Do You Suffer from Headaches?
1 in 3 people suffer from headaches some worse than others. The type and nature of headaches are varied and can range from full blown migraines to tension headaches. Most headaches have a musculoskeletal component which can lead to nerve and blood vessel irritation. Some of the areas that commonly contribute to the onset of headaches are tightness of the upper neck muscles and joints, jaw pain, sinus congestion and inflammation, postural problems and eye strain. Differentiating what type of headache you are experiencing is an important part of managing the problem. Following is a description of some of the most common types of headaches that are experienced.
- Ear infection
- Head injuries
- Jaw pain and grinding
- Migraine is responsible for more job absenteeism and disrupted family life than any other headache type.
- Women experience migraines at least three times more often than men do, and this may be due to hormonal influences.
- While migraines occur in childhood, they generally strike in the twenties or thirties.
- Migraine is considered a vascular headache because it is associated with changes in the size of the arteries in and outside of the brain.
- The nerves around the blood vessels release chemicals which cause inflammation eliciting pain signals into the brain.
- Migraine often begins as a dull ache and then develops into a constant, throbbing and pulsating pain that you may feel at the temples, as well as the front or back of one side of the head.
- The pain is usually accompanied by nausea and vomiting, and sensitivity to light and noise.
Triggers: Bright lights, Loud noises, Strong smells, Smoke Physical or emotional stress, Changes in sleep patterns, Hormonal changes in women, Foods containing Tyramine (e.g. red wine, aged cheese), Chocolate, Food additives e.g. MSG, aspartane), Alcohol, Caffeine
There are two types of tension-type headaches: episodic and chronic. Episodic headaches occur randomly and are often the result of temporary stress, anxiety, fatigue or anger. A chronic tension-type headache is one that occurs just about every day, and may have been going on for months. Symptoms include soreness in your temples, a tightening band-like sensation around your head, a pulling feeling, pressure sensations, and contracting head and neck muscles. The primary difference between episodic and chronic headaches is the frequency and severity of some symptoms.
Cluster headaches are called this because the attacks come in groups. The pain arrives with little, if any, warning, and is described as the most severe and intense of any headache type. It generally lasts from 30 to 45 minutes. Most sufferers experience one to four headaches a day during a cluster period. Cluster headaches frequently surface during the morning or late at night; the cluster cycle can last weeks or months and then can disappear for months or years.
Sinus headaches occur usually as the result of an allergic reaction, or an infection. Which leads to the sinuses becoming inflamed, the inflammation then leads to localized pain. Symptoms include a congested feeling, discharge, local pain around the eyes and forehead and some light headedness.
Dr Patrick Kuhn has a special interest in treating headaches. He incorporates a wide range of osteopathic techniques that are gentle and effective for relieving the various causes and symptoms of headaches. If you are a headache suffer or know someone whose has headaches then please make an appointment to see Dr Kuhn regarding your condition.