Pulsating Headaches: Understanding When To Get Help

By Annette GallagherNovember 28, 2016October 4th, 2021No Comments

Headaches come with a variety of symptoms and are characterized by different types of pain. Tension headaches are characterized by intense pressure and often feel as if there is a tight band encircling the head. Bending over can intensify headache pain, as can bright lights and strong odors. Headaches that pulse and tend to accompany changes in blood pressure can be extremely uncomfortable.


Pulsating headache painis often a prominent symptom of migraines and cluster headaches. The intense, pulsating feeling is often caused by the pressure of the blood being forced through the constricted blood vessels throughout the brain and cranium.

The smaller the blood vessels become, the harder the heart must pump to keep the blood moving through the area. The pulsating sensation can actually make the person feel as if their entire head is pulsing along with the beat of their heart.


Vasodilators are often used to help dilate the blood vessels in the brain and relieve the pulsing that can be as uncomfortable as the pain. Medications that reduce blood pressure may also be prescribed. Preventative medications may be prescribed on a regular basis, depending on the headache diagnosis, to help control triggers that can cause pulsating headaches.

When a person begins to feel the first mild pains of a pulsating headache, the use of over-the-counter medications may be able to prevent the headache from reaching its full potential. Doctors have found that the use of stem cells may offer some relief for individuals who suffer from various types of migraine pain.


Individuals who are prone to chronic headache pain can reduce the effects of some of their triggers by employing simple self-care measures like relaxation techniques and meditation.

Deep tissue massage can relax muscles in the neck and head, as well as improve circulation and reduce inflammation.

Applying hot and cold packs can also provide relief depending on the type of headache pain and what is causing the pain. Ingesting small amounts of caffeine may also help to increase blood flow to the area.


At theMiami Headache Institute, we go to great lengths to find the cause of a patient’s headache pain. Headaches are caused by a variety of different triggers. Knowing the cause and understanding the physiology of the condition allows our doctors to offer the best type of treatment for each kind of headache.

Whether you are experiencing tension headaches or migraines, we have the treatment options that can provide you with relief from pulsating headache pain. Please contact us today.