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5 types of headaches

Headaches are some of the most common types of pain people all over the world experience. They can lead to debilitation, nausea, dizziness, and weakness to name just a few.

Headaches can be classified into primary and secondary headaches. Primary headaches are headaches that are not the result of a medical condition. These headaches include migraine, tension, and cluster headaches.

Secondary headaches are the result of another medical condition such as sinus and allergy-related headaches. Secondary headaches may also result from a head injury, trauma, or more serious condition, such as a tumour.

According to The Headache Clinic of South Africa, “non-drug treatments provide long-term relief for most patients”. This along with several studies in chiropractic and other natural treatments is proof that patients can lead a healthier, headache-free life.

Primary Headaches

  1. Tension headaches
    Tension headaches is a primary headache and can manifest with a vice-like type of pain around the head, tense or sore shoulders and neck muscles as well as scalp sensitivity. Tension headaches often occur due to high-stress levels. Read more about tension headaches here.
  2. Cluster headaches
    Cluster headaches occur periodically. Symptoms of a cluster headache include pain in the eye, nasal stuffiness, sweating, and feeling flushed. Cluster headaches cause pain in one eye and usually affect one side of the patient’s face. It is also a form of primary headache.
  3. Migraines
    Migraines are another common primary headache and cause the patient to experience symptoms like flashing lights and auras. Migraines can carry on for days and can present itself in a throbbing, pounding manner. Those who suffer with migraine headaches are often sensitive to light and sound and want to be in a dark quiet room.

Secondary Headaches

  1. Cervicogenic headaches
    Cervicogenic headaches have their origin from the neck and is therefore a secondary headache. People often complain of neck pain or tightness just below the skull with referral into the head and face. Muscles and joints found in the cervical spine will be the origin of the pain. Cervicogenic headaches often mimic migraine headaches and it is difficult to distinguish.
  2. Roundabout headaches
    The roundabout headaches occur as a result of an overuse of pain medication and this results in the pain reoccurring all the time. Habit-forming pain medications are also responsible for patients developing a reliance on pain medication to manage the pain.

Secondary headaches (non-life threatening types)

Secondary headaches occur because of other factors encouraging or leading to the headache such as hormonal changes, allergies, caffeine, medication or exertion.

There are also certain secondary headaches to worry about that are life-threatening. These can include but are not limited to:

  • Brain tumor
  • Stroke
  • Aneurysm
  • Brain infection
  • Inflammation of the blood vessels

Chiropractic treatment for different types of headaches is therefore a good option to manage the pain and reduce the frequency of headaches experienced without resorting to pain medication.

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