Back Clinic Migraine Team. This is a genetic neurological disease characterized by episodes called Migraine attacks. They are quite different from regular headaches, which are non-migrainous. About 100 million people suffer from headaches in the U.S., And 37 million of these people suffer migraines. The World Health Organization estimates that 18 percent of women and 7 percent of men in the U.S. suffer.
They are called primary headaches because the pain is not caused by a disorder or disease, i.e., a brain tumor or head injury. Some cause pain only on the right side or left side of the head. In contrast, others result in pain everywhere. Individuals that suffer can have moderate or severe pain but usually can’t participate in regular activities because of the pain.
When a migraine strikes, a quiet, dark room may help with the symptoms. Migraines can last for four hours or can last for days. The range of time someone is affected by an attack is actually longer than the migraine itself. This is because a pre-monitory or build-up and a post-drome can last for one to two days.
Headaches are a common condition that most experience and can differ greatly regarding type, severity, location, and frequency. Headaches range from mild discomfort to constant dull or sharp pressure and severe throbbing pain. A headache chiropractor, through therapeutic massage, decompression, and adjustments, alleviates the headaches, whether tension, migraine, or cluster, releasing the tension and restoring normal function.
Ninety-five percent of headaches are primary headaches caused by overactivity, muscle tension, or problems with pain-sensitive structures in the head. These are not a symptom of an underlying disease and include tension, migraine, or cluster headaches. The other 5 percent of headaches are secondaryand are caused by an underlying condition, infection, or physical issue. Headaches have various causes or triggers. These include:
Long hours driving
Blood sugar changes
Excessive exercise or physical activity
Individuals spend more hours in one fixed position or posture, like sitting in front of a computer or standing at a workstation. This can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in the upper back, neck, and scalp, causing achiness and discomfort that builds up to throbbing soreness. The headache’s location and the discomfort experienced can indicate the type of headache.
Chiropractors are experts in the neuromusculoskeletal system. Research shows that a headache chiropractor can adjust the spine’s alignment to improve spinal function, release and relax the tense muscles, and alleviate nervous system stress helping decrease the intensity and frequency. Treatment includes:
The Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Teamwill develop a personalized treatment plan for the individual’s specific condition and needs.
Biondi, David M. “Physical treatments for headache: a structured review.” Headache vol. 45,6 (2005): 738-46. doi:10.1111/j.1526-4610.2005.05141.x
Bronfort, G et al. “Efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic headache: a systematic review.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 24,7 (2001): 457-66.
Bryans, Roland, et al. “Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache.” Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics vol. 34,5 (2011): 274-89. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2011.04.008
Côté, Pierre, et al. “Non-pharmacological management of persistent headaches associated with neck pain: A clinical practice guideline from the Ontario Protocol for traffic injury management (OPTIMa) collaboration.” European journal of pain (London, England) vol. 23,6 (2019): 1051-1070. doi:10.1002/ejp.1374
Headaches are one of the common issues that affect anyone worldwide. Different issues can cause headaches and affect other individuals depending on the issue. The pain can range from being dull to sharp and affect a person’s mood, sense of belonging, and body. Different headaches can have different effects on people since headaches can be acute or chronic and overlap with other issues affecting the body. To that point, the surrounding muscles and organs around the face may be involved with other conditions where headaches are a symptom rather than a cause. Today’s article examines the temporalis muscle, how trigger pain affects the temporalis muscle, and how to manage the pain associated with trigger points. We refer patients to certified providers who specialize in musculoskeletal treatments to aid individuals suffering from trigger point pain associated with the temporal muscle pain along the side of the head. We also guide our patients by referring them to our associated medical providers based on their examination when appropriate. We ensure to find that education is the solution to asking our providers insightful questions. Dr. Jimenez DC observes this information as an educational service only. Disclaimer
What Is The Temporalis Muscle?
Have you been dealing with a dull or sharp ache on the side of your head? What about the tension that is along your jawline? Or have you been dealing with tooth pain throughout the entire day? Encountering these symptoms can be difficult as they affect the facial region of the head and might overlap with the temporal muscle. The temporalis muscle is part of the mastication muscles, which includes the medial pterygoid, lateral pterygoid, and masseter muscles. The temporalis muscle is a flat, fan-shaped muscle that spans from the temporal fossa to the inferior temporal line of the skull. This muscle converges to form a tendon that surrounds the jaw bone and helps stabilize the jaw and its function by extending and retracting. Studies reveal that the temporalis muscle has two tendons: superficial and deep, in the back of the molars to aid chewing and are attached to the coronoid process (the skin and subcutaneous tissues that cover the superficial tendon of the temporalis muscle and the masseter muscle.) To that point, traumatic and ordinary factors can affect the temporalis muscle and cause symptoms associated with the muscle.
How Do Trigger Points Affect The Temporalis Muscle?
When traumatic or ordinary factors begin to affect the body, including the oral-facial region, it can cause unwanted symptoms to develop over time and, if not treated, make a person’s life miserable. Studies reveal that individuals dealing with chronic tension-type headaches have intense pain from the temporalis muscle. When the temporalis muscle becomes sensitive to the touch, the pain can travel to different body areas. These are known as myofascial or trigger points, and they can be a bit challenging for doctors to diagnose because they can mimic various pain symptoms. Trigger points along the temporalis muscles may potentially affect the teeth and cause headaches to form. Active trigger points in the temporalis muscle could potentially evoke local and referred pain while constituting one of the contributing sources of headache pain. Now how can the temporalis muscle induce chronic tension-type headaches? Well, trigger points are caused when the muscles are overused and can develop tiny knots along the muscle fibers.
Trigger points along the temporalis muscle could potentially induce abnormal dental pain. Studies reveal that abnormal dental pain can be referred to as neurovascular headaches associated with tension on the temporalis muscle. Since trigger points often mimic other chronic conditions that confuse many people about why they are experiencing pain from one section of their body, there are no signs of traumatic encounters. Since trigger points can cause pain to travel from one area of the body to another, many individuals try to find therapeutic ways to alleviate their pain.
An Overview Of The Temporal Muscle- Video
Have you been experiencing headaches that affect your daily activities? Does your jaw seem stiff or tender to the touch? Or have your teeth become extra sensitive when eating certain foods? Many of these symptoms may involve trigger points affecting the temporalis muscle. The video above gives an overview of the anatomy of the temporalis muscle in the body. The temporalis is a fan-shaped muscle that converges into tendons that help make the jaws move. When factors affect the body, especially the temporalis muscle, it can potentially develop trigger points along the muscle fibers. To that point, trigger points can mimic conditions affecting the body, like chronic tension-type headaches and tooth pain. Studies reveal that the pain pressure associated with trigger points along the temporalis muscle is consistently higher when there are different amounts of tooth clenching or jaw gaps. As luck would have it, there are ways to manage temporal muscle pain associated with trigger points.
Ways To Manage Temporal Muscle Pain Associated With Trigger Points
Since trigger points along the temporalis muscle could potentially cause pain in the oral facial region, the surrounding muscles like the upper trapezius and the sternocleidomastoid with their trigger points may cause jaw motor dysfunction and tooth pain. Fortunately, musculoskeletal specialists like chiropractors, physiotherapists, and massage therapists can find where the trigger points are located and use various techniques to alleviate trigger point pain along the temporalis muscle. Studies reveal that soft tissue manipulation can help release the trigger point pressure off of the temporalis muscle and cause relief. Utilizing soft manipulation on myofascial temporalis pain affecting the neck, jaw, and cranial muscles can help reduce headache pain symptoms and help many people feel relief.
The temporalis in the body is a flat, fan-shaped muscle that converges down to the jawline and works with the other mastication muscles to provide the motor function to the jaw. When ordinary or traumatic factors affect the temporalis muscle, it can develop trigger points along the muscle fibers. To that point, it causes pain-like symptoms and even causes referred pain like tension headaches and toothaches in the oral-fascial region of the head. This can make many people suffer in pain unless there are ways to manage the associated symptoms. Fortunately, many musculoskeletal specialists can incorporate techniques that target trigger-point pain related to the affected muscle. When people utilize treatment for myofascial trigger pain, they can get their lives back together.
Basit, Hajira, et al. “Anatomy, Head and Neck, Mastication Muscles – Statpearls – NCBI Bookshelf.” In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL), StatPearls Publishing, 11 June 2022, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK541027/.
Fernández-de-Las-Peñas, César, et al. “The Local and Referred Pain from Myofascial Trigger Points in the Temporalis Muscle Contributes to Pain Profile in Chronic Tension-Type Headache.” The Clinical Journal of Pain, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2007, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18075406/.
Kuć, Joanna, et al. “Evaluation of Soft Tissue Mobilization in Patients with Temporomandibular Disorder-Myofascial Pain with Referral.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, MDPI, 21 Dec. 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7767373/.
McMillan, A S, and E T Lawson. “Effect of Tooth Clenching and Jaw Opening on Pain-Pressure Thresholds in the Human Jaw Muscles.” Journal of Orofacial Pain, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1994, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7812222/.
Yu, Sun Kyoung, et al. “Morphology of the Temporalis Muscle Focusing on the Tendinous Attachment onto the Coronoid Process.” Anatomy & Cell Biology, Korean Association of Anatomists, 30 Sept. 2021, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8493017/.
Migraines affect an estimated 38 million people, including children, in the United States alone. Worldwide, that total jumps to 1 billion. Migraine ranks number three among common illnesses in the world and number six among disabling illnesses. More than 90% of people who suffer from migraines cannot function normally or work during an attack.
A migraine attack is often debilitating and extremely painful. It is also challenging to stop once it starts. The best treatment for migraines is to prevent them from ever occurring. Several methods work for some people, but chiropractic is a popular preventative measure that many people have found to help them be migraine-free.
A severe headache is the first thing people think of regarding migraines, but there are other symptoms which include:
Pain located on one or both sides of the head
Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
Blurred vision or other visual disturbances
Pain that is pulsing or throbbing
Lightheaded and possibly fainting
Hypersensitivity to smell, taste, or touch
Loss of motor function or, in more severe cases, partial paralysis (such as with hemiplegic migraine)
Some migraineurs experience auras before an attack, usually around 20 to 60 minutes. This can give the patient time to take specific measures to stop the attack or minimize it. However, it is still the right course of action to incorporate certain activities into your lifestyle to prevent migraines.
Causes of Migraines
Doctors don’t know the exact causes of migraines, but research does indicate that certain triggers can initiate an attack. Some of the more common migraine triggers include:
Foods Processed foods, salty foods, aged cheeses, and chocolate.
Beverages Coffee and other caffeinated drinks as well as alcohol (particularly wine)
Hormonal changes occur mainly in women, usually during menopause, menstruation, and pregnancy.
Food additives Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and aspartame, as well as certain dyes.
Stress Environmental, stress at home or work, or illness that puts strain on the body.
Sleep problems Getting too much sleep or not getting enough sleep.
Sensory stimuli Sun glare and bright lights, strong smells like secondhand smoke and perfume, and specific tactile stimulation.
Medication Vasodilators (nitroglycerin) and oral contraceptives.
Physical exertion Intense exercise or other physical exertion.
Change in barometric pressure
Some research also shows a possible serotonin component. Serotonin is integral to regulating pain in the nervous system.
During a migraine attack, serotonin levels drop. Migraine Treatments
Migraine treatments are classified as either abortive or preventative. Abortive medications primarily treat symptoms, usually pain relief. They are taken once a migraine attack has already begun and are designed to stop it. Preventative medications are typically taken daily to reduce the frequency of migraines and the severity of attacks. Most of these medications can only be obtained by prescription, and many have unpleasant side effects.
A migraine specialist can recommend medications and other treatments, including acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic, acupressure, herbal remedies, and lifestyle changes. Adequate sleep, relaxation exercises, and dietary changes may also help.
Chiropractic for Migraines
A chiropractor will use a variety of techniques when treating migraines. Spinal manipulation of one of the most common, usually focusing on the cervical spine. By bringing the body into balance, it can relieve the pain and prevent future migraines. They may also recommend vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements and lifestyle changes, which usually eliminate triggers.
One migraine study found that 72% of sufferers benefitted from chiropractic treatment with noticeable or substantial improvement. This is proof that chiropractic is an effective treatment for relieving pain and preventing migraines.
Headaches are a real pain (insert eye-roll here). Many individuals suffer from them, and there are a variety of causes, symptoms, and treatment options. For some, they are a rare occurrence, while others deal with them weekly or even daily. They can range from minor inconveniences to full-fledged life-changing afflictions.
The first step in treating headaches is to understand the type of headache you are experiencing. Some people think they have a migraine when in fact, they are suffering from a tension headache. While tension headaches are more common, it’s estimated by the Migraine Research Foundation that 1 in 4 U.S. Households include someone with a migraine.
Determining which headache is being dealt with takes a bit of research. Individuals suffering from headaches need to ask themselves these questions to determine if they are having a migraine or experiencing a tension headache.
When in life did the headaches begin? According to the Mayo Clinic, migraines start in adolescence or early adulthood. In contrast, tension headaches can start at any time in a person’s life. If an adult just began suffering from headaches, they are most likely tension headaches.
Where does it hurt? The location of the pain is a vital indicator of the type of headache. Migraines typically occur on one side of the head. Tension headaches affect both sides of the head and can produce a feeling of pressure in the forehead area.
What kind of pain is it? If it is a dull pain, a feeling of pressure, or tenderness around the scalp, it’s most likely a tension headache. If, on the other hand, the pain is throbbing or pulsing pain, it could be a migraine. Both headaches can offer up severe pain, just different types.
Are there any other symptoms?Migraines typically come with symptoms beyond head pain. Nausea, light and sound sensitivity, bright flashing or sparkling lights, pins and needle sensations down one or both arms, or dizziness are common. Individuals who don’t experience any of these symptoms are most likely dealing with a tension headache.
Can you function? While painful and frustrating, many people with a tension headache can still perform their jobs, drive, read, and deal with daily life. A migraine is a different story. Lying in a dark, quiet room with a sleep mask on until the headache passes is how most people handle migraines. If the headache is life-disrupting, it could very well be a migraine.
Do regular painkillers work? Tension headaches can often be relieved by over-the-counter pain medications. Migraines don’t budge with these treatments. Once a migraine is in full force, the sufferer must ride it out. If a headache reacts well to a couple of non-prescription painkillers, it’s most likely a tension headache.
Most individuals will, unfortunately, deal with a headache at one point in their lives. It’s important to note that tension headaches are much more common than migraines, but that doesn’t rule out the possibility of a headache being a migraine. The answers to the above questions give insight into the type of headache occurring and how best to handle the treatment proactively. No matter the type of headache, if the pain is severe, or begins after a head injury, seek medical treatment immediately.
My treatment with Dr. Alex Jimenez has been helping me by simply making me less tired. I’m not experiencing as many headaches. The headaches are going down dramatically and my back feels much better. I would highly recommend Dr. Alex Jimenez. He’s very friendly, his staff is very friendly and everybody goes well beyond what they can do to help you. –Shane Scott
Neck pain can develop due to a variety of reasons, and it can vary tremendously from mild to severe. Most of the population has suffered from this well-known nagging health issue; however, did you know that headaches can sometimes be caused by neck pain? While these headaches are commonly referred to as cervicogenic headaches, other types, such as cluster headaches and migraines, have also been determined to be caused by neck pain.
Therefore, it’s fundamental to seek a proper diagnosis if you’ve experienced headaches or neck pain to determine the root cause of your symptoms and decide which treatment option will be best for your specific health issue. Healthcare professionals will assess your upper back, or the cervical spine, including your neck, the base of the skull and cranium, and all the surrounding muscles and nerves to find the source of your symptoms. Before seeking help from a doctor, it’s essential to understand how neck pain can cause headaches. Below, we will discuss the anatomy of the cervical spine or neck and demonstrate how neck pain is connected to headaches.
How Neck Pain Causes Headaches
The muscles between the shoulder blades, the upper portion of the shoulders, and those surrounding the neck, or cervical spine, may all cause neck pain if they become too tight or stiff. This can generally occur due to trauma or damage from an injury, as well as in consequence of bad posture or poor sitting, lifting, or work habits. The tight muscles will make your neck joints feel stiff or compressed, and it can even radiate pain toward your shoulders. Over time, the balance of the neck muscles changes, and those specific muscles that support the neck become weak. They can ultimately begin to make the head feel heavy, increasing the risk of experiencing neck pain as well as headaches.
The trigeminal nerve is the primary sensory nerve that carries messages from the face to your brain. Furthermore, the roots of the upper three cervical spinal nerves, found at C1, C2, and C3, share a pain nucleus, which routes pain signals to the brain and the trigeminal nerve. Because of the shared nerve tracts, pain is misunderstood and thus “felt” by the brain as being located in the head. Fortunately, many healthcare professionals are experienced in assessing and correcting muscular imbalances, which may lead to neck pain and headaches. Moreover, they can help to relieve muscle tension, enhance muscle length and joint mobility, and retrain correct posture.
What Causes Neck Pain and Headaches?
Cervicogenic headaches, otherwise known as “neck headaches,” are caused by painful neck joints, tendons, or other structures surrounding the neck, or cervical spine, which may refer to pain to the bottom of the skull, to your face or head. Researchers believe that neck headaches, or cervicogenic headaches, account for approximately 20 percent of all headaches diagnosed clinically. Cervicogenic headaches and neck pain are closely associated, although other types of headaches can also cause neck pain.
This type of head pain generally starts because of an injury, stiffness, or lack of proper functioning of the joints found at the top of your neck, as well as tight neck muscles or swollen nerves, which could trigger pain signals that the brain then interprets as neck pain. The usual cause of neck headaches is dysfunction in the upper three neck joints, or 0/C1, C1/C2, C2/C3, including added tension in the sub-occipital muscles. Other causes for cervicogenic headaches and neck pain can include:
Cranial tension or trauma
TMJ (JAW) tension or altered bite
The Link Between Migraines and Neck Pain
Neck pain and migraines also have an intricate connection with each other. While in some cases, severe trauma, damage, or injury to the neck can lead to severe headaches like migraines; neck pain might result from a migraine headache in different situations. However, it’s never a good idea to assume that one results from the other. Seeking treatment for neck pain when the reason for your concern is a migraine often will not lead to effective pain management or pain relief. The best thing you can do if you’re experiencing neck pain and headaches is to seek immediate medical attention from specialized healthcare professional to determine your pain’s cause and the symptoms’ root cause.
Unfortunately, neck pain, as well as a variety of headaches, are commonly misdiagnosed or even sometimes go undiagnosed for an extended period. One of the top reasons neck pain may be so challenging to treat primarily because it takes a long time for people to take this health issue seriously and seek a proper diagnosis. When a patient seeks a diagnosis for neck pain, it may already have been a persistent problem. Waiting an extended amount of time to take care of your neck pain, especially after an injury, may lead to acute pain and even make the symptoms more difficult to control, turning them into chronic pain. Also, the most frequent reasons people seek treatment for neck pain, and headaches include the following:
Chronic migraines and headaches
Restricted neck function, including difficulties moving the head
Soreness in the neck, upper back, and shoulders
Stabbing pain and other symptoms, particularly in the neck
Pain radiating from the neck and shoulders to the fingertips
Aside from the symptoms mentioned above, individuals with neck pain and headaches can also experience additional symptoms, including nausea, diminished eyesight, difficulty concentrating, severe fatigue, and even difficulty sleeping. While there are circumstances in which the cause of your headaches or neck pain may be apparent, such as being in a recent automobile accident or suffering from sport-related trauma, damage, or injuries, in several instances, the cause may not be quite as obvious.
Because neck pain and headaches can also develop as a result of bad posture or even nutritional problems, it’s fundamental to find the origin of the pain to increase the success of treatment, in addition to enabling you to prevent the health issue from happening again in the future. It’s common for healthcare professionals to devote their time working with you to ascertain what could have caused the pain in the first place.
A Health Issue You Can’t Ignore
Neck pain is typically not a problem that should be ignored. You may think that you’re only experiencing minor neck discomfort and that it’s irrelevant to any other health issues you may be having. Still, you can’t know for sure more frequently than not until you receive a proper diagnosis for your symptoms. Patients seeking immediate medical attention and treatment for their neck-centered problems are surprised to learn that some of the other health issues they may be experiencing may be correlated, such as neck pain and headaches. Thus, even if you think you can “live with” not being able to turn your neck completely, other health issues can develop, and these problems might be more challenging to deal with.
There are circumstances in which a pinched nerve in the neck is the main reason for chronic tension headaches, where a previous sports injury that was not adequately addressed before is now the cause of the individual’s limited neck mobility and in which a bruised vertebrae at the base of the neck induces throbbing sensations throughout the spine, which radiates through the shoulders into the arms, hands, and fingers. You might also blame your chronic migraines on a hectic schedule and stressful conditions. However, it might be a consequence of poor posture and the hours you spend hunched over a computer screen. Untreated neck pain might lead to problems you never expect, such as balance problems or trouble gripping objects. This is because all the neural roots located on the upper ligaments of the cervical spine or neck are connected to other parts of the human body, from your biceps to each of your tiny fingers.
Working with a healthcare professional to relieve the root cause of your neck pain and headaches may significantly enhance your quality of life. It may be able to eliminate other symptoms from turning into a significant problems. While another health issue or nutritional deficiency generally causes the most common causes of chronic migraines, you might also be amazed to learn how often the outcome may be resolved with concentrated exercises and stretches recommended by a healthcare professional, such as a chiropractor. Additionally, you may understand that the health issues you’ve been having often develop from compressed, pinched, irritated, or inflamed nerves in your upper cervical nerves.
Dr. Alex Jimenez’s Insight
Although it may be difficult to distinguish the various types of headaches, neck pain is generally considered to be a common symptom associated with head pain. Cervicogenic headaches are very similar to migraines, however, the primary difference between these two types of head pain is that a migraine occurs in the brain while a cervicogenic headache occurs in the base of the skull or in the cervical spine, or neck. Furthermore, some headaches may be caused by stress, tiredness, eyestrain and/or trauma or injury along the complex structures of the cervical spine, or neck. If you are experiencing neck pain and headaches, it’s important to seek help from a healthcare professional in order to determine the true cause of your symptoms.
Treatment for Neck Pain and Headaches
Foremost, a healthcare professional must determine the cause of an individual’s symptoms through the use of appropriate diagnostic tools as well as to make sure they have the utmost success in relieving the headache and neck pain without prolonging the duration of the symptoms and extra cost of incorrect therapy. Once an individual’s source of neck pain and headaches has been diagnosed, the kind of treatment a patient receives should depend on the type of headache. As a rule of thumb, treatment starts once the diagnosis has been made. A healthcare professional will work with you to create a treatment plan appropriate for your specific health issues. You’ll be taken through procedures that help build flexibility and strength in your sessions.
Chiropractic care is a well-known alternative treatment option focusing on diagnosing, treating, and preventing various musculoskeletal and nervous system injuries and conditions. A chiropractic doctor or chiropractor can help treat neck pain and headache symptoms by carefully correcting any spinal misalignments, or subluxations, in the cervical spine or neck, through spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, among other therapeutic techniques. Chiropractors and physical therapists may also utilize a combination of gentle Muscle Energy Techniques, muscle building, joint slides, Cranio-sacral therapy, and specific posture and muscle re-education to lower the strain being placed on the structures surrounding the cervical spine. The staff will also help you understand how to better position yourself during your daily life to prevent relapses, like ergonomic and posture tips. Contact a healthcare professional for them to be able to assist you immediately.
In cases where alternative treatment options have been utilized without any results or sometimes used together with other complementary treatment approaches, pain drugs and medications may be contemplated, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and anti-seizure agents such as gabapentin, tricyclic anti-depressants, or migraine prescriptions. If pain medications prove ineffective, injections may be contemplated, including peripheral nerve blocks, atlantoaxial joint blocks administered at C1-C2, or aspect joint blocks administered in C2-C3. Surgical interventions may also be other treatment options. However, healthcare professionals suggest attempting all other treatment options before considering surgery. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss the subject matter, please ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.
Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes of disability and missed days at work worldwide. Back pain has been attributed as the second most common reason for doctor office visits, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience back pain at least once. The spine is a complex structure of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles, among other soft tissues. Because of this, injuries and aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, eventually lead to back pain symptoms. Sports or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of back pain; however, sometimes, the simplest movements can have painful results. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease back pain through spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief.
Origin: The most common cause of�migraines/headaches�can relate to neck complications. From spending excessive time looking down at a laptop, desktop, iPad, and even from constant texting, an incorrect posture for extended periods of time can begin to place pressure on the neck and upper back leading to problems that can cause headaches. The majority of these type of headaches occurs as a result of tightness between the shoulder blades, which in turn causes the muscles on the top of the shoulders to also tighten and radiate pain into the head.
Headaches are very common health issues, and lots of people treat themselves by using basic painkillers, drinking additional water, with rest, or by simply waiting for the headache to go away on its own. As a matter of fact, a headache is among the most common reasons for doctor office visits.
Just about everyone will experience a headache sometime during their life. Most headaches are not caused by serious or sinister conditions. However, people understandably worry if headaches feel different, whether they’re especially severe, particularly frequent or unusual in any other manner. But, the most common concern is whether the headache may be a symptom of an underlying health issue, such as a brain tumor.
The following article discusses headaches generally. It explains the various types of headaches you may experience and describes those very rare situations where a headache may be a symptom of a serious disease.
Types of Headaches
Headaches can be categorized as primary, or they can be classified as secondary, meaning they are a side-effect of another injury or condition.
A healthcare professional can usually determine the possible cause of your headaches from speaking to you and examining you. When they have found the cause then you’ll have the ability to decide the best treatment approach for your head pain symptoms. This may involve taking drugs only when you get the headaches, taking daily medication to stop them altogether, and/or even stopping medication you’re already taking. Very occasionally, headaches may need further diagnosis to rule out more serious underlying causes. Chiropractic care and physical therapy are also commonly utilized to help treat headaches. Below, we will discuss the different types of headaches.
The most common types of headaches, by far, are tension headaches and migraines.
Tension headaches are generally felt as a band around the forehead. They may last for many days. They may be tiring and uncomfortable, but they don’t normally disturb sleep. Most people can carry on working with a tension headache. These often have a tendency to worsen as the day progresses, however, they aren’t usually made worse with physical activities, though it’s not strange to be somewhat sensitive to bright light or noise.
Migraines are also very common types of headaches. A typical migraine is described as a throbbing sensation. Headaches which are one-sided, headaches which throb and headaches that make you feel sick are more inclined to be migraines compared to anything else. Migraines are often severe enough to be disabling. Some individuals will need to go to bed to sleep off their aggravation.
Cluster headaches are extremely severe headaches, sometimes called “suicide headaches”. They occur in clusters, often every day for a number of days or maybe weeks. Then they vanish for weeks on end. These types of headaches are rare and often occur particularly in adult male smokers. They’re intense, one-sided headaches, which are very disabling, meaning they stop routine activity. People often describe them as the worst pain they have ever felt. Cluster headaches are typically one-sided. Patients frequently have a red watery eye on the other hand, a stuffy runny nose and a droopy eyelid.
Chronic Tension Headaches
Chronic tension headaches (or chronic daily headache) is generally caused by muscle tension in the back of the neck and affects women more frequently than men. Chronic means that the problem is persistent and ongoing. These headaches can develop due to neck injuries or tiredness and may worsen with drug/medication overuse. A headache that occurs virtually every day for 3 weeks or more is known as a chronic daily headache or a chronic tension headaches.
Medication-overuse headaches or medication-induced aggravation, is an unpleasant and long-term headache. It’s brought on by taking painkillers usually meant for headaches. Unfortunately, when painkillers are taken regularly for headaches, the body reacts by creating additional pain sensors in the brain. Finally, the pain sensors are so many that the head becomes super-sensitive and the headache won’t go away. Individuals who have these headaches often take an increasing number of painkillers to attempt and feel much better. But, the painkillers may have regularly long ceased to work. Medication-overuse headaches are the most common cause of secondary headache.
Exertional Headaches/Sexual Headaches
Exertional headaches are headaches associated with physical activity. They may get severe very quickly following a strenuous activity like coughing, running, with intercourse, and straining with bowel movements. They’re more commonly experienced by patients that also have migraines, or who have relatives with migraine.
Headaches associated with sex particularly worry patients. They can occur as sex starts, at orgasm, or following sex. Headaches at orgasm would be the most common type. They are generally acute, at the back of the head, behind the eyes or all around. They last about twenty minutes and aren’t usually an indication of any other underlying health issues or problems.
Exertional and sexual intercourse-related headaches aren’t typically an indication of serious underlying problems. Very occasionally, they can be a sign that there is a leaky blood vessel on the surface of the brain. As a result, if they are marked and repeated, it’s sensible to talk about them with your healthcare professional.
Primary Stabbing Headaches
Primary traumatic headaches are sometimes called “ice-pick headaches” or “idiopathic stabbing headache”. The term “idiopathic” is used by doctors for something that comes without a clear cause. These are brief, stabbing headaches that are extremely sudden and severe. They generally last between 5 and 30 seconds and they occur at any time of the day or night. They feel as though a sharp object, like an ice pick, is being stuck into your head. They frequently occur in or just behind the ear and they are sometimes quite frightening. Even though they aren’t migraines they’re more prevalent in those who suffer from migraines, nearly half of individuals who experience migraines have principal stabbing headaches.
They are often felt at the place on the head where the migraines have a tendency to happen. Primary stabbing headaches are too brief to take care of, even though migraine prevention medications may reduce their number.
Hemicrania continua is a major chronic daily headache. It typically induces a continuous but shifting pain on one side of the brain. The pain is generally continuous with episodes of severe pain, which can last between 20 minutes and several days. During those episodes of severe pain there may be other symptoms, such as watering or redness of the eye, runny or blocked nose, and drooping of the eyelid, around precisely the same side as the aggravation. Similar to a migraine, there may also be sensitivity to light, feeling sick, such as nausea, and being sick, such as vomiting. The headaches do not go away but there may be periods when you don’t have any headaches. Hemicrania continua headaches respond to medicine called indometacin.
Trigeminal neuralgia causes facial pain. The pain consists of very short bursts of electric shock-like sensations in the face, particularly at the area of the eyes, nose, scalp, brow, lips or limbs. It’s usually one-sided and is more common in people over age 50. It may be triggered by touch or a light breeze on the surface area.
Occasionally, headaches have underlying causes, and treatment of the headache involves treating the cause. Individuals often fear that headaches are caused by serious illness, or by high blood pressure. Both of these are extremely uncommon causes of headache, really increased blood pressure usually causes no symptoms in any way.
Chemicals, Drugs and Substance Withdrawal
Headaches can be because of a substance, or its withdrawal, for example:
Carbon monoxide, that is made by gas heaters which aren’t properly ventilated
Drinking alcohol, with headache often experienced the morning afterwards
Deficiency of body fluid or dehydration
Headaches Due to Referred Pain
Some headaches may be caused by pain in some other portion of the head, such as ear or tooth pain, pain in the jaw joint and pain in the neck.
Sinusitis is also a frequent cause of headaches. The sinuses are “holes” in the skull which are there to stop it from becoming too heavy for the neck to transport around. They are lined with mucous membranes, such as the lining of the nose, and this creates mucus in response to colds or allergy. The liner membranes also swell and can block the drainage of the mucus out of the space. It subsequently becomes cracked and infected, resulting in headache. The headache of sinusitis is often felt at the front of the head and also in the face or teeth.
Frequently the face feels tender to tension, particularly just below the eyes beside the nose. You might have a stuffy nose and the pain is often worse when you bend forwards. Acute sinusitis is the kind that comes on fast in conjunction with a cold or abrupt allergy. You may have a temperature and be generating a lot of mucus. Chronic sinusitis may be caused by allergy, by overusing decongestants or with the acute sinusitis that doesn’t settle. The sinuses become chronically infected and the nasal linings chronically swollen. The contents of this uterus may be thick but frequently not infected.
Acute glaucoma can cause severe headaches. In this condition, the pressure inside the eyes goes up suddenly and this causes a surprisingly, very severe headache behind the eye. Even the eyeball can feel really hard to touch, the eye is red, the front part of the eye, or cornea, can seem cloudy and the eyesight is generally blurred.
What Types of Headaches are Dangerous or Serious?
All headaches are unpleasant and some, such as headache from medication abuse, are serious in the sense that if not treated correctly they might never go away. But a few headaches are indications of serious underlying issues. These are uncommon, in many cases very rare. Dangerous headaches often occur suddenly, and also eventually become increasingly worse over time. They are more common in elderly people. They comprise of the following:
Bleeding Around the Brain (Subarachnoid Haemorrhage)
Subarachnoid haemorrhage is a really serious condition which occurs when a tiny blood vessel pops on the surface of the brain. Patients develop a serious headache and stiff neck and may become unconscious. This is a rare cause of acute headache.
Meningitis and Brain Infections
Meningitis is infection of the tissues around and on the surface of the brain and encephalitis is infection of the brain itself. Brain infections can be caused by germs called bacteria, viruses or parasites and they are thankfully rare. They cause a severe, disabling headache. Normally, patients may feel sick or vomit and can’t bear bright lights, something known as photophobia. Often they have a rigid neck, too stiff for your physician to have the ability to bend the head down so that the chin touches the chest, even in the event that you attempt to relax. Patients are generally also unwell, experiencing hot, sweaty and overall sick sensations.
Giant Cell Arteritis (Temporal Arteritis)
Giant cell arteritis (temporal arteritis) is, generally, just seen in people over the age of 50. It is due to swelling, or inflammation, of the arteries at the temples and behind the eye. It causes a headache behind the forehead, also referred to as a sinus headache. Typically the blood vessels at the forehead are tender and individuals detect pain from the scalp when they comb their own hair. Frequently the pain gets worse with chewing. Temporal arteritis is severe because if it’s not treated it can cause sudden loss of eyesight. Treatment is with a course of steroids. The need to keep these steroids is generally monitored by the GP through blood tests, and they are typically needed for several months.
Brain tumors are a very uncommon cause of headache, although most patients with long-term, severe or persistent headaches start to worry that this might be the reason. Brain tumors can lead to headaches. Usually the aggravation of brain tumors exists on waking in the morning, is worse on sitting up, and becoming steadily worse in the day to day, never easing and never disappearing. It can sometimes be worse on coughing and sneezing, as may sinus headaches and migraines.
When Should I Worry About a Headache?
Most headaches do not have a serious underlying cause. However, healthcare professionals are trained to ask you about the signs and symptoms that might suggest your headache needs further diagnosis, just to make certain it’s nothing serious.
The things which would suggest to your physician and nurse that your headache may need additional evaluation include the following. They don’t mean that your headache is severe or sinister, but they imply that the healthcare professional may wish to do some additional evaluations to make sure if:
You have had a substantial head injury in the previous three months.
Your headaches are worsening and accompanied with high temperature or fever.
Your headaches begin extremely unexpectedly.
You’ve developed problems with speech and balance as well as headache.
You’ve developed problems with your memory or changes in your behavior or personality in addition to headache.
You’re confused or muddled along with your headache.
Your headache started when you coughed, sneezed or strained.
Your headache is much worse when you sit or stand.
Your headache is associated with red or painful eyes.
Your headaches are not like anything you’ve ever experienced before.
You have unexplained nausea together with the aggravation.
You have low immunity, for instance, when you have HIV, or are about oral steroid medicine or immune suppressing drugs.
You have or have had a type of cancer that can spread throughout the body.
Dr. Alex Jimenez’s Insight
Headaches are extremely common health issues which affect a wide range of the population around the world. Although frequent, a headache which is described to be like no other ever experienced before, may often become a concern. There are several types of headaches which can be caused by a variety of injuries and/or underlying conditions. As a healthcare professional, it’s essential to be able to determine between sinister or dangerous types of headaches and benign types of headaches, in order to decide the best treatment approach. By properly diagnosing the source of a patient’s headaches, both benign and sinister types of headaches can be treated accordingly.
Many headaches, whilst unpleasant, are harmless and react to a variety of treatments, including chiropractic care. Migraine, tension headaches and medication-overuse headaches are very common. The majority of the populace will experience one or more of these. Working out exactly the underlying cause of any headaches through discussion with your doctor is often the best method to resolve them. It is possible to develop a persistent or chronic and constant headache through taking drugs and/or medications that you took to get rid of your headache. Your physician can support you through the practice of quitting painkillers when that is the case.
Headaches are, quite infrequently, an indication of a serious or sinister underlying illness, and many headaches go away on their own.
If you have a headache which is uncommon for you then you need to discuss it with your doctor. You should also speak to your doctor about headaches which are particularly severe or that affect your regular activities, those that are associated with other symptoms, such as tingling or weakness, and those which make your own scalp tender, especially if you’re over 50 years old. Finally, always speak to a healthcare professional when you have an unremitting morning headache which is present for at least three days or is becoming gradually worse.
Remember that headaches are not as likely to occur in people who:
Handle their anxiety levels well.
Eat a balanced, regular diet.
Take balanced routine exercise.
Focus on posture and core muscles.
Sleep on two pillows or fewer.
Drink loads of water.
Have plenty of sleep.
Anything that you can do to enhance one or more of these aspects of your life will improve your health and well-being and cut back the number of headaches you experience. Make sure to seek the appropriate medical attention from a qualified and experienced healthcare professional in the event of a severe headache unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic as well as to spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at�915-850-0900�.
Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes for disability and missed days at work worldwide. As a matter of fact, back pain has been attributed as the second most common reason for doctor office visits, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience some type of back pain at least once throughout their life. The spine is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles, among other soft tissues. Because of this, injuries and/or aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, can eventually lead to symptoms of back pain. Sports injuries or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of back pain, however, sometimes the simplest of movements can have painful results. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease back pain through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief.
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