When people experience headaches, their first impulse is to open the medicine cabinet and reach for pain relievers. However, it is not always advisable to depend on pain relievers to remedy a head throbbing in pain.
Although medical experts have identified several types of headaches, in broad terms, these can be classified into four major types: cervicogenic, tension type, migraine and cluster. Here’s a brief overview of each type of headache.
Cervicogenic, neck or cervical headaches are caused by an excessive amount of stress put on the joints found in the neck either through trauma or through repetitive stress. Patients who feel this type of pain report experiencing a dull ache, specifically at the back of the head and sometimes at the forehead and ears. These headaches typically occur when patients perform movements that put a strain on the neck.
Among these types of headaches, tension headaches are among the most complained of. Patients who experience this type of headache describe feeling pain at the back of their heads, temples and neck. Some experts attribute this type of headache to stress which leads to the contraction of neck and scalp muscles and produces changes in the brain’s chemistry.
Migraine headaches are identified by a number of symptoms. Typically, these headaches last between four hours to three days. Sufferers may experience pain that may be described as throbbing or moderate to severe, nausea, or sensitivity to light or sound. Some patients with migraine also report an attack to be preceded by visual distortions or numbness. In many cases, patients are debilitated by pain such that they cannot do even the simplest tasks at work or at home.
Cluster headaches, as the name implies, occur in groups or clusters. This type of condition often happens suddenly with the patient experiencing pain in one side of his head. Symptoms like watery eyes and nasal congestion often accompany the pain.
Another type of headache that is associated with the reliance on medication to remedy pain in the head and neck area is the rebound headache. Unknown to most people, the wanton use of analgesics can lead to dependence, worsening of the pain and sensitivity to pain.
Instead of relying on medication to temporarily deal with any of these headaches, you can take a more pro-active approach that will allow you to better cope with the pain you are experiencing. This includes visiting a chiropractor.
A chiropractor can design a tailored programme that will help you not only to deal with the symptoms but also, more importantly, identify the root cause of your problem. Depending on the cause of your condition, your chiropractor can offer practical advice pertaining to diet, posture, ergonomics and even exercise, all of which will allow you to stay on top of recurrent headaches.