Types of Headaches

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Headaches are the most common complained about pain in the world today. Sometimes neck or upper back pain is interpreted as a headache. Many people experience headaches on a frequent basis. Some common causes of headaches are tension, stress, migraines, eye strain, dehydration, low blood sugar and sinus infections.

 Headaches are rarely side effects of life-threatening problems such as meningitis, high blood pressure or brain tumors. The most obvious headache, caused by an injury to the head, is easily treatable but should be examined to make sure there are no signs of a concussion.

Women are more susceptible to headaches because of the varying levels of estrogen during their menstrual years. Headaches are easily treatable with over the counter medicine. Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and Aspirin are all used to relieve the pain of a headache. If you suffer from migraines other treatments are available if the pain killer listed above do not work effectively. Some ways to prevent recurring headaches are to avoid high stress situations and to avoid eating certain foods. Everyone is affected by food in a different manner. Some foods can cause headaches.

Headaches seem pretty simple in and of themselves but believe it or not there are five different types of headaches. They are vascular, myogenic, cervicogenic, traction and inflammatory. Vascular headaches are more commonly known as migraines. Migraines cause sever pain on one or both sides of the head, blurred vision, stomach pains and sometimes dizziness. Migraines are most common in women. Another type of vascular headache is known as the toxic headache. The toxic headache is caused by a fever. The final type of vascular headaches are cluster headaches. These headaches occur in the area of the eye and recur at the same time, are very severe and don’t last very long. These are more common in men than women.

A myogenic headache occurs with the tightening of the facial muscle and the neck muscles. The most common of these headaches is the tension headache. Cervicogenic headaches occur because of problems within the neck included limited range of motion, shoulder problems or arm pain. The final two types of headaches, traction and inflammatory, can be considered one in the same. These headaches are usually brought on by other factors such as a migraine, a cluster headache, a toxic headache, a sinus infection, a brain freeze or a hangover.

Even though most headaches don’t require medical attention there are some that need to be checked out. They are headaches associated with a stiff neck, fever, convulsions, loss of consciousness, a blow to the head (concussion) or persistent pain in the eye or recurring headaches in people who normally do not get headaches. Children with recurring headaches should also be examined by a doctor. Some chronic sufferers of headaches often seek out spinal manipulation, soft tissue therapy, manual therapy and myofascial trigger point therapy to help relieve their symptoms. Some of the most common headaches can be prevented by avoiding overuse of caffeine products such as coffee, iced tea and soda.

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