Treatment for Headaches

Headaches are common and can be categorized by pain, tenderness or discomfort in the head. There are many different types of headaches with varying symptoms, severity, and treatment options. 

Types of headaches 

There are 150 different types of headaches but the 7 most common headaches include: 

  • Tension Headaches – Tension headaches are often triggered by stress. They are usually described as a dull, aching sensation. Tenderness or pain in the neck, forehead, or shoulder muscles may also occur. 
  • Sinus Headaches – Sinus headaches occur when the sinuses are inflamed due to allergies, disease, or dry weather. They are associated with a deep and persistent pain in the area of the cheekbones, forehead, or bridge of the nose. The pain often increases with sudden head movements and occurs along with other sinus symptoms, such as nasal discharge, fever, and facial swelling. 
  • Exertion Headaches – Exertion headaches may occur immediately after intense physical activity. Running, weight lifting, and sexual intercourse are common triggers for exertion headaches. These short-lived, throbbing headaches can occur on either side of the head.  
  • Migraine Headaches – Migraine headaches are often described as unbearable and can cause severe, debilitating pain that interferes with daily life. Migraines are related to blood vessel contractions and other changes in the brain and are often triggered by environmental or weather changes, stress, or lack of sleep. It can last as little as 30 minutes or as long as several days. 

Unlike typical headaches, migraines can cause throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, fatigue, and sensitivity to light, noise or smell. Migraine may be preceded by visual disturbances such as halos, flashing lights, zigzags, or blind spots.  

  • Hormone Headaches – Many women often suffer from headaches related to hormonal fluctuations. Menstruation, pregnancy, menopause and hormonal contraceptives affect estrogen levels and cause headaches. 
  • Cluster Headaches – Cluster headache is a rare headache disorder consisting of severe burning or stabbing pain around or behind one eye or half of the face, often accompanied by facial swelling, redness, sweating, nasal congestion, drooping eyelids, and eye tearing that occurs on the same side as the headache. 

This type of headache is three times more common in men than in women. Sufferers experience severe pain lasting from 15 to 180 minutes and occurring up to eight times a day for four to six weeks. 

  • Hyperextension Headaches – A hypertension headache occurs when your blood pressure becomes critically high – above 180/110. These headaches often have a pulsating quality on both sides of your head and are accompanied by blurred vision, chest pain, shortness of breath or nosebleeds. If you think you are suffering from high blood pressure headaches, you should see a doctor immediately. High blood pressure headaches can be treated by lowering your blood pressure. 

Cause of Headaches 

Most headaches are a symptom of something else going on in the body – disease, injury, hormone imbalance, stress, and tissue dysfunction (muscles, tendons, nerves). Headaches are caused by signals interacting between your brain, blood vessels and surrounding nerves. During a headache, various mechanisms activate certain nerves that affect muscles and blood vessels. These nerves send pain signals to your brain, causing the headache. 

Treatment for Headaches 

The treatment of headache depends on the type. One of the most important aspects of treating a headache is finding out what caused it. Once you know what triggered the headache, your doctor and physiotherapist can tailor treatment to you with one or a combination of medications, massage, exercise, relaxation techniques and therapy. 

Not every headache requires medication. There are a number of treatment options. Depending on the type, frequency and cause of your headache, there are several treatment options:

  • Stress management
  • Biofeedback
  • Medication
  • Treatment of the underlying medical condition/cause 

For more info on treatment, request a call by filling out the contact form below. We will respond to you shortly.

Some of the Medical Aids that cover treatment.

Need Help? Chat with us