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What Type of Headaches Do You Get?

Most of us experience the occasional headache.  Whether it’s throbbing, aching, pounding or stabbing, a headache can make our lives miserable.  It also affects our ability to focus and may increase our sensitivity to external stimuli.

There are several types of headaches, and each one has a different cause.  The most common headaches are tension, migraine, cervicogenic and cluster.

Migraines are often considered to exist in a category of their own ( to be discussed in a later article).

Tension Headache

The tension headache is the most frequent type of headache to occur in the general population.  It usually occurs most frequently in people susceptible to the effects of stress.  This headache starts with tightness in the neck and shoulders, then progresses to pain at the base of the skull.  The forehead and temples may also ache.

Cervicogenic Headache 

A cervicogenic headache originates from disorders of the neck.  This type of headache is often preceded by awkward neck movement, or positioning ( such as painting a ceiling, or washing a floor). It is usually accompanied by restricted range of motion in the neck and pain in the shoulder, neck or arm.

Cluster Headache

Cluster headaches are relatively rare- affecting only 0.1 % of the population.  About 85% of Cluster Headache sufferres are male.  This headache is distinct from migraine and tension headaches.  It typically features intense bouts of stabbing pain felt in very specific focal areas of the skull.  The pain usually occurs in clusters, and it can last from minutes to hours.  The discomfort typically centers around one eye, and this eye maybe inflamed and watery. Nasal congestion sometimes occurs on the affected side of the face.  It’s suspected that cluster headaches are related to the sinuses.


What Can You Do to Prevent Headaches?

Manage Stress- try meditation, relaxation exercises and taking regular breaks from your schedule.

Exercise regularly- cardiovascular exercise helps your muscles, circulatory system and sense of well being.

Watch your posture- the muscles that hold your head upright are the same as those that contribute to headaches. Practice good posture to reduce stress on those muscles.

Drink plenty of fresh water- dehydration is a common cause of headaches, muscle tightness and fatigue.  Drink a minimum of 8 cups a day.

Have your spine checked regularly for misalignment/ subluxations by your chiropractor – correcting misalignment before symptoms appears can save you a lot of grief.





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