Regardless of the frequency, a headache is painful, uncomfortable and in many cases, debilitating. Headaches are defined as a pain that can be felt above or behind the eyes and/or ears, in the back, on the top, sides or entire head and in the upper neck area.
Basically, there are two common types of headaches: tension headaches and migraine headaches. It is important that you understand the difference between the two, as each type of headache has different causes and treatments.
Tension headaches are typically more common in women than in men. This type of headache is usually caused by tightness of muscles in your neck, jaw, shoulders and/or scalp. They can be caused from stress, anxiety and depression, or from activities such as using a computer, reading or other situations that require you to hold your head in one position for long periods of time.
Symptoms of a tension headache
With a tension headache, often there will be a dull ache and/or the feeling as though there is a tight band around your head. Tension headaches typically occur on both sides of the head and usually starts at the back of the head, spreading forward. Most people describe the pain from a tension headache as pressure, tightness or steady heaviness. If you experience a tension headache for at least 15 days over the course of a month and the headaches continue for several months, it is considered a chronic tension headache. Chronic tension headaches have the typical symptoms as well as throbbing and continuous pain.
Migraine headaches are usually accompanied by severe pain on one or both sides of the head, an upset stomach, and, at times, disturbed vision.
Following tension headaches, a migraine is the next most common type of headache. A migraine can affect both children and adults. However about 70% of those who suffer from migraines are female. Migraine headaches are caused by the vasodilatation enlargement of blood vessels, combined with the release of nerve fiber chemicals that wind around blood vessels. When you are having a migraine, the temporal artery enlarges and stretches the nerves that have coiled around the artery, which in turn causes the chemicals to be released.
Symptoms of a migraine headache
A migraine headache can be debilitating, leaving many people unable to find relieve for the extreme pain. There are a number of symptoms that may be present with a migraine including:
- Sensitivity to light
- Sensitivity to sound
- Pulsating, throbbing pain
- Trickling sensation on one/both sides of head
- Mood swings
- Problems with vision
- Pain in the eyes
Tension headache & migraine pain relief
Most people reach for a medication when they want pain relief from a headache. Unfortunately, medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, have to be taken about every four hours. In many cases, when the medications wear off, the headache is worse than it was before. In addition there are a number of uncomfortable and potentially serious side effects associated with both prescription and over-the-counter pain relievers.
Fortunately, chiropractic care provides safe, drug free tension headache treatment and migraine headache treatment.
Chiropractic care for tension headache treatment and migraine headache treatment is a holistic approach that has been proven to be extremely effective in relieving the symptoms of migraine and tension headaches. Both of these types of headaches affect the neck, shoulders and spine. If the spine is misaligned and muscles are tight, it may cause the nerves to compress, which results in a headache.
Chiropractors relieve the pressure with a variety of techniques such as spinal manipulation. Through spinal manipulation, the vertebrae of the spine are corrected and muscles relax. Other techniques used by chiropractor for tension headache migraine pain releif include muscle stimulation, massage therapy, heat/cold therapy and cold laser therapy.
Chiropractors can also ofter advice on dietary changes and at home exercises that may help you avoid future headaches.
If you’d like to learn if we can help you, please call our Garland chiropractic office at 972-840-250.