The National Headache Foundation says that 45+ million or over 14% of the American population suffer from chronic or long term headaches. Wow, that is a lot of people! In other words, 14 people in a room of 100 like at work or school get headaches. The chances you running into someone with a headache is really high. Or is that person is you?
How many times have you heard someone calling into work or missing school because of a headache? Did you know that headaches are the most common reason why people miss work or school? Headaches sufferers miss more than 157 million days every year because of the pain. Who knew that headaches could have such a large impact on productivity and education?
People generally call their different types of head pain a “headache” or just say that they having a “migraine” when it really gets bad. Have you heard of the other common types of headaches that people have? Let’s go over a couple of them and see what we can do about it.
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Tension headaches, the most type of headache, are moderate in severity. They are felt on both sides of the head. Tension headaches do not get worse during normal things like bending over, walking stairs or other stuff like that. These headaches aren’t too bad where patients usually pop a lot of over-the-counter medications. Unfortunately, that has become a common thing to do. Sometimes they don’t know that doing that can lead to even more headaches when they skip a day.
The second type of headache a lot of people say that they have are migraines. This pain is worse than a tension where it is way more severe. Described as “pounding” or “throbbing”, migraines last a lot longer from a couple of hours to even days. They happen more often like 1-4 times a month. Other symptoms include sensitivity light, noise, odors and nausea or vomiting. That is not normal.
Cluster headaches are the least common but the worst. The pain is really intense. They feel sharp, burning and a throbbing. The pain can get so severe that people don’t sit still and walk around. A common area of pain is behind one eye. Its name comes from the “cluster” of headaches that come in a group. They happen a couple time per day during a period and last a couple of weeks to a couple of months. Doesn’t that sound terrible?
A common and lesser known cause of headaches are misalignments in the upper cervical spine in the body. A headache is an indication that something is wrong in the body. Headaches are common but are not normal. When the top bone of the spine, the atlas bone, is not moving correctly, pressure can be put on the brain stem and create these crazy headache symptoms. Putting the atlas bone back into correct alignment through gentle upper cervical chiropractic care can relieve these common headaches and make them a thing of the past.
- Ferri, Fred MD. Ferri’s Clinical Advisor, 2012 ed. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby; 2012.
- National Headache Foundation. Headache FAQ. http://www.headaches.org/headache-faq/ (accessed 13 August 2015).
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