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HEADACHES

Tuesday, June 4, 2024 11:46 AM

HEADACHES
Photo by Sander Sammy on unsplash.com

headaches are one of the most common medical complaints today so it’s worth looking at to understand a little more about them. 95% of people are thought to experience head pain at some point in their lives but chronic headaches (meaning continuing a long time or recurring frequently) in America happen to 1 person out of 6, that’s approximately 17% of the population.

We’ll go over the 4 most common types of headaches.

 Tension Headaches are believed to be caused by physical, environmental or emotional stress. The symptoms are normally a contraction of the muscles between your head and neck.  A tightness around the neck, soreness around the head (a vice-like ache). Physical stressors could be poor posture, working under pool lightning or cramps when in an unnatural position for long periods. Could be caused by misalignment of the teeth or jaws. Emotional stress could be a strained relationship at home or work.  Environmental stress could be exposure to chemicals, pesticides, any toxic material.

 Migraine Headaches. The term migraine is originally derived from the Greek work “hemicrania” which means “half of the head”. 70% of migraine sufferers have it occurring on one side of the head. Many times, this type of headache will be accompanied with vision problems. It is considered a vascular headache because it is associated with changes in the size of the arteries in and outside of the brain.  Prompted by biochemical changes in the brain, these cause inflammation which causes pain. Again many possible causes are named:  Stress, lack of sleep, missing a meal, medication…  It is even advanced that certain foods could trigger headaches and I can tell you from experience that it’s the case more often than not for any type of headache. 

 Cluster Headaches They are called cluster headaches because the attacks come in groups. The pain arrives with little to no warning, and it has been described as the most severe and intense of any headache type. Most sufferers experience 1 to 4 headaches a day during a cluster period. They can last weeks or months and then can disappear for months or years. The pain is usually on one side. It may begin in one eye, and it may cause a tearing or bloodshot eye and a runny nose on the side of the headache. It can radiate from the eye to the forehead, temple and cheek on the same side. The pain has been described as piercing, burning, throbbing, pulsating and so excruciating that most victims cannot sit still and feel compelled to rock in a chair, walk back and forth or something of the sort. It is believed that chronic smoking and frequent alcohol use can trigger these.  But there are many variables here again.

 Hormonal Headaches The word hormone is derived from a Greek word that means to “Set in motion” Hormones initiate and regulate many of your body’s functions.  This type affects women. They occur before, during or immediately after the period, or during ovulation. It is caused by estrogen, the female sex hormone that specifically regulates the menstrual cycle fluctuations throughout the cycle. Because oral contraceptives influence estrogen levels, women on birth control pills may experience more menstrual headaches. The symptoms are similar to migraine headaches.  It begins as a one-sided, throbbing headache accompanied by nausea, sensitivity to bright lights and sounds.

The traditional recommended remedy is medication which comes with some side effects. There are some more natural preventive methods like acupuncture or yoga that can be used but that’s assuming you know exactly what triggers your headaches.  There are so many possible causes that it’s often a “hit and miss” approach with temporary relief.

There is a simple solution! Come get tested to find out what is triggering yours and we will get to the source. There are many types of headaches, but all come from some imbalance.)


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