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Different Types of Headaches - Which One Do You Have?

Updated: Nov 16, 2017

A headache can make you feel miserable. If you understand what type of headache you have, it might make treatment easier.

It's easy to confuse one type of headache pain for another, so let's discuss the main types of headaches that are seen at our chiropractic clinic.

Migraine Headache - a vascular type of headache with throbbing pain, nausea and sensitivity to light. Some people experience "prodromal" symptoms (early warning symptoms) before they get a migraine, such as seeing an aura or flashing lights, or smelling odors that aren't there.

Sinus Headache - these can be acute (from infection) or chronic (from allergies). Sinus headaches usually cause pain over and around the eyes, or near the cheekbones.

Tension Headache - also called a stress headache. Tension headaches are caused by lack of sleep, anxiety, or depression. Characterized by a feeling of pressure or a tight band of muscle in the scalp, temples, and back of the neck. Sometimes with shoulder pain.

Occipital Headache - also called Occipital Neuralgia because of irritation of the occipital nerve. This is headache pain at the base of the skull and upper neck from sleeping wrong, strained neck muscles, or from a whiplash injury after a car accident. Occipital headaches are frequently misdiagnosed because people often have occipital headaches along with another type of headache such as a migraine or tension headache.

Caffeine Headache - happens when you miss your daily cup of coffee. Caffeine withdrawal can cause throbbing painful headaches, sluggishness, and irritability. Solution: slowly decrease your caffeine intake over time and drink fewer mocha lattes!

When you have a horrible headache, consider that you may be having more than one type of headache at the same time. For example, you could have a tension headache and a sinus headache simultaneously.

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