Headaches may result from any number of factors, including tension, muscle contraction, vascular problems, withdrawal from certain medications, abscesses, injury and even prolonged stress.  Headaches are one of the most common medical complaints in North America.  Nearly everyone will suffer a headache at some point in time which prompts people to treat themselves or seek professional assistance.  Some estimates say that up to 50 million North Americans suffer from severe long-lasting, recurring headaches.  While some medications do seem to help with the pain of certain patterns, many people would prefer to avoid this course of action because of the cost and possibility of side effects.  Most headaches are not necessarily symptomatic of another condition; they can be very distracting and account for significant amounts of time lost from family and work.

What types of headaches are there ?

Headaches generally fall into three main categories:

Tension: Tension type headaches are the most frequent.  This is due to a variety of causes, however the primary factor involved in this type of headache is stress.  Patients who endure tension-type headaches usually feel mild to moderate pain on both sides of the head.  The pain is usually described as tight, stiff or constricting, as if something is being wrapped around your head and squeezed tightly.

Migraine: While migraine headaches affect far fewer people than tension-type headaches, their symptoms are much more severe.  Migraines can be mysterious and spontaneous, as they can be due to hormonal imbalances, genetic factors, trauma, intestinal toxicity, emotional issues etc.  These types of headache typically affect women more frequently than men with pain that usually occurs on one side of the face and head.  Migraines can be so severe that they can cause loss of appetite, blurred […]