When you’re dealing with a painful headache that affects your mood, disrupts your ability to concentrate, and causes intense sensitivity to light and sound, all you want to do is find a remedy as quickly as possible. The first step to relieving your headache pain is to determine what is causing it. Different kinds of headaches require different treatments, so it’s crucial to understand the various types of headaches to find out where the pain is coming from.

Headaches are grouped into three different categories: primary, secondary, and cranial neuralgias.

Primary Headaches

A primary headache is the most common type that people experience and can occur either regularly or infrequently. This is caused by problems with or overactivity of pain-sensitive structures in the head such as chemical activity in the brain, nerves or blood vessels in the head outside of the skull, or muscles in the head or neck. You may also carry genes that make you more likely to develop these types of headaches.

  • Cluster headache: A cluster headache will develop frequently throughout the day for a period of time. This is followed by a period of time without pain before the cluster cycle begins again. This type of headache typically occurs at the same time each day. These bouts of cluster headaches can last from weeks to months, and are usually followed by a period of remission that could last for months or years.

Cluster headaches are especially severe and can even wake you up from a deep sleep with pain occurring in or around one eye on one side of the head.

  • Migraine: A migraine usually causes intense throbbing in one area of the head accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines also cause nausea and vomiting in some cases. You may experience sensory warning symptoms, called aura, which usually include flashes of light, blind spots, or tingling in the arm or leg.
  • Tension headache: A tension headache is caused by tight muscles in the upper back and neck, physical and emotional stress, or poor posture. This type of headache can cause pain in a band around the head and above or behind the eyes, from the neck to the ear focusing on the temple, and at the back or top of the head.

Secondary Headaches

A secondary headache is caused by an underlying problem and is a symptom of a disease that is activating nerves in the head. Examples of these problems include bleeding in the brain, tumor, meningitis, head or neck trauma such as a concussion, and stroke.

Cranial Neuralgias

Cranial neuralgias are caused by inflammation of the nerves in the upper part of the neck and the head. Cranial neuralgia is often misdiagnosed, so it’s important to be specific with the location of the pain when conveying this information to your doctor.

Stop suffering from headaches today. There are treatment methods available to help provide the relief you deserve. Aligned Medical Group’s team is experienced in treating even the most severe headaches that can get you back on the road to leading a healthy lifestyle. If you’re interested in learning about how chiropractic adjustments to relieve your headache, click here to download our free eBook, Your Total Guide to Finding and Choosing a Chiropractor. This eBook explains the process of chiropractic adjustments and how you can find the right chiropractor for you.