Many people suffer from frequent annoying to debilitating headaches. Recurrent headaches can become a considerable burden upon sufferer’s relationships, personal health, finances and work productivity. This article will discuss the different types of headaches and a possible solution to improve those with headache conditions.
When it comes to classifying various types of headaches many people become confused. Different terminology is thrown about by experts and it is difficult to know exactly what is being referred to and what to do about it.
Let’s begin by classifying headaches simply. Probably the most common type of headache is a tension headache. This can also be called a muscular tension headache or a stress headache. It usually occurs on both sides of the head. It may be frontally in the forehead area. It could be in the back of the head. It might be in the temples. It frequently combines several areas of the head. It is usually mild, annoying and while not pleasant it doesn’t significantly disrupt one’s day. It could be considered to be applicable to a very mild common cold.
Another type of headache is a sinus headache. This is located frontally on the forehead, around the eyes and nose and the cheekbones. For some it occurs with weather or seasonal changes but can also appear randomly. This pain also is usually applicable to a mild common cold.
The next type of headache is a migraine headache. Migraine headaches classically are only found on one side of the head. However, I have found in practice that it can be frequently on both sides of the head. Many migraines have what’s called a prodrome. A prodrome is a set of signals that occur before the actual onset of the headache. These signals can be visual such as squiggly lines, loss of peripheral vision or sensitivity to light. Other signals are auditory such as fluttering noises or the feeling of a clogged ear. Migraines can become debilitating and cause nausea and vomiting. The sufferer may have to lie down in a dark room with a cold compress over the front of the head. This condition could be considered to be applicable to flu.
A less often occurring headache is a cluster headache. Cluster headaches are as described. They are a series of very strong debilitating headaches of varying symptoms. They can become so bad that a person may need to go to an urgent care center or emergency room or be hospitalized. The patient’s sometimes need a corticosteroid IV or injection to help manage the pain. This condition could be considered to be applicable to pneumonia.
There are also pathological headaches that can come from tumors, infections, cancer and other causes. These conditions have to be medically treated and are not included, for the sake of this article to be considered treatable by alternative methods.
Over the course of several decades of chiropractic practice I have been able to help many patients suffering from headaches. As part of an initial evaluation of patients suffering from different types of headaches I always check the alignment and movement of the upper bones of the neck. These bones are called vertebrae and the upper neck area is called the cervical spine. If there is a misalignment or improper movement of the upper cervical spine it can affect the nerves and joints of that area and almost always has some association with headaches noted above.
Chiropractors have had over a century of success helping sufferers of headaches by giving chiropractic adjustments which help restore proper alignment and movement of the upper cervical vertebrae. This helps normalize the nerves and joints of this area of the body. In turn, many patients see a marked improvement of their headaches.
There are also a number of other nondrug approaches utilized in the treatment of headaches. These include acupuncture, massage, and cupping therapy.
A number of scientific research studies have also been performed that show positive benefits from alternative, non-medical treatment of tension, sinus, migraine and cluster headaches.
Anyone suffering from non-pathological headaches would be wise to investigate chiropractic care, acupuncture and massage therapies for the treatment of this significant condition which causes so much suffering to so many.