Migraine and severe headache pain are the leading causes of disability across the United States. With many specific treatments becoming more costly, it is hard to find good treatments for families with median or below average income. What makes this even more difficult, is how many medications and surgeries only provide a temporary relief and instead of targeting the cause of the head pain, medications, and surgeries target head pain symptoms.

But why is finding an affordable treatment for head pain that targets the underlying cause of the head pain so important? Although head pain is common, it could be debilitating – making it hard to do simple everyday tasks and taking away from your quality of life. Head pain is also a way of your body saying, “Hey! Something’s not right!” and should be listened to before the underlying cause of the head pain becomes much worse over time – which is why taking time in understanding head pain is so important.

Most head pain is annoying, painful, and not dangerous but they all happen for a reason and when it comes to understanding head pain, not everyone gets what the sufferer goes through and may dismiss it as a small issue. Understanding head pain types will help you adjust or support a loved one who may be having a difficult time with it.

Tension-Type Headaches

Tension-type headaches are extremely common and almost everyone will experience a tension-type headache. During a tension-type headache, muscles may feel knotted, and parts of the head and neck can become sensitive. These feel like a constant, dull, non-throbbing pain and as if your head is wrapped tightly. Those experience tension-type headaches for 15 days or more per month for up to three months may have chronic tension headaches. Chronic tension headaches may trigger more stress on the person and lead to depression; in turn, both stress and depression may lead to even more headaches.

When it comes to understanding head pain behind tension-type headaches, these usually result from stress (mental and/or physical). Tension-type headaches are not usually severe or get in the way of a person’s life, but they can still affect one’s mood; however, others may have painful tension headaches or tension headaches that last for long periods of time in which their daily life could be affected. Tension-type headaches can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 7 days. Since tension-type headaches are usually triggered by stress put on the body, it could be either outside stress or stress within the body’s system causing it. 

Migraine Headaches

It is hard to go into understanding head pain associated with migraine headaches unless you have experienced it. Head pain from migraine headaches can be extremely tough to live with, causing many migraine sufferers to miss work and is the 6th most disabling illness in the world. Most migraine sufferers experience a migraine attack once or twice a month that can last anywhere from a couple of hours to a few days, but more than 4 million migraine sufferers have daily chronic migraines totaling to at least 15 days of migraines per month.

Migraines are also not a headache and often means something is wrong in the upper cervical area and there are many things that can bring about an attack. For those living with migraines, it is important to know what type of pain they go through in case they need support. It is very common for sufferers to become depressed and miss out on daily activities due to migraines. Understanding head pain from migraines are very different from tension-type headaches; migraines come with many disabling symptoms that causes a person to have to stop everything they are doing to attend to it. It is very hard to be comfortable during a migraine attack, so it is common for the sufferer to separate themselves from noise and lie down in a dark room while cutting off all sources of light.

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches, just like their name, arrive in bunches over a course of weeks and can go on for up to 6 to 12 weeks on average. To begin understanding head pain that comes along with cluster headaches, we first need to point out they are not like tension-type headaches either. The head pain when experiencing cluster headaches is a severe, piercing sensation that can peak within minutes. Cluster headache head pain is unilateral (happens on only one side of the head) and may last from 30 minutes to 2 hours only to come back shortly after. Although another cluster headache follows typically a day or two later, it is possible to have four or more cluster headaches in one day.

When it comes to understanding head pain related to cluster headaches, sufferers will go through this severe piercing pain every day for weeks or months at a time. Sufferers of cluster headaches may show signs of having poor memory, poorer quality of life and a disturbance in their mood as they typically strike quickly without warning.

Sinus Headaches

Understanding head pain from sinus headaches is quite simple. A sinus headache comes with pain located in the forehead, cheeks, eyes, nose, and in some cases on the top of the person’s head. There have been reports of those who experience sinus headaches to feel as if they have pressure built up behind their face. An acute sinus headache will last no more than 8 weeks or occur up to three times a year with each attack lasting no more than 10 days. Chronic sinus headaches will last longer than 8 weeks or occur more than four times a year and last more than 20 days each time.

There are a lot of people who experience head pain who believe they are having a sinus headache when they are actually having a migraine; this is why taking the time in understanding head pain differences between the four types of head pain is important as migraines require different treatments and both are associated to completely different problems. 

Is There a Safe Natural Treatment for These Headaches?

Knowing the different types of head pain is the first step in understanding head pain and how different they can be. All four types have the possibility in affecting a person’s quality of life. Head pain is not something one can simply ignore when it’s constant and debilitating. It can deprive one of energy, productivity, and overall daily life. 

Fortunately, there is hope. Many patients who have suffered head pain and had continued to suffer after medication and surgery have found great relief in a natural upper cervical chiropractic treatment for head pain. Unlike general chiropractic, upper cervical chiropractic treatment for head pain targets the upper cervical area of the spine (just under your skull) and can help heal the underlying cause of your head pain.