Sometimes children are not able to tell us when something is wrong and it usually up to their loved ones to determine when something is not right. Below are some warning signs your child may be experiencing head pain and how it could affect their life if left untreated.
Tension-Type Head Pain in Children
Tension-type head pain in children is the most common type of headache children experience and can last anywhere from 30 minutes to seven full days. Children how have a tension-type head pain may have the following signs:
- Increased Sensitivity to Light or Noise – Although your child may have increased sensitivity to light or noise, in a tension-type headache they usually do not have a sensitivity to both at the same time.
- Mild to Moderate Pain and Tenderness of the Head
- Pain Present on Both Sides of Their Head – This pain can be present anywhere on the head, but there are some children who experience tension-type head pain on one side of the head.
- Tight Muscles in Neck and Shoulders
- Trouble Sleeping or Wake up Earlier Than Usual – The pain from the tension-type headache can keep the child from sleeping or wake them up.
- Difficulty Concentrating – Sometimes tension head pain in children can interrupt their ability to concentrate as it makes them uncomfortable.
- Dull, Pressing, Aching, or “Band-Life” Pain
Migraine Head Pain in Children
Migraine head pain in children may last up to 72 hours and is more painful than a tension-type headache. Physical activity during a migraine will make the symptoms worse and the child often feels like they need to lie down away from light and noise.
The impact a migraine has on children can result them into having emotional issues and a decline in school performance. Children do not often tell their parents or others about their migraine head pain and others may see their behavior as puzzling or anti-social. Below is a list of a few ways your child may be affected by migraines:
- Home – Children with migraine head pain are often irritable and want to stay away from light and noise due to the sensitivity, so they may pull themselves away from family or visitors to go into their room due to the pain they are in. Parents may also have to miss work due to their child having a migraine attack. If the child has siblings, parents may have to calm their other children down to keep the noise from making the migraine pain worse.
- School – In school, children with migraine head pain may have missed classes, poor or failing grades, and absences. It is not unusual for children with migraine head pain to struggle academically. If this is the case, it is best to let teachers know about your child having migraine head pain as some teachers may mistake their head pain as being disinterested or not paying attention to the lesson.
- Sports – Sports help a child stay active, but migraine symptoms become worse with physical activity. A child who is suffering from migraine head pain may show great discomfort in playing. Because migraine pain interferes with their physical lifestyle, migraines often make children feel left out and makes it harder for them to stay fit and healthy.
- Friends – Migraine attacks make it hard for children to stay social with other kids, especially in physical group activities. They may come across as anti-social.
Besides relying on your child to vocally say they are having intense head pain, other symptoms to help determine migraine head pain in children include:
- Nausea and/or Vomiting
- Sensitivity to Light, Sounds or Odors
- Unusual Depression or Irritability
- Child May Become Quiet or Pale
- Pain may be Throbbing or Pounding
- Abdominal Discomfort
- Aura Before a Migraine – This aura may include a sense of flashing lights, funny smells, or having a change in their vision.
Cluster Head Pain in Children
Cluster head pain in children occur in groups of five or more ad causes pain on the left or the right side of the head (the temple) or behind one eye. Cluster headaches may happen at the same time each day and can last from 15 minutes up to three hours. The ache that comes with cluster headaches can last for weeks or months at a time without remission. Cluster headaches are rare and are estimated to affect 1 in every 1,000 adult and believe it to be even rarer in children; however, it is still a possibility, and they typically start in children who are older than 10 years.
Some signs your child may be experiencing cluster head pain includes the following:
- Eye Pain
- Pressure in Head or Swelling of the Forehead
- Runny Nose
- Drooping Eyelids or Eyelid Swelling
- Congestion (Stuffy Nose)
- Constricted Pupils (Tiny Pupils)
- Watery Eyes
- Flushed Cheeks
- Sense of Fullness in the Ear
Sinus Head Pain in Children
Sinus head pain in children is quite uncommon but can interfere with their ability to sleep and make them uncomfortable during activities. Sinus head pain can cause pain in their cheekbones, bridge of their nose, or the forehead that is constant and becomes worse with sudden head movement or straining. Sinus head pain in children can last for hours and are often seasonal. The following are some signs your child may be experiencing sinus head pain (keep in mind their sinus head pain can be present with other sinus symptoms that are included in the list):
- Nasal Congestion
- Postnasal Drip
- Facial Swelling
- Fullness in the Ears
- Pain in the Face, Bridge of Nose or Cheeks
Is There a Safe Natural Head Pain Treatment for Children?
Sometimes it is a little scary to give your child medication, especially when medication only helps hide the pain and not correct the problem. Upper cervical chiropractic treatment for head pain is safe and gentle enough for children and allows the body to repair and heal itself from various conditions. In fact, upper cervical chiropractic treatment for head pain produces outstanding results that medication and surgery cannot achieve. Learn more about how upper cervical is connected to head pain and why it works by clicking chiropractic treatment for head pain.