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

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

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

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.