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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Headaches Are a Real Pain, But Not All Headaches Are the Same

Millions of Americans suffer from headaches, but not all headaches are the same. They can range from occasional, mild headaches to full-blown migraines. Either way, they are a real pain. However, identifying exactly where the pain is may help headache sufferers determine the cause of their headaches.

Pain locations and what they mean

  • Front of your head - can mean the headache is caused by tension, eye strain, sinus, dehydration or a migraine.
  • Temples - may indicate the headache is a tension, ice pick or cervicogenic (as in cervical spinal cord) headache.
  • Back of the head - can be a tension, cervicogenic headache or headache caused by dehydration.
  • Middle and top of the head - can be from a tension, ice pick, or exertion headache.
  • Pain on one side - is either a migraine or cluster headache.
Types of headaches

  • Tension - are the most common. These types of headaches usually are the result of neck and shoulder muscles going into spasm, and they can last for days.
  • Sinus - are associated with sinus congestion and related symptoms such as nasal discharge, pressure in the ears, fever, and facial swelling.
  • Dehydration - often occurs from a hangover, causing
  • Cervicogenic - is when the pain is located at the base of the cranium and can be at the base of the skull or in the neck. It can be caused by problems with cervical discs in the spine or nerve compression in the cranial area.
  • Ice pick - are sharp, stabbing pains that usually occur among people who have migraines. Ice pick headaches will generally occur at or near the usual migraine site but don't last long.
  • Exertion - caused by strain from strenuous exercise. Anything from running, tennis, weightlifting and other forms of strenuous exercise can cause these types of headaches.
  • Activities associated with exercise headaches include running, rowing, tennis, swimming and weightlifting.

Migraines and cluster headaches

Most headaches are not associated with other symptoms. However two types of headaches are.

Migraines - can cause moderate to severe pain that can last for hours and even days. It is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines can cause complete debilitation where the patient becomes bed fast, unable to function.

Cluster headaches - occur more in men and come in cycles. They cause pain on one side of the head and are often accompanied by other symptoms such as congestion on the same side of the head.

Migraines and cluster headaches may require prescription medication to control, but most other forms of headaches can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication and recognizing the cause and adjusting your activity.
DISCLAIMER: The content or opinions expressed on this web site are not to be interpreted as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or medical practictioner before utilizing any suggestions on this web site.