Headache and Migraine Symptoms

Different Headache and Migraine Symptoms 

We’ve all experienced a headache at some point in our lives, although they can vary wildly in severity – from a mild dehydration headache to a head-splitting migraine. However, headache and migraine pain is a definite inconvenience, no matter how severe or how often it occurs. 

It doesn’t have to be this way however, and there are plenty of ways to treat headache and migraine symptoms, such as chiropractic care. Chiropractic treatment is highly effective at relieving the symptoms of head pain, whether you’re a chronic migraine sufferer or battling the occasional tension headache. If you’re looking to find out more about the different types of headache symptoms and how chiropractic treatment can help, read on! 

What are the different types of headache?

Headaches can be caused by many factors – from dehydration, to stress, muscle tension or hormonal changes. There are also several different types of headache and we’ll explain some of the most common primary headaches in more detail, below. 

Tension headache

Tension headaches are often triggered by stress. They’re characterised by a dull, aching sensation across the whole head, and you may also experience some tenderness around the neck, forehead or shoulders. 

Cluster headache

Cluster headaches occur on one side of the head, usually around the eye. The exact cause of cluster headaches is unknown, but they can be excruciatingly painful. As the name suggests, cluster headaches occur in a series, with each headache lasting anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours. You may also experience swelling, redness or congestion on the same side that the headache occurs. 

Migraine headache

Common migraine symptoms include an intense throbbing pain (usually on one side), nausea and visual disturbances, which occur before the headache pain begins. Migraines can be triggered by a number of factors, including dehydration, sleep disruption, some foods and exposure to chemicals. 

Why do people get headaches and migraines?

Several different factors influence why people get headaches and migraines, and some people may be more susceptible to headache and migraine symptoms than others. Chemical activity in the brain, nerves and blood vessels surrounding the skull and muscles in the head and neck can all contribute to primary headache symptoms. 

Some people may also carry genes that make them more likely to experience certain types of headache or migraine. There are also milder factors that can contribute to so-called ‘secondary headaches’, such as dehydration, too much caffeine or heavy perfumes. 

Can a trapped nerve cause headaches?

Yes, it can. A ‘trapped’ or ‘pinched’ nerve in the neck can cause headaches by triggering a feeling of pain along the nerve’s pathway. If you’re experiencing frequent headaches due to a trapped nerve, a visit to a chiropractor can help. Chiropractors can perform a manual spinal adjustment to help realign your body, reducing pressure on the nerve and relieving the pain.

Managing migraine and headache symptoms

Headache symptoms can be very unpleasant (especially if you suffer from migraines), but there are steps you can take to relieve the pain. Try the following to help manage headache and migraine symptoms:

  • Painkillers – over the counter painkillers like paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin can all relieve symptoms. It’s best to take painkillers as soon as headache symptoms appear to give them the best chance of working. 
  • Anti-sickness medications can also successfully relieve migraine symptoms (even if you don’t feel sick). 
  • Rest in a quiet, dark room.
  • Apply a warm or cool compress to your head and neck.
  • Alternative treatments – things like acupuncture or chiropractic treatment can be extremely effective to relieve the symptoms of migraines and headaches. 

How can chiropractic treatment help?

If you suffer from frequent migraine headache symptoms, chiropractic treatment can help! Chiropractic care is a great way to manage and relieve the pain caused by migraines or headaches. 

Your chiropractor may first perform a chiropractic adjustment; this is to correct misalignments in the spine and any other unbalanced joints in the body. Correcting this misalignment helps to reduce inflammation and improve the function of both any affected joints and the nervous system. There are many benefits of chiropractic adjustment for patients with headaches or migraines, including: 

  • Reduced pain and discomfort
  • A decrease in inflammation
  • Relief from tension and stress
  • Improved physical function 

You should see an improvement after just one session, although your chiropractor will usually suggest a course of treatment over a few weeks or months for the best, long lasting results. 


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