There are many different types of headaches, and even other conditions, such as migraines, have a headache as a symptom. How can you know what kind of headache you are getting, and is there a source of natural relief? We are going to take a look at the symptoms of different headache types. While this is not a way to diagnose your condition, it can help you to understand more about headaches. Then, we will conclude by discussing a way to find natural headache relief that has helped many patients in case studies.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. When tension builds up in the neck and shoulders, this can lead to a headache that feels like a tight band is wrapped around the head. Tension headaches are usually mild to moderate in the amount of pain that they cause. Neck pain is a common accompanying symptom. Stress, poor posture, anxiety, and clenching of the jaw are the top triggers for this type of headache.
The headaches that are associated with migraines are also prevalent. This is because about 39 million Americans get migraines and approximately 90% of migraine attacks present with a headache. So while not every migraine will have a headache as a symptom, most will. What are some of the factors that help to differentiate a migraine headache? You should be experiencing at least two of the following four headache symptoms.
- The headache grows worse with exertion
- Pain is moderate to severe
- Pain occurs on just one side of the head
- The headache feels like a pulsing or throbbing sensation
Of course, migraine headaches also come with a slew of other symptoms that may include sensory sensitivities, nausea, visual disturbances, neck pain, and so on. Even within the condition known as migraines, there are varying types such as retinal migraines, migraine with aura, and hemiplegic migraines.
Fortunately, this is one of the rarest headache types. It is also one of the most severe. Cluster headaches occur on one side. Attacks can range from about 15 to as long as three hours. You may get multiple headaches per day for a period of time. Then you may have months or even years before the next cluster strikes. Men are far more likely to get cluster headaches than women. Other symptoms may include a red or watery eye and runny nose just on the side where the headaches are occurring.
Sinus headaches commonly feature a stuffy or runny nose as one of the main symptoms. However, these can also be symptoms of a migraine, so don’t be fooled! There was a study that reported 88% of people confused their migraines for sinus headaches. If you really do have a sinus headache, you will probably also be experiencing a discolored discharge from your nose rather than a clear one. You may also need to see a doctor for an antibiotic if you have a sinus infection.
Medication Overuse Headaches
Also, called rebound headaches, these headaches are usually the result of overuse of over the counter headache medicines. Because they are over the counter and not prescription, sometimes people think that means it is safe to take as much as you want. However, taking these headache medications too often or for too long can cause rebound headaches and start a sinister cycle. You take the drugs more frequently because your headaches are more frequent, but the medication is actually increasing how often the attacks occur.
If you are afraid this may be your problem, you will need to get off the medicine for a couple of weeks until it is all out of your system. Then, see if you get fewer headaches. If you believe it is one of your prescription medications that is causing your headaches, be sure to consult your doctor before making any changes.
Chronic Headaches (or Chronic Migraines)
For headaches or migraines to be considered chronic, a person must be experiencing 15 or more days of symptoms per month. Some people even get headaches or migraines on a daily basis. This leaves a person at higher risk for rebound headaches as well because the temptation is strong to take more medication to deal with the more frequent episodes. This just one more reason that people are searching for natural headache relief.
Where Can You Get Natural Help for Headaches and Migraines?
Natural help for migraines and headaches may be easier to find than you thought. The fact is that it is no coincidence that neck pain is a common symptom of these conditions. This is because misalignments in the neck can both cause stiffness or soreness as well as varying headache types. The top two bones of the neck, in particular, play a vital role in the function of the brainstem and the amount of blood flowing to the brain.
Therefore, if you are living with chronic headaches or migraines, especially if you also experience neck or back pain, we encourage you to seek out upper cervical chiropractic care. This focused form of chiropractic specifically addresses C1 and C2 misalignments with precise and gentle adjustments. Since these are the bones that can have the most significant impact on the central nervous system, it makes sense that they can be related to many headache problems. To learn more, contact a practitioner in your area to schedule a no-obligation consultation.