What Does It Mean When Your Right Temple Hurts

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By Sophie McEvoy/Sept. 7, 2021 12:42 pm EDT

Nearly everyone experiences a headache at some point in their life (via the World Health Organization), but sometimes it can be more than just a nagging pain. According to NHS Inform, the most common types are tension and cluster headaches. However, a less common type of headache comes in the form of a migraine, which usually occurs at the front or a particular side of your head.

If you start to feel pain in your right temple, this could be a precursor to one of the above headaches. As Healthline notes, tension headaches and migraines often occur on one or both sides of your head, while a cluster headache usually occurs on just one side.

In most cases, whatever type of headache you may be experiencing is only temporary and can be treated with medication, plenty of rest, relaxation, and staying hydrated (via NHS). However, there is a possibility that pain in the right temple could be the cause of other underlying medical conditions.

Pain in the right side of your temple sometimes aren't the result of your typical headache

Pain in the temples can often be a sign of temporal arteritis, otherwise known as giant cell arteritis, which is where the arteries in the temple can become inflamed (via NHS). Symptoms of this condition include frequent, severe headaches, pain and tenderness in the temples, jaw pain, and vision problems. If you feel these symptoms line up with what you’re experiencing, it’s urgent to seek medical treatment as there’s a possibility it can lead to stroke or blindness if not treated as quickly as possible.

According to Medical News Today, pain radiating from a specific side of your temple can sometimes be a symptom of a disorder of the cervical spine, neck injuries, or arthritis in the upper spine. This is known as a cervicogenic headache and usually presents itself with one-sided temple pain alongside a stiff neck, nausea, blurred vision, and a sensitivity to light and sound.

The symptoms of a cervicogenic headache are very similar to that of a migraine, and the two conditions can often be confused. However, as Steward Medical Group notes, cervicogenic headaches usually are accompanied by a reduced range of motion, resulting in pain when you move or turn your head a certain way. Pain can also extend to the shoulders and arms, which doesn’t happen with a migraine.

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