Get a Handle on Headaches

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This article was provided by Dr. Eric Galla of Galla Chiropractic Group in Spring Valley, NV. To learn more, please visit

When it comes to headaches, there are actually several different types, each with distinct symptoms. Of all health-related problems, headaches are the most common, a condition that affects people of all ages, races, and genders. Usually, over-the-counter medication is taken for pain relief but for certain types and when the pain is intense, drugs do little to stop the headache from raging. Additionally, there are times when a headache is an indicator of something more serious, at which time medical intervention is needed.
Every type of headache is broken down into two primary categories to include primary and secondary. The information provided covers the various causes of headaches, the different types, and treatment options that produce relief from pain. Keep in mind that not only is conventional medicine an option but also chiropractic care.

Common Causes

There are always uncommon reasons that a headache develops but usually, pain is associated with one of the following reasons:
o Neck injury
o Muscle tension
o High blood pressure
o Jaw or dental problems
o Eyestrain
o Medical disorder of the ear, throat, and/or nose

Primary Headaches

There are two types of headaches that fall within this category to include:
Tension Headache - Tight pressure is felt around the head and usually, the pain is coupled with muscle tension of the head, jaw, and/or neck. Pain is throbbing and brought on by stress, cold, heat, overwhelming odors, emotions, hormonal imbalances, and fatigue. In some instances, the headache would also involve eye disturbances, nausea and/or vomiting, and numbness of extremities or the face.
Cluster Headache - Interestingly, this type of headache is considered less common than other types and tends to affect men more often than women. Pain is severe and usually located around one eye. Alcohol and cigarettes are primary triggers but the underlying cause remains a mystery. Additional symptoms could appear to include watering and swelling of the affected eye.

Secondary Headaches

Unlike primary headaches that are the main problem, secondary headaches are the result of another health problem. Some of the main health issues that lead to the onset of a secondary headache include the following:
o Meningitis
o Head injury
o Brain tumor
o Sinus infection
o Arthritis
o Spinal injury
o Temporal arteritis

Effective Treatment Options

There are times when over-the-counter pain medication works to stop the pain and other times when conventional medical care is needed but often, chiropractic care works amazingly well to get rid of pain and keep it at bay. Regardless the direction a person takes for treatment, there are also a number of things that could be done at home to reduce or eliminate pain.
A change of diet might help since there are some foods that can cause a headache or make an existing headache worse. Other things that have been proven to help include massage, meditation, yoga, acupuncture, proper rest, and stress management. Depending on the exact cause, many times conventional medicine and chiropractic care work hand-in-hand to give a person needed relief.
We want to point out that if someone with a headache notices the pain intensifying quickly or begins to experience additional symptoms to an extreme level, emergency medical care should be sought. After all, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Headache Types

The following are additional types of headaches that people experience:
Chronic Daily Headache - Occurs a minimum of 15 days a month and lasts six months or longer, affects both young and old people, men are at 50% greater risk, includes mild muscle contraction symptoms, and is often caused by stress
Ice Pick Headache - Affects young to middle-age people, comes as short, piercing pain that lasts just seconds to minutes, can occur more than once within a single day, typically involves just one eye, and is triggered by cold foods and drinks
Migraine - Typically lasts between 4 and 72 hours, usually affects just one side of the head, produces throbbing pain that can be moderate to severe, intensifies activity, and can be accompanied by dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and visual disturbances
Sinister Headaches - These are secondary headaches that cause extreme pain. A few examples of illnesses that lead to a sinister headache include:
Subarachnoid Hemorrhage - Causes pain to the most extreme level, usually comes on suddenly, and produces a stiff neck that lasts hours
Temporal Arteritis - Persistent headache that worsens at night, can be severe, could include tenderness of the scalp, and in someone 50 and older creates an overall ill feeling
Meningitis - Produces a stiff neck and high fever


According to medical experts, 9 out of 10 people in the United States have headaches, making it easy to see how such a common medical condition can be so devastating. While some are minor, many types produce pain difficult to manage. Studies show that spinal adjustments performed by a qualified chiropractor is an effective treatment, especially for types of headaches that generate in the neck area.
People who receive chiropractic care for headaches benefit from immediate and long-term relief. Additionally, spinal adjustments produces no unpleasant side effects often associated with prescription medication. Finally, chiropractic care has been shown to prevent migraines in 72% people who suffer from these horrific headaches.