“IM HAVING A BRAIN ANEURISM! Aw wait…its just a headache”
Headaches, the most common complaint of civilisation! They hit you at any given time….or so you think! There’s more to headaches than just a horrific pain in the head, in fact there’s even different TYPES of headaches. To identify the type of headache, you need to know the types as well as the symptoms but most importantly, you need to know what a headache actually is…
Headaches are the most common physical problem with 90% of adults experiencing one a year. They are caused primarily by elements like muscle tension, vascular spasm and dilation as well as chemical imbalances. They are generally self contained and temporary.
There are three classifications of headaches; Tension Headache, Migraine and Cluster Headache. So how do you know which headache you have you ask? Let’s break it down!
Tension Headache- these are most common headache experienced by 90-92% people. They can be triggered by muscular tension in the neck and shoulders region (but not limited to), bone misalignment, TMJ disorders, myofascial pain and/or ligament irritation.
Migraine- these are the second most common headache complaint. Approximately 18% of woman and 6% of men will suffer from one these in the course of a year. They are sever headaches usually presenting with pain either down one side of the face or bilaterally. They can be described as server pain, pain localising around the temple (generally speaking), throbbing or pulsing, causing nausea/vomiting, ad version to bright lights, smells and loud noise as well as pain that increases with any movement. You will often hear the term “dark room with cold flannel on forehead” from a suffer of these headaches.
Cluster Headache- these are extremely intense headaches affecting one side of the face with 92% of suffers experiencing pain behind the eye and 70% wit pain in the temple. People who suffer from cluster headaches are often restless and pace. These headaches are not as common as the rest.
So with now knowing the different headache types, what’s actually happening. For tension and vascular headaches, there is a common denominator which is a sudden drop in serotonin ?levels. This causes a release of neuropeptides that dilate the various blood vessels around the brain causing pressure on the meninges- the main source of sensation to the brain. With migraines, there is a chemical disturbance of the system. Low blood sugar, hormone shifts and dehydration as well as food sensitivities are all what set off migraines. While cluster headaches are less common, most attacks will last around 15mins-30mins and occur at the same time of day or night.
So now knowing what a headache is, that there are different types and what their symptoms are, the next time you feel that build up in your skull thinking your head about to explode, you’ll know be able to recognise what potential type you have no treat accordingly with either pain relief and/or massage.