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Is It Really a Migraine?

By Sara Butler

Chiropractors see a lot of patients in their office for headaches. In fact, headaches are the number one medical complaint in the United States, impacting the lives of about 45 million people a year. Many people suffer from headaches they believe to be migraines, but in actuality there are many different types of headaches that could be causing their pain. If you think you’re suffering from migraines, it may be one of these headaches instead.

Tension Headaches

Stress is a part of life, and a very common result of stress is the development of a tension headache. Chiropractors see a lot of patients who suffer from tension headaches, and most of the time these headaches originate from the muscles in the neck.

When people are stressed, they will hold tension in their muscles – especially the muscles in the shoulders and the neck. Often, this can lead to headaches due to the contraction of the muscles in the neck and head. The most common symptom of headaches caused by tension is an aching, dull pain in the head. It may feel like a tight band around the forehead, back, and sides of the head. They differ from migraines because they commonly aren’t accompanied by nausea, visual disturbances, and vomiting.

Cluster Headaches

This type of headache isn’t as common as migraine or tension headaches, but takes the cake as the most painful of all headaches. Cluster headaches occur in patterns – also called clusters – over a period of weeks or months. They go away for a while and then return.

The most common symptoms experienced with cluster headaches are severe pain close to one eye that often radiates to other parts of the face. Unlike other headaches, there is often no trigger for cluster headaches, they just occur and no one is totally sure why. It does run in families, though.

Sinus Headaches

Many different types of headaches can cause nasal symptoms such as a stuffy nose or pain and pressure in the forehead, brow, and cheeks – including migraine and tension headaches. So how can someone know they have a sinus headache for sure? If the symptoms include nasal symptoms and pressure, but aren’t accompanied by vomiting and nausea, and aren’t made worse by light or loud noises, then it’s probably a sinus headache.

If you suffer from headaches regularly, you can consult with the chiropractors at The Joint to help you determine what kind of headache you are suffering from and the treatment that can address it.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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