There are typically 3 main classes of headaches. Depending on your symptoms, your headaches fall into one of these categories:
Tension headaches: Also called chronic daily headaches or cervicogenic headaches, tension headaches are the most common type of headaches among adults and adolescents. These headaches cause mild to moderate pain and come and go over a prolonged period of time. Sinus headaches can also fall into this category.
Migraines: Migraine pain is moderate to severe, often described as pounding, throbbing pain. They can last from 4 hours to 3 days and usually occur 1 to 4 times per month. Migraines are associated with symptoms such as light sensitivity; noise or odors; nausea or vomiting; loss of appetite; and stomach upset or abdominal pain. When a child is having a migraine they often look pale, feel dizzy, have blurred vision, fever, stomach upset, in addition to having the above listed symptoms.
Cluster headaches: The least common, although the most severe, type of primary headache, the pain of a cluster headache is intense and may be described as having a burning or piercing quality that is throbbing or constant. The pain is so severe that most cluster headache sufferers cannot sit still and will often pace during an attack.
The pain is located behind one eye or in the eye region, without changing sides. The term "cluster headache" refers to headaches that have a characteristic grouping of attacks. Cluster headaches occur one to three times per day during a cluster period, which may last 2 weeks to 3 months. The headaches may disappear completely (go into "remission") for months or years, only to recur.
Some of the causes of headaches are benign while others are medical emergencies. Typical treatments in the medical world are dominated by an array of pain medications.
Chiropractic care centers around three main ideas. 1) Is there an underlying more serious cause; tumor, infection, and other more emergency based problems. 2) Dehydration; one of the most commonly ignored yet significant factor in headaches, especially migraines. 3) The nerves of the upper neck exit the spine and radiate to the base of the skull, lateral head, and the areas around the eyes. Just like pinching a nerve in the lower neck and having it radiate into the hand/fingers, nerves irritated in the upper neck do not defy physics, they radiate pain to their destination as well.
Chiropractors are trained to find and remove this irritation in the neck, thereby limiting/removing the headache pain. For questions or to schedule an appointment, please call (507) 455-0199.