Headaches usually result from stress or anxiety but may also be caused by a sinus infection, too much alcohol, or in some cases, a mild reaction to some kinds of food. In most cases, headaches have no long-term debilitating effects. There are two common causes of headache pain. The first is strain on facial, neck, and scalp muscles, often caused by stress. This strain causes contraction of the muscles and produces the most common type of headache, called the tension headache. Typically, tension headaches don't last very long and are easily controlled with relaxation and aspirin or an aspirin substitute. The second cause is swelling of the blood vessels in the head. Headaches that result from this swelling are called vascular headaches and are more severe than tension headaches. Some may require medication prescribed by a physician to control the pain. For more information about headaches, contact a health care provider.