Headaches

Headaches are a common condition that may appear in people of all ages and gender. They result from signal interactions within the blood vessels and surrounding nerves that send pain signals to the brain. They usually vary in intensity and duration depending on the root cause. 

Having constant headaches can have a severe impact on your daily life. As it is a common condition, it is often disregarded. However, looking for professional help when your headaches increase in frequency and intensity is essential.

Types of Headaches

Headaches vary in intensity and correlated symptoms depending on their causes.

Tension Headaches

These are the most common type of headaches and occur when neck and scalp muscles contract. They are usually caused by stress, poor posture, or because of eyestrain. The following signs are characteristic of tension headaches:

  • Constant, dull pain in both sides of the head
  • Feeling pressure or tightness all around the head
  • Mild to moderate symptoms
  • Doesn’t go away with movement
  • Usually last from 20 minutes to several days

Migraines

When a headache develops into severe throbbing pain, it's called a migraine. Multiple factors may cause migraines, including hormonal changes, reactions to some foods, sleep deprivation, and stress. Some of the most common signs of a migraine include:

  • Severe throbbing pain in one side of the head
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light and sounds
  • Usually last from a few hours to several days

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches aren’t as common but can severely affect overall well-being. Lifestyle factors like heavy drinking, smoking, and environmental factors like extreme temperatures usually cause them. Some of the most common signs include:

  • Severe pain in one side of the head
  • Pulsating pain that surrounds the eyes
  • Eye-watering
  • Nose irritation
  • Insomnia

Cervicogenic Headaches

Cervicogenic headaches originate from issues in the cervical spine. These may be caused by injuries to the neck, poor posture, and correlated conditions like disc degeneration, herniated discs, arthritis, or spinal stenosis. Some of the most common signs of these kinds of headaches are:

  • Steady pain on one side of the head that starts from the neck and progresses to the forehead
  • Limited neck mobility 
  • Pain that increases with certain positions

Diagnosing What Type of Headaches You Have

To diagnose what type of headache you have and its root cause, your doctor may perform the following tests and examinations:

  • Evaluation of medical history 
  • Physical examination
  • Imaging tests like X-ray, MRI, and a CT scan
  • Neurological tests

Treatment Options for Headaches

Once your health specialist has determined the root cause of headaches, treatment may include one or more of the following approaches:

1. Conservative Treatments

Conservative treatments aim to reduce pain by using noninvasive techniques to treat headaches; these may include:

  • Relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation
  • Acupuncture
  • Stress management

2. Lifestyle Changes

Multiple lifestyle changes can contribute to the decrease in pain and headache frequency:

  • Physical therapy focused on the spine and neck for cervicogenic headaches
  • Massage therapy for tension headaches
  • Performing regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet
  • Having sleep hygiene by keeping a constant schedule and comfortable environment when going to bed

3. Medications

Some of the most common medications to treat headaches include:

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Prescription medications for migraines and cluster headaches
  • Preventive medications for chronic headaches

Treatment for Headaches in Tualatin & Newberg, OR

Our team of specialists are recognized leaders in clinical research and offer updated diagnostic processes and treatment options. Let us help you find relief from headaches. 

We have dedicated our practice to improving our patient’s quality of life without using opiate medications or traditional spine surgery. Over ten years of experience makes us the top choice for those dealing with back and neck pain

If you want to learn more about our services, call us, schedule an appointment online, or visit our locations in Tualatin and Newberg in Oregon.

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