Nine out to 10 Americans suffer from headaches. 36 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches according to the American Migraine Foundation. That’s about 12% of the US population suffering with a migraine.
Headaches can start anywhere in a person’s neck and head. They can be bilateral or isolated to one side. Back of the head or in the forehead. The location of your headaches provides tremendous information in determining what type of headache you have.
Types of Headaches
Tension headache – This is the most common type of headache. This is usually first felt in the back of the head at the base of the skull and can wrap around to the forehead.
Migraine headache – This is a severe throbbing headache that usually starts on one side but then can involve the entire head. Patients usually experience sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue and even depression. Migraines are more common in women.
Cluster headache – This comes on abruptly and is pin pointed pain on one side, usually around the eyes. These are more common in men.
Secondary headache – These headaches are usually caused by another condition like dehydration, tumor, liver or heart disease, toxins, etc.
The most common cause of headaches originate from tension in the neck due to our postures from sitting for long periods of time (ex: desk job, extended computer/phone use, watching TV, etc.). The other not so common causes are environmental stimuli (sound, smell, light, toxins, etc). When there is tension in the neck it causes pressure on the nerves, muscles and blood vessels and can cause the pain of a headache.
What can help:
- Chiropractic adjustments
- Gentle stretches through all neck ranges of motion. (Forward, backward, rotate and bend side to side)
- Lay on the ground and place a rolled up hand towel under your neck and allow your head to relax over the top.
- Give yourself a “double chin”. Tuck and draw your chin back to strengthen the deep anterior muscles in your neck.
- Proper posture when sitting and using cellphones, tablets and computers.