Did you know headaches affect more than half of the population? There are various types of headaches and recognizing their distinct features can help you and your doctor determine the best treatment strategy. Below are three of the most common varieties.
Migraine headaches are normally described as throbbing or pulsing. The pain is typically moderate to severe and worsens with physical activity. Other symptoms include nausea and sensitivity to light, sound, or smells. These types of headaches can last between a couple of hours and three days. Check out this infographic that details migraine headaches!
Neck Tension Headaches (Cervicogenic)
Approximately one in five headaches arises from a problem in the neck and is classified as neck tension or "cervicogenic headaches." Cervicogenic headaches are most commonly one-sided, but occasionally may be present on both sides of the head. Pain often radiates from the base of your skull toward the top of your head and sometimes over your eyes. And, as the name implies, neck tightness is frequently present.
Cluster headaches are by far the least common of these three and occur in a cluster or on one side of the head. This pain is typically stabbing or piercing. These types of headaches only last between 10 minutes to 3 hours and laying down often worsens the pain. Other symptoms include watering of the eye and nasal congestion on the side of the headache. Cluster headaches are often triggered by alcohol.
A Common Culprit
A common trigger for migraine and neck tension headaches is limited movement of the joints in your upper cervical spine. Normally, each of the joints in your neck moves freely and independently. Sometimes, restrictions in the upper cervical spine initiate a painful cycle of stiffness, muscle tightness, and joint inflammation. This may cause irritation to the sensitive nerves leading from your neck into the back of your head.
And did you know spinal manipulation, like what we perform in our office, has proven to be one of the most effective forms of treatment for these types of headaches?
Now that you know a little more about the different types of headaches, you may be able to figure out which type is leaving you in pain. If you are suffering from migraines or tension headaches, give our office a call. We’re here to help!