• A Quick Guide to Headaches

    by Paula Cremoneze
    on Jun 14th, 2018

Did you know, 7 out of 10 people worldwide experience at least one headache each year? Headaches can be brought on by a number of different causes such as stress, skipping meals or consuming certain foods, poor posture, use of alcohol, and sleep issues. It is highly recommended that you seek prompt attention if you experience headaches associated with an injury or specific activity, and if these headaches have an unusual duration. Fortunately, the majority of headaches can be alleviated by implementing simple lifestyle changes, and, depending on the case, with use of non-invasive methods. Frequently found are three types of headaches:

Tension Headaches are the most common of the three varieties; these are commonly described as having the feeling of a band squeezing tightly around the head, usually occurring as a constant, dull ache around the top of the head including the forehead area. Lasting anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours, tension headaches are not usually debilitating, but they can certainly take the pep right out of your step! Headache causes vary from person to person, however, tension headaches seem to be the most elusive, as the causes are not yet fully understood. Studies seem to point to fatigue, emotional stress, and joint or muscle tension; particularly in the neck, shoulder, and jaw. Managing a tension headache is possible, and actually, not as complicated as you might think! It is really about achieving a healthy medium of making healthy lifestyle choices and attaining efficient non-drug treatments.

Cluster Headaches attack suddenly and without notice, with symptoms such as agonizing pain, usually centered around one eye, sometimes prompting redness, swelling, and sometimes drooping of the affected eye. Cluster headaches tend to expand to other parts of the face such as the head, neck, and even shoulders. Typically one-sided, this pain can cause restlessness, excessive tearing, sinus issues, and even facial sweating. These headaches can also occur in “cluster periods,” which may last anywhere from six to twelve weeks. Cluster periods may or may not be consistent depending on their cause, they may be seasonal as well. At times, those affected by episodic cluster headaches may suffer from one week to an entire year. In between these cluster periods, there may be up to twelve months of pain-free relief before another cluster headache forms. In contrast to Migraine-sufferers, those who experience cluster headaches may be prone to pace around a room or rock back and forth while sitting. Though the two are different, Cluster Headaches can include some Migraine-like symptoms such as sensitivity to light and sound; though this mostly occurs on one side during a cluster headache episode. As far as causes for cluster headaches, the Hypothalamus (A.K.A.: the body’s biological clock) may be a culprit. Cluster headaches stand out from both Migraines and Tension headaches in the sense that they are not usually linked to triggers such as hormones, foods, or stress. Although it is recommended that alcohol be avoided during a cluster headache episode.

Migraines seem to begin during childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood. Complete with light and sound sensitivity, severe throbbing pain or pulsing on one side of the head; migraines can also involve nausea and vomiting. Migraine episodes can be significantly debilitating for those suffering from them. Lasting anywhere from a few hours to a few days, migraine attacks can be extremely severe. Prior to a migraine attack, the sufferer may experience tingling on one side of the face, arm, or leg, and flashes of light; blind spots may also take place in some cases. Other changes can occur in the days preceding an attack. These changes may consist of constipation, increased thirst and urination, food cravings, sudden mood swings, and neck stiffness. Causes and triggers can vary; a migraine may be brought on by overconsumption of salty foods, hormonal changes, stress, changes in sleep patterns, or even, the weather!

All headaches are not created equal and some may require varying methods of assistance. If you experience sudden, severe headaches for any reason; you should seek prompt attention. Whether it be a blow to the head, a headache coupled with fever, confusion, loss of consciousness, stiff neck, and eye or ear pain; headaches stemming from such causes could point to deeper, underlying issues.

Our team of professionals at Davis Integrated Medicine are happy to help should you need relief from headaches. Using state-of-the-art equipment and customized care solutions for each patient; we strive to provide the highest level of care. Chiropractic adjustments, Acupuncture treatment, and innovative technology such as Trigger Point Shots for pain relief are only a few of the services offered at our office. Call (973) 783-3606, or (862) 205-5118 to schedule a complimentary consultation at Davis Integrated Medicine. You can also book online or e-mail us at scheduling@draldavis.com. Davis Integrated Medicine is conveniently located at 316 Orange Road, Montclair, NJ 07042.

Author Paula Cremoneze Community Outreach Director

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