Headaches are an extremely common phenomenon that affect almost everyone at some stage in their lives. Headaches can be caused by a number of factors, including stress, muscular tension, dehydration & viral infection. There are three main types of headaches: vascular headaches, tension headaches & cervical headaches.
Vascular headaches are charaterised by changes in blood vessel swelling, which typically causes the throbbing sensation associated with these headaches. The most common vascular headaches are migraines & cluster headaches.
Symptoms of a migraine:
- Throbbing or pulsing headache
- Headache isolated to one side of the head/neck
- Pain in the forehead, temple & eye
- Sensitivity to light and/or sound
- Nausea or vomitting
- Tingling or prickling in the face and/or fingers
Symptoms of a cluster headache:
- Servere, one sided pain affecting the eye & temple
- Headaches may occur every second day or up to 8 times a day & lasts from 15 minutes to 3 hours
- Usually occurs in conjunction with conjunctival invection, nasal congestion, forehead & facial sweating or a runny nose
Cervical headaches are caused by abnormalities of the joints, fascia & neural structures (nerves) in the region of the head & neck. Symptoms can include: a constant, dull ache that may affect one or both sides of the head, a pulling or gripping sensation, and/or a tight band around the head that may be associated with neck pain & stiffness. This headache may be aggravated by movement of the head & neck.
Tension headaches are the most common type of recurring head pain. Although muscle contracture significantly contributes to this type of headache, stress & sustained postures have also been associated with this condition. Symptoms can include: a sensation of tightness, pressure, constriction or an ache in the neck & head, commonly presenting in the back of the head, wrapping up and around into the forehead, sometime accompanied by a sustained skeletal muscle contraction.