Headaches can be due to a wide variety of causes, such as drug reactions, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), tightness in the neck muscles, low blood sugar, high blood pressure, stress and fatigue, the majority of recurrent headaches are of two types: tension headaches (also called cervicogenic headaches) and migraine headaches.
Tension type headaches are the most common, affecting upwards of 75% of all headache sufferers. Most people describe a tension headache as a constant dull, achy feeling either on one side or both sides of the head, often described as a feeling of a tight band or dull ache around the head or behind the eyes. These headaches usually begin slowly and gradually and can last for minutes or days. Tension headaches are often the result of stress or bad posture, which stresses the spine and muscles in the upper back and neck.
Migraines are intense and throbbing headaches that are often associated with nausea and sensitivity to light or noise. They can last from as little as a few hours to as long as a few days. Many of those who suffer from migraines experience visual symptoms called an “aura” just prior to an attack that is often described as seeing flashing lights or that everything takes on a dream-like appearance.
Migraines are caused by a spasm in the blood vessels in the brain. During the constriction of the blood vessels there is a decrease in blood flow, which is what leads to the visual symptoms that many people experience. Once the blood vessels dilate, there is a rapid increase in blood pressure inside the head. It is this increased pressure that leads to the pounding headache. There are a number of things that can trigger migraines, such as lack of sleep, stress, flickering lights, strong odors, changing weather patterns and several foods; especially foods that are high in the amino acid tyramine (found most in aged foods).
No matter the headache or cause, they all respond well to chiropractic and wellness care. If you or someone you know is suffering, call ‘now;’ now you’ll have to find another excuse.
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