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Headaches

Tension Headaches
People who suffer from tension headaches explain that it feels like they have a tight band around their head or that their head is in a vise. The most important thing to note about a tension headache is that it does not come from inside your brain; it is simply the result of muscle spasms around your neck and shoulders that refer pain to your head. Most who suffer from tension headaches notice that their symptoms are aggravated by stress. Stress causes muscles to "tense", further exacerbating this condition.

Cervicogenic Headaches
Cervicogenic means "originating from the neck". These kinds of headaches have a very similar origin to tension headaches, but their symptoms are a little different. Cervicogenic headaches are described as one sided headaches typically focal to the temple, forehead, around the ear, or behind the eye. They usually arise from having your head held in an awkward position for a prolonged period of time. Just like tension headaches, cervicogenic headaches do not come form inside your brain; they are the result of muscle spasms and joint locking in the neck. The cure to cervicogenic headaches involves identifying these sources and removing them.

Migraine Headaches
Although very rare, Migraine headaches have historically been improperly over- diagnosed. Most who report that they suffer form migraine headaches are really sufferers of intense cervicogenic or tension headaches. The typical symptoms of a migraine include photophobia (sensitivity to light), phonophobia (sensitivity to sound), nausea, vomiting, and sometimes even numbness of the hands and face. Some who suffer from migraine headaches know that they are about to experience one because they start to see flashing lights and cloudy spots in their visual field (these are called auras). The leading theory on the cause of migraine headaches explains that a "trigger" (either emotional, hormonal, or allergenic) initiates a cascading dilation of the blood vessels in your brain. The first step in treating a migraine headache is to verify with examination that the patient is not experiencing a tension or cervicogenic headache. The next step is to thoroughly examine any potential triggers that could exacerbate this condition.



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