Headache overview

Woman with a headache

Headache disorders

Headache disorders are one of the most common disorders of the nervous system. Characterized by recurrent headaches, these can be painful and disabling to sufferers.1

Primary headache disorders may be due to migraine, tension-type headache or cluster headache. These are usually not due to an underlying disease or cause.1

Secondary headaches on the other hand, occur due to the presence of an underlying condition or cause. Examples include sinus infections, a concussion, dehydration, ear infections, high blood pressure, and the overuse of pain medication.2

Acute pain — a silent pandemic3

Headaches impact every facet of our lives

Icon for headache

People who experience headaches not only suffer physical pain, but it also leads to a poorer quality of life. Their family life, social life, and employment may be affected.3

Suffering from headaches can also be a lonely experience for some. According to the Global Pain Index survey conducted in 2018, 4 in 10 Canadians felt that their friends or loved ones don’t really understand what it’s like to experience pain.

In Canada, 51% reported that they didn’t talk about their pain experience with others because they felt it was a personal subject.3

Meet Brody and Rebecca

Image of a male patient pain free from headache


Brody is a young executive working his way up the corporate ladder. With long workdays and tight deadlines, it’s not surprising he sometimes suffers from headaches. He’s seen his doctor about it and was glad to hear that these were nothing more serious than tension-type headaches, even though it impacts his life and work at times.

Brody needs something that works fast and lasts throughout the workday to relieve his headaches when he gets them.

Learn more

Image of a female patient pain free from headache


When a migraine attacks, Rebecca gets a throbbing headache on the right side, feels sick, and finds noise and light hard to bear. As a young mother to a newborn, she’s tired, stressed, and always waiting for the next attack. All she wanted was to enjoy motherhood but with sleepless nights, the migraines are getting bothersome.

Rebecca wants something that will effectively manage her migraines.

Learn more

Understanding headaches and migraine

Icon for headache

Learn about the causes and triggers of headaches

Discover the causes and triggers for the more common types of primary headache disorders — tension-type headache and migraines.


Icon of a doctor

How do they present?

Find out the signs and symptoms of tension-type headache and migraines. Discover how to differentiate them and learn about the “red flag” symptoms that indicate when a referral to a doctor is necessary.

Signs and symptoms

Management icon

What can you recommend to your patients for acute pain relief from their headaches?

Find out more about pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments for tension-type headache and migraines.


Learn more

Advil Extra Strength Liqui-Gels pack shot

Advil Extra Strength Liqui-Gels

An over-the-counter analgesic containing 400 mg ibuprofen that relieves mild to moderate migraine headaches including associated symptoms of nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound.4

Find out more


Condition information

Access information for a variety of acute pain conditions.

Learn more

Patient care resources icon

Patient care resources

Access resources for your patients.

Learn more