headache associated with wearing a helmet on at least 3 occasions. The headache subsided after removal of the helmet. During subsequent follow-up consultations, designed to reevaluate the patients and to renew the authorization releasing helmet use, no patients described recurrence of the head pain. We conclude that headache caused by external compression can be related to wearing a helmet, and headache relief can be obtained simply by not wearing such a helmet. 

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