Did you know that there are over one hundred different types of headaches? While some kinds of headaches are more common than others, it is important to know what type of headache you are experiencing. Headache remedies may vary slightly depending on the kind of headache that is bothering you. If you are looking for long-term solutions to headache relief, then consider chiropractic treatment near you. Your Atlanta chiropractor can provide you with natural and noninvasive solutions for how to get rid of a headache. The more you know about your headaches, the easier it will become to identify potential triggers to avoid. Talk to your Atlanta chiropractor about the symptoms you experience when you have a headache, and they will help determine the best course of treatment for you.
Common Types of Headaches
Here’s what you need to know about the four most common types of headaches, including signs, symptoms, and potential triggers in your lifestyle.
The most common of all headaches is called a tension headache. Potential triggers of a tension headache include increased stress, anxiety, or depression. You may get a tension headache from time to time, or you might experience chronic tension headaches. A tension headache is characterized by head pain that occurs all over. If you are dealing with tension headaches, then you may have head pain on the sides of your face, behind your forehead, and along the back of your skull. A tension headache every now and then may just cause mild pain, while chronic tension headaches may become more severe. If left untreated, chronic tension headaches can start to disrupt your sleep or contribute to anxiety and depression. Chronic tension headaches can also lead to jaw muscle and joint disorders.
Migraine headaches can cause intense pain and other symptoms that can disrupt your day and become debilitating. A migraine headache will typically cause throbbing pain in one area of your head that can last for hours or even a few days. In addition to head pain, a migraine can cause uncomfortable symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Some people experience warning symptoms of a migraine before it occurs, known as an aura. An aura refers to visual disturbances like blind spots or flashes of light or even a tingling sensation along one side of the body. You may also be surprised to learn that women are more likely to experience migraine headaches than men. If you get migraine headaches, then you may know this type of headache is more likely to be recurrent.
Sinus headaches occur most often when you have chronic allergies, or a condition called sinusitis. Allergens like pollen or pet dander can block your nasal passages and cause your sinuses to swell. When the sinus passageways become inflamed, you may develop a sinus headache. Your sinuses are located behind your nose, cheekbones, and forehead and are typically filled with air. Irritants like allergens or an infection like sinusitis can cause these passageways to swell and create more mucus. Sinus headaches typically cause a dull, throbbing pain behind your cheeks, eyes, and forehead. Other symptoms of a sinus headache may include a reduced sense of smell, a stuffy nose, nasal discharge, ear pain, and fatigue. Certain movements can make sinus headaches worse, like blowing your nose or tipping your head forward or backward.
Cluster headaches are a unique headache phenomenon where you will experience a series of short but painful headaches for weeks or even months at a time. These short but powerful headaches can pack a punch and may feel more severe and debilitating than a migraine, though each headache will last for a much shorter period of time. Cluster headaches commonly occur at the same time every year, like in the springtime. This can make it tricky to recognize whether you are dealing with allergy symptoms and sinus headaches, or even tension headaches and stress. The best way to recognize if you are dealing with cluster headaches is how long the headaches last. With cluster headaches, each headache may last only a few minutes at a time, but you may experience one after another for days, weeks, or months. Cluster headaches are more common in men than in women and may go into remission or go away completely for months or years at a time before the next attack.
Causes of Headaches
Headaches occur for two different reasons, known as primary or secondary headache causes. These are the main differences between primary and secondary headaches.
A primary headache means the headache is the main concern and does not occur as a symptom of a disease or other issue. An increase in stress and poor sleep quality can all cause this type of headache. Migraines and tension headaches are common examples of primary headaches. With a primary headache, the headache is the condition. Millions of Americans deal with primary headaches every year.
A secondary headache means the headache you are experiencing has a separate underlying cause. This means your headaches can be a symptom of something else going on. Headaches that occur because of an infection, high blood pressure, medication side effects, or even a recent injury. Common examples of secondary headaches include sinus headaches and headaches you may experience after a car accident injury or sports injury.
Common Headache Triggers
Headaches can be triggered by a variety of factors, including diet, activity, and what’s going on in your environment. Here are examples of common headache triggers.
Whether you experience seasonal allergies or are allergic to something specific, these allergens can trigger uncomfortable symptoms like a headache. Pollen, pet dander, and pollution are common examples of allergies that can trigger sneezing, congestion, and headaches.
The occasional alcoholic beverage may not trigger a headache, but continued or excessive drinking can. Drinking too much wine, beer, or hard liquor can cause painful headaches that can last for hours and feel debilitating.
Too much or too little exercise can trigger a headache. If you exercise for a long period of time or with a lot of intensity, this can put pressure and strain on your whole body. On the other hand, if you live a more sedentary lifestyle, then physical inactivity can cause even simple movements like bending over or lifting something above your head to trigger a headache.
If you have ever been carsick before, then you understand how motion from a moving vehicle, boat, or plane can trigger headaches and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Bright flashing lights, the glare from a computer screen or phone, and sun exposure can all trigger a headache. If you spend long hours in front of a computer at work, then you may experience more frequent headaches.
Auditory triggers of headaches can include loud talking, loud music, or an overly loud atmosphere. The acoustics of a room or space can also trigger a headache. Certain environmental noises may also trigger headaches for some people.
Everyone experiences emotions each day, but a sudden increase or intensity in certain emotions can trigger headaches. Anger, anxiety, fear, and depression are all examples of emotions that may trigger a headache. Crying can also trigger headaches.
Certain foods and drinks can also trigger headaches. Soft drinks and caffeine can cause headaches. It is also possible to experience headaches from caffeine withdrawal when your body gets used to a certain amount of caffeine each day. Skipping meals or not eating a nutritious diet can also trigger headaches. Hunger and dehydration are also common triggers of headaches.
Fluctuations or changes in hormones can also trigger headaches. Women may develop headaches along with fluctuations in their hormones and menstruation each month. Changes in hormones due to pregnancy or menopause can also trigger headaches.
Quality sleep is vital to healthy functioning. When you don’t get enough sleep the night before, you might get a headache the next day. Poor sleep for days or weeks at a time can also trigger headaches.
Natural Headache Relief
If you are looking for how to cure a headache, then you want to find techniques or treatments that will address the root cause. Over-the-counter medications for headaches tend to temporarily mask your head pain and discomfort for a few hours, but they don’t address the source of your pain. When it comes to treating headache disorders, it is important to recognize what triggers your headaches and get to the root cause of your pain. Consider natural remedies for headache relief to help manage your discomfort and prevent future headaches. The treatment options will depend on the type of headache you are experiencing. If you are dealing with primary headaches, like migraines or tension headaches, then it is important to identify the underlying cause. Acute treatments for headaches refer to interventions once the headache and symptoms begin. Preventative treatments involve regular interventions to help limit the frequency or severity of your headaches and their symptoms. Besides medications, there are many natural and noninvasive approaches to natural headache relief. Consider at-home remedies like applying cool or warm compresses to your head. A cold compress to your forehead or the base of the neck can provide a temporary numbing sensation to the area. Cold also helps restrict nearby blood vessels and slow blood flow to the area, reducing inflammation and swelling. Heat can help relax tense, tight muscles and reduce your pain and discomfort. You may also want to identify triggers in your diet or lifestyle that are contributing to your headaches. Diet changes can significantly reduce the frequency of headaches when you learn to eliminate food or drinks that trigger your headaches.
Chiropractic Care for Chronic Headaches
If you experience multiple headaches a month, then you might be dealing with a chronic condition. Visit your Atlanta chiropractor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for your chronic headaches. Chiropractic care takes an all-natural and noninvasive approach to assessing and managing headaches. Chiropractors use a combination of hands-on techniques and chiropractic treatments to relieve your symptoms and address the underlying cause of your headaches. You can go to the chiropractor for migraines and learn how to identify migraine triggers and work through ways to reduce your symptoms and prevent future migraine attacks. Your chiropractor will want to identify the root cause of your headache pain and restore healthy functioning to your whole body. Chiropractic adjustments help resolve misalignments in your spine and joints that may be contributing to your headaches.
Talk to your Atlanta chiropractor about how chiropractic treatment of headaches can provide you with long-lasting relief. A combination of chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue therapy, and education on nutrition and lifestyle changes can all help you experience lasting relief from headache pain. Instead of figuring out how to get rid of a headache once it is already here, your chiropractor can walk you through ways to identify early signs or triggers and prevent the headache from developing in the first place. Chiropractic care offers effective prevention tools for managing and preventing headaches, including migraines, tension headaches, and more. Talk to your Atlanta chiropractor about the severity of your symptoms and how long they tend to last. Chiropractors use targeted interventions that address the source of your pain and restore healthy functioning in the whole body. A visit will also help you determine how many times you have to visit your chiropractor before feeling better.
Don’t let headaches ruin your day! Visit AICA Orthopedics in Atlanta to get started with a chiropractor near you. Our team of Atlanta chiropractors at AICA Orthopedics have access to state-of-the-art diagnostic tools right here in the office, so you can get the tests and treatments you need all in one convenient location. Our chiropractors also work alongside orthopedic doctors, neurologists, and physical therapists, which means you will receive quality, comprehensive care from all perspectives. Whether you are dealing with stress or recovering from a recent injury, our team of doctors at AICA Orthopedics is here to help you experience long-lasting relief from your headaches.