Symptoms and treatment options for Headaches/migraines

Symptoms Of Headaches

Headache is defined as a pain arising from the head or upper neck of the body. Headaches are most often caused by inflammation or irritation of structures that surround the brain or affect its function. While the brain itself has no pain nerve fibers, everything else above the shoulders, from the neck, skull, and face, can cause a person to have head pain. Headaches can sometimes be difficult to describe, but some common symptoms include throbbing, squeezing, constant, unrelenting, or intermittent.


Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. Different conditions may contribute to tension type headaches, such as: eye strain, stress, overexertion, muscles spasms in the neck, poor posture, and more. Neck pain is usually coupled with tension headaches. Tension headaches usually affect both sides of the head.



Migraines are more than just a bad headache; they are a neurological condition. There are many different types of migraines, but all can be debilitating. Migraines usually have certain triggers and people suffering from migraines can often tell when one is about to come on. The causes of migraines are not fully yet known, but some things like stress, problems in the neck and hormonal changes have all been documented as potential causes. Migraine headaches usually affect one side of the head.


Rebound (Medication Overuse) Headaches

Rebound headaches, also known as medication overuse headaches, are caused by frequent or excessive use of pain-relieving and/or antimigraine drugs to treat headache attacks that are already in progress. In other words, the same medications that initially relieve headache pain can themselves trigger subsequent headaches if they are used too often. Medication overuse headaches can be disabling, forcing people with this condition to take sick leave and to be less productive at work and home. Rebound headaches can occur on one side or both sides of the head.

Why Should I Care About My Headaches?

Headaches can have a ripple effect, causing you to experience debilitating symptoms that influence your mood, ability to participate in day-to-day events, work, exercise, sleep, and more. Every person is different so the history of the headache is important. Recognizing patterns or precipitating factors, in combination with the physical examination and associated symptoms, can help identify the cause for each individual’s specific headache and better come up with treatment solutions. Avoiding headache treatments will likely cause an individual to suffer longer and can make your headaches more frequent.


Treatment options for Headaches

Prompt treatment for neck pain is crucial for great prognosis. Neck pain could stem from a variety of sources and the diagnosis and treatment is important so that it does not become chronic and cause more problems.

1. Nothing

Many patients suffer with headaches and may not choose to participate in any treatment. If headaches become more frequent, then OTC medications may be the next option.

3. Spinal manipulation/manual therapy

Therapies such as manipulation and other manual techniques aim to get to the root cause of the headaches and these interventions can often provide longer lasting relief by addressing that root cause.

2. Over the counter medications

If a patient experiences more than 1 headache per week. OTC medications may not be the best choice of treatment as NAIDS and other medications come with side effects and do not actually address the cause of the headache.

4. Prescription medication

In the rare event manual therapies do not adequately improve the headaches, additional medical management may be indicated.