Posts Tagged "tension headache"

TYPES OF HEADACHES.


Posted By on Mar 16, 2021

Last updated on September 17th, 2021 at 06:45 am

TYPES OF HEADACHES – 2021

@Neuralgroover

According to the World Health Organization, headaches are a global problem, affecting people of all races, income levels, and regional areas. Headache disorders impact about 50% of people worldwide. Moreover, it is estimated that 50% to 75% of adults aged 18 to 65 have suffered from a headache or a migraine within the last year. A smaller percentage of people worldwide, 1.7% to 4%, have headaches that last for two weeks or longer. Let’s take a look at the four different types of headaches, what causes them, and some common treatments that may relieve them.

The Four Different Types of Headaches

There are, in fact, 150+ different types of headaches. However, the four most common types of headaches are: tension headaches, migraine headaches, sinus headaches, and cluster headaches.

 

What Are Tension Headaches?

Tension headaches typically are moderate to mild in nature and can be best described as feeling like a tight band around one’s head. By and far, these are the most common types of headaches and their origins are not well understood. Common symptoms include a dull, aching, pressure pain in both sides of your head; tightness in your forehead, sides, and back of your head; and muscle soreness in your shoulder, neck, and scalp. They can not be a throbbing pain. If there is any throbbiness to the headache, it takes it out of tension type headache criteria and moves it into migraine criteria. Tension type headaches are not worsened by physical activity, in contrast to migraine which are. Tension type headaches should not be associated with nausea or vomiting, in contrast to migraine which can be. There may be some mild sensitivity to light (photophobia) or sound (phonophobia), but tension type headache should not have both. In contrast, migraine requires both features.

 

What Are Sinus Headaches?

Sinus headaches are usually indicated by pressure around your eyes, cheeks, and forehead. You may also experience a throbbing forehead. However, these features can also be consistent with migraine because in general, any type of throbbing pain places the headache into the migraine category. In fact, there was a large study done in the past in which almost all of the patients with either self-diagnosed or physician-diagnosed sinus headache turned out to actually be migraine headache.  Migraine also activates the sinus pathways and cavities and can cause referred pain into the teeth and TMJ areas. So for many patients, their migraines include a lot of sinus type symptoms. Therefore, it is easy to see how migraine often gets mistaken for sinus headache. For some people with true sinus headache, they feel like a sinus infection. Historically, the existence of true “sinus headaches” has been a debatable topic, and it’s presence generally revolves around whether there is an ongoing sinus infection or not. If there is, this can certainly be a source of headache, and it is typically associated with fevers and drainage (often colored, purulent discharge).  Some common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • A stuffy sensation in your nose
  • Pain and pressure in your cheeks, brows, and forehead.

What Are Cluster Headaches?

Cluster headaches are called as such because they happen over cyclic time frames or “clusters.” These types of headaches can wake you up in the middle of the night and they frequently happen on one side of your head or near an eye. The pain of cluster headaches is severe, and they have been termed “suicide headaches” because of the severity of the pain. Cluster headaches are more rare than other types of headaches. Some symptoms include:

  • Pain that is situated around or behind one eye
  • One-sided pain, versus other headaches where the sensation of pain is often more global
  • Stuffy or runny nose on the side of your head that hurts
  • Red and tearing eye on the side of the head that is impacted
  • Restlessness

What Are Migraine Headaches?

Migraine headaches, according to some patients, are the worst type of headache. These types of headaches are characterized by a throbbing sensation, most commonly one one side of the head, but can also be both sides. Additionally, they often come with nausea, sometimes vomiting, and a sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines come in stages, but not everyone goes through all the stages.

The stages of migraines include:

  • Prodrome: Some mild symptoms that indicate an oncoming migraine attack, including neck stiffness, moodiness, food cravings, and other subtle symptoms. This may occur even a day or more before the attack starts.
  • Aura: Seeing bright lights or various shapes, numbness and tingling, speech disturbances, overall weakness, and other symptoms that happen right before or during the onset of a migraine. About 25% of patients get aura (classic migraine), while 75% get no aura (common migraine).
  • Attack: During a migraine attack, migraine sufferers typically experience the worst symptoms, including pain on one side of the head, nausea, and other symptoms. A migraine attack itself can last for up to 72 hours.
  • Post-Drome: After the migraine, people tend to experience tiredness and sudden head movement can bring on some pain. At this stage, people report excess fatigue, generalized soreness, and commonly report feeling like they were “hit by a bus”.

Migraines can be read about in much more detail here.

Common Questions About the Various Types of Headaches

What causes the various different types of headaches?

There is not a singular known medical cause for headaches. Primary headaches are when the headache itself is the primary health issue that the sufferer is dealing with. Secondary headaches are those that are caused by a medical condition (such as a brain tumor). Let’s take a look at what the most common causes are for the various types of headaches:

  • Tension headaches: These can be caused by stress, depression, injury, or other issues.
  • Sinus headaches: These headaches are most commonly caused by sinusitis and allergies.
  • Cluster headaches: The exact cause of cluster headaches are unknown, but it may have something to do with biological processes since cluster headaches are cyclical.
  • Migraines: As with other types of headaches, there migraines don’t have a clear cause. Common suspected causes include hormones, diet, dehydration, and other physical or lifestyle factors.

When should you seek medical attention/advice for any type of headache?

You should seek medical attention/advice when you have any type of headache. Sometimes, a headache may be indicative of a larger medical problem. At least one visit with your doctor is recommended for any type of headache because even secondary headaches (caused by a medical condition) can sometimes present as a standard primary type of headache. A visit with your doctor may uncover additional information from a more detailed history during questioning and neurological physical exam. Repeat headaches can impact the quality of your life and should be treated. Sometimes, your regular doctor may not know how to adequately deal with a headache. Some doctors are especially trained to deal with headaches, specifically headache specialists.

What type of headaches should a headache sufferer worry about?

Generally speaking, any type of headache should be a cause for concern. However, there are certain situations where headaches may be indicative of a larger, more serious medical issue. Headaches associated with the following symptoms should be a cause for concern:

  • A high fever, chills, night sweats, neck stiffness
  • The sudden onset of very intense headache pain (thunderclap headache) with peak headache intensity in less than a minute
  • Fainting, disorientation, or loss of balance or equilibrium
  • Weakness on any side of the body or any other neurological symptoms including visual loss or vision changes, double vision, trouble swallowing, numbness, tingling, speech disturbances (slurred speech, trouble getting words out, trouble understanding speech), vertigo, behavioral or personality changes
  • Nosebleeds
  • Pulsatile tinnitus or papilledema (swelling of optic nerve on eye exam)
  • Other issues, such as weight loss, vision issues, jaw cramping, and other factors
  • History of cancer, immunosuppression, HIV
  • New onset headaches under age 5 or over age 50
  • Headaches triggered by Valsalva maneuvers (coughing, straining, laughing, bending forward, exertion, exercise, sexual activity, bearing down such as during a bowel movement)
  • Progressive worsening and changing of headaches into a higher frequency or daily frequency
  • Postural worsening of headache (worsens when standing and improves when lying down, or worsens when lying down, improves when standing up)

What are some common tests for the more serious types of headaches?

Some headaches, such as cluster headaches, are not commonly understood. Other types of headaches may have an underlying cause. If you see a neurologist or other medical specialist, you might experience some of the following tests for them to better diagnose and understand the underlying cause of your headache:

  • Eye & ear exam
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • EEG scan
  • Blood and spinal fluid tests

A headache specialist will often try and get access to your medical records and history so that they can better treat your condition.

Which type of doctor commonly deals with the various types of headaches?

Neurologists are the most common type of specialized doctor that headache sufferers see. However, they will often refer to a headache specialist for more complex headache and facial pain disorders, or if treatments are not helping the patient. General medical practitioners may be able to make a referral and provide some basic treatment, as they are often the first line of headache evaluations. On occasion, an ENT doctor may provide treatment for secondary headaches that are related to sinus and ear issues.

 

IF YOU HAVE HEADACHE, MIGRAINE, OR FACIAL PAIN AND ARE LOOKING FOR ANSWERS ON ANYTHING RELATED TO IT, A HEADACHE SPECIALIST IS HERE TO HELP, FOR FREE!

FIRST, LET’S DECIDE WHERE TO START:

IF YOU HAVE AN EXISTING HEADACHE, MIGRAINE, OR FACIAL PAIN DIAGNOSIS AND ARE LOOKING FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION, HOT TOPICS, AND TREATMENT TIPS, VISIT OUR FREE BLOG OF HOT TOPICS AND HEADACHE TIPS HERE. THIS IS WHERE I WRITE AND CONDENSE A BROAD VARIETY OF COMMON AND COMPLEX  MIGRAINE AND HEADACHE RELATED TOPICS INTO THE IMPORTANT FACTS AND HIGHLIGHTS YOU NEED TO KNOW, ALONG WITH PROVIDING FIRST HAND CLINICAL EXPERIENCE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A HEADACHE SPECIALIST.

 

IF YOU DON’T HAVE AN EXISTING HEADACHE, MIGRAINE, OR FACIAL PAIN DIAGNOSIS AND ARE LOOKING FOR POSSIBLE TYPES OF HEADACHES OR FACIAL PAINS BASED ON YOUR SYMPTOMS, USE THE FREE HEADACHE AND FACIAL PAIN SYMPTOM CHECKER TOOL DEVELOPED BY A HEADACHE SPECIALIST NEUROLOGIST HERE!

 

IF YOU HAVE AN EXISTING HEADACHE, MIGRAINE, OR FACIAL PAIN DIAGNOSIS AND ARE LOOKING FOR FURTHER EDUCATION AND SELF-RESEARCH ON YOUR DIAGNOSIS, VISIT OUR FREE EDUCATION CENTER HERE.

Read More

TENSION HEADACHES.


Posted By on Mar 16, 2021

Last updated on September 17th, 2021 at 06:44 am

TENSION HEADACHES – 2021

@Neuralgroover

Tension headaches are the most common types of headaches that people suffer. In fact, tension headaches afflict three out of every four Americans from time to time, according to Harvard Medical. Chronic tension headaches are very infrequent, but they do persist in some individuals on occasion.

What Are Tension Headaches?

Tension headaches produce a dull pain on both sides of the head and on occasion may cause some additional aching sensations in the shoulders and neck. Achy, pressure, or tightness are the most common pain descriptions. If there is any level (even if very low level) of throbbing, pounding, or pulsating, it moves the pain out of tension type headache criteria and into migraine headache criteria. Migraine is also discussed further here and here. Tension headaches do not come with other symptoms, like vomiting or nausea. There may be some mild level of sensitivity to light (photophobia) or sound (phonophobia), but there can not be both together per ICHD3 criteria. If there are both present, it moves the headache into more of a migraine type of headache, which does require these to occur together, rather than restricted to one or the other. Your doctor may refer to these as “tension-type headaches.” They are often referred to as “stress headaches” by people too.

Typically, people don’t see their doctor for tension headaches. These types of headaches may last for a short time (30 minutes) and last for up to two hours, depending on the individual. By International Classification of Headache Disorders criteria (ICHD3), they can last from 30 minutes up to 7 days. Tension headaches are different from other types of headaches because:

  • The pain typically is not as severe (as with a migraine)
  • The headache might only happen briefly (different from a cluster headache, which comes and goes over different periods of time)
  • They typically are not caused by a sinus or ear issue (as with a sinus headache, which could indicate a sinus infection).

What Causes Tension Headaches?

Tension headaches are not caused by a single underlying factor. They are not hereditary. Some medical professionals believe that tension headaches are caused by tension in the neck, scalp, and shoulder muscles. There are some suspected “triggers” for tension headaches, which may include:

  • Staring at a television or computer screen for too long
  • Sitting for work with an uncomfortable posture
  • Jaw issues
  • Issues sleeping

Stress may also be a trigger for tension headaches. If you are having family issues, recently lost a job, or you are overcommitted in any aspect of your life, you may experience tension headaches from time to time.

How Do You Prevent Tension Headaches?

Some tension headaches may be prevented by good lifestyle choices. For example, if you work frequently at your computer, take breaks while working. Good posture is also going to reduce strain on your neck and shoulder muscles, helping reduce the likelihood of a tension headache.

Reducing stress is also a good way to reduce the likelihood of a tension headache. Little things, such as organizing your day, taking breaks, and reducing certain stressful obligations may help reduce the onset of tension headaches.

If these conservative treatments are not helpful, sometimes daily preventive medications are used for a few months until the headaches improve in frequency.

When Is a Tension Headache Considered Chronic?

A tension headache is considered chronic when a person suffers from the tension headache 15 or more days per month for three or more months. Chronic tension headaches may be indicative of other health issues.

What Are Some Common Treatments for Tension Headaches?

When a medical professional describes “abortive treatments” for tension headaches, they are referring to medications that you take as needed to relieve the headache. These can include Tylenol, Advil, Excedrin, and other over-the-counter medications.

Some other types of treatments include preventative measures that are employed to reduce the likelihood and intensity of a tension headache. Some types of preventative treatments that are not in the form of medication include massage, relaxation therapies, acupuncture, and other similar treatments. Lifestyle changes may also reduce the likelihood of tension headaches. Reducing caffeine consumption, good diet and nutrition, and healthy sleeping patterns will play an important role in reducing tension headaches.

If you notice the onset of a tension headache, there are some common remedies that also produce good results:

  • Use a cold compress and take a break in a cool, dark room
  • Relax and reduce stress
  • Eliminate the trigger that you think caused your headache (for example, use an ergonomic chair if you are working at a desk)
  • Consider reducing lifestyle factors that contribute to stress

Does Diet Play a Role in the Onset of Tension Headaches?

Tension headaches are closely related to diet. If you get tension headaches, you may avoid them in the future by watching consumption of the following foods and beverages:

  • Caffeinated beverages and diet soft drinks
  • Deli meat, ham, bacon, and other processed meats can contain nitrates, which may lead to tension headaches
  • Avoid aged cheese to reduce the likelihood of a tension headache
  • Ramen noodles, Doritos, and other similar foods use MSG, which can lead to tension headaches

People who like soda may benefit from soft drinks that do not contain caffeine or artificial sweeteners. Sprite and other citrus soft drinks do not have artificial sweeteners and caffeine that can contribute to headaches.

Weight also is a contributor to tension headaches, as well as other types of headaches. Being overweight can cause tension headaches and people who are overweight might also experience migraines more frequently than people who have a healthy weight level.

What Are Rebound Tension Headaches?

Rebound headaches happen when your headache comes back. If you regularly take medication to deal with a headache, overuse of headache medications may cause your tension headache to rebound. To reduce the likelihood of a rebound headache, try to limit your consumption of medications like ibuprofen, naproxen, and tylenol to no more than two days per week, or 10 days per month overall.

What Is the Outlook for Tension Headaches?

Fortunately, the outlook for tension headaches is very good. While most Americans will suffer a tension headache on occasion, very few people develop chronic tension headaches. Also, a tension headache will generally not last long, maybe an hour or twos. And if you deal with a tension headache right at its outset and practice good lifestyle choices, tension headaches won’t be a common occurrence in your life.

Getting family members, coworkers, and friends on board will also help reduce headaches. When a person is frequently asked about their headache, they are more likely to be focused on it. Directing attention to other aspects of one’s day will not make a tension headache sufferer dwell on their headache.

 

IF YOU HAVE HEADACHE, MIGRAINE, OR FACIAL PAIN AND ARE LOOKING FOR ANSWERS ON ANYTHING RELATED TO IT, A HEADACHE SPECIALIST IS HERE TO HELP, FOR FREE!

FIRST, LET’S DECIDE WHERE TO START:

IF YOU HAVE AN EXISTING HEADACHE, MIGRAINE, OR FACIAL PAIN DIAGNOSIS AND ARE LOOKING FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION, HOT TOPICS, AND TREATMENT TIPS, VISIT OUR FREE BLOG OF HOT TOPICS AND HEADACHE TIPS HERE. THIS IS WHERE I WRITE AND CONDENSE A BROAD VARIETY OF COMMON AND COMPLEX  MIGRAINE AND HEADACHE RELATED TOPICS INTO THE IMPORTANT FACTS AND HIGHLIGHTS YOU NEED TO KNOW, ALONG WITH PROVIDING FIRST HAND CLINICAL EXPERIENCE FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A HEADACHE SPECIALIST.

 

IF YOU DON’T HAVE AN EXISTING HEADACHE, MIGRAINE, OR FACIAL PAIN DIAGNOSIS AND ARE LOOKING FOR POSSIBLE TYPES OF HEADACHES OR FACIAL PAINS BASED ON YOUR SYMPTOMS, USE THE FREE HEADACHE AND FACIAL PAIN SYMPTOM CHECKER TOOL DEVELOPED BY A HEADACHE SPECIALIST NEUROLOGIST HERE!

 

IF YOU HAVE AN EXISTING HEADACHE, MIGRAINE, OR FACIAL PAIN DIAGNOSIS AND ARE LOOKING FOR FURTHER EDUCATION AND SELF-RESEARCH ON YOUR DIAGNOSIS, VISIT OUR FREE EDUCATION CENTER HERE.

Read More