Types of headaches.

Headaches are a complicated topic especially going into the realms of a migraine, as there are so many symptoms from stomach pain to light and sound sensitivity. So in this blog we will just look at the different types of headaches.

Let’s start with tension headaches. This type of headache normally starts in the afternoon after
stress has built up throughout the day causing yes you got it, tension across the muscles of the scalp,
neck and shoulders and normally feels like a dull band of pressure along the forehead area. To
combat these headaches especially if your getting them more than once or twice a week you will
want to evaluate the stressful triggers that are causing them or combat the stress with mindfulness
techniques such as meditation, talking therapies or any other approaches that you find relaxing
whether that means going for a walk or reading a book.

Physical approaches to combat the tension could include heat pads on the neck and shoulder to
increase the blood flow and relax the tissues of the effected areas. Manual therapy to relieve
pressure of the tight muscles and increase range of movement, self-massage of the forehead and
temporal muscles. Exercise, a lot of people think exercise is contradictive when they feel in pain
however its been shown it can reduce the symptoms due to increase blood flow and endorphin

Look at the basics: how much sleep are you getting? Are you eating and drinking enough too? Simple
I know but very important factors that can contribute massively to the way you feel and respond to
every day factors.

Sinus Headaches are commonly felt over the area of your sinuses located on the forehead and over
the cheeks and can get worse when you lean the head forward. A stuffy nose, loss of smell and
mucus can also accompany sinus headaches. Some people do not realise that the use of products
like deep heat and tiger balm can irritate your sinuses so be careful with these.

Exertion Headaches occur during or after exercise and is usually due to the increased level of blood
pressure causing veins and arteries to expand allowing more blood flow. This normally lasts anything
from a few minutes to a few hours after exertion and is normally found on both sides of the head
and is described as a throbbing headache as the blood is pulsing through the vessels.

Cluster Headaches are severe headaches and are described as more intense than a migraine and can
last for 30 – 45mins and months at a time. They are that severe that they are also known as “suicide
headaches” due to people not being able to get any relief from the pain. The reason they are called
cluster headaches is because they tend to follow a pattern of the same time each day and can come
on multiple times before disappearing, this pattern is unfortunately not understood but they can
return years later.

It involves parts of the autonomic nervous system called the hypothalamus and
one of the nerves that arises from the skull and supplies the face, teeth and eye called the
Trigeminal nerve. 1 in 1000 people suffer from cluster headaches and it usually effects people
around the ages of 20 to 40. Sleep apnea is very much linked to people who get cluster headaches
alongside frequent smoking and drinking alcohol. They are described as a burning pain that occurs
on one side of the face, eye, gums and nose. This very rarely changes sides even if another attack is
felt years later.

Headaches to look out for and can be a sign of serious complications:

Thunderclap headaches are a sudden headache that sounds like thunder has just erupted within
your head, these can be a sign of a burst blood vessel.

Pressure headaches at the back of the head when you wake up in the morning could be a sign of
intercranial pressure build up where fluid is congregating at the back of the skull.

Headaches during pregnancy partnered with swelling, abdominal pain, nausea and shortness of

Headaches accompanied with irritability, nausea, neck and jaw pain, sensitivity to light and sound,
numbness and weakness, fever, seizure, slurred speech and confusion

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Osteopathy works with the structure and function of the body, and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments, viscera and connective tissues functioning smoothly together Osteopathy takes a holistic, whole-body approach to healthcare.