Headaches

What Type Do You Have, and How Can You Get Rid of Them?

Did you know that there are different types of headaches that you could suffer from? Did you also know that Chiropractors can help alleviate your headache symptoms? When it comes to headaches, there are many people that get them and they could happen daily, weekly, seasonally, etc. That is where a proper diagnosis from your medical provider becomes extremely important. It lets us know the exact type of headache you are dealing with, and it lets us give you the proper treatment so we can resolve the pain and discomfort you are experiencing. Some of the more common headaches are:


Sinus Headache

These headaches will cause pain and discomfort in the region of the sinuses. The pressure will be felt primarily right below the eyes on either side of the nose, or right above the eyes in the forehead region. People who experience seasonal or chronic allergies will often suffer from a sinus headache. This type of headache can also be caused if a sinus infection is present.

Treatment:

  1. Gentle massage/manual therapy to the sinus regions can help “break up” or loosen the congestion thus resulting in a decrease in pressure and pain.
  2. Changing positions can often help with sinus drainage. Typically, when bending over or lying flat on your back, is when people will report an increase in their headache symptoms. Staying in an upright or reclined position will generate relief.
  3. If a Sinus Infection is present, you can try many homeopathic remedies (vitamins, minerals, etc.) or in very severe cases Antibiotics will need to be utilized.
Pain Area of a Sinus Headache

Tension Headache

Tension headaches are often felt in the front of the head (entire forehead region). You will commonly feel a dull and achy sensation when experiencing a tension headache. They are triggered by stress and have a lot to do with stiffness and tightness surrounding the neck, shoulder, and upper back musculature.

Treatment:

  1. Chiropractic Care to relieve tension in the neck and upper back regions.
  2. Manual Therapy to reduce muscular spasm and stiffness that is triggering the headache.
  3. Different stress relief methods such as an activity you enjoy, meditation, yoga, and acupuncture.
Pain Area of a Tension Headache

Migraine Headache

Not that any type of headache is favored, but the migraine is the least favorite of all headaches to experience. These are usually accompanied by a sharp, throbbing or pulsating, deep pain that is felt on just one side of the head. In more severe migraines you will experience what is called an aura (seeing flashing lights, stars, spots). Occasionally Migraines can cause nausea and vomiting when severe enough, and individuals will have an extreme sensitivity to noise and bright lights which aggravate their condition.

Treatment:

  1. Make note of when you experience your migraines. They can be triggered by certain foods like wine and cheese. They can occur when an individual is dehydrated or skips a meal. If you notice a certain food or drink that triggers a migraine it is advised that you avoid that in your diet.
  2. Limit exposure to bright lights and loud noises when migraine symptoms are present.
  3. Chiropractic care can help alleviate your symptoms through manual adjusting and different soft tissue techniques. Postural analysis can often help to determine why migraines keep occurring.
  4.  Migraine medications are always an option, although we do recommend further evaluation to determine why you continue to have migraines daily.
Pain Area of a Migraine Headache

Cluster Headache

Cluster headaches typically occur behind one eye or on one side of the face at a time. It consists of a burning and piercing pain, and when present the individual can often experience redness, swelling, flushing, and sweating on the side of the headache. They get the name cluster because the pain will typically occur for up to 15 minutes at a time before lessening and then starting back up again.

Treatment:

The research is still out on Cluster Headaches. Medical providers are not sure on the exact trigger or cause for these. It is best recommended that you start a prevention program to help minimize these headaches from occurring. Often Chiropractic care, acupuncture, proper diet, and hydration, as well as stress reduction, can help minimize or even prevent cluster headaches.

Pain Area of a Cluster Headache

You can see why it is important to know exactly which type of headache you are experiencing. The above listed types are just some of the most common we see here at Fortitude Health and Performance. There are many other secondary forms of headaches ranging from caffeine withdrawal to over exertion, to dehydration. With the proper diagnosis it helps us put together the best treatment options and plan to alleviate your headaches, and prevent them from happening. If you experience headaches often, let us know and we can start your plan to healthy and headache free today!

Written By: Cory S. Keesee, D.C., CSCS

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