There are multiple kinds of headaches, and a few different kinds of migraines. Migraines are generally classified into Classic Migraines and Common Migraines. Let’s differentiate these out and talk about them.
First- before anything, any of the “red flag” type headaches need to be ruled out. These include a recent head trauma, what one may describe as “the worst headache of my life,” any associated neurological symptoms, any symptoms of temporal arteritis (intense pain at the temples with what looks like a swollen blood vessel) and any symptoms associated with increased intracranial pressure. If you’re ever unsure, go see a healthcare provider. Now…let’s move on to migraines.
There are two major types of migraines, classic and common. Classic migraines are the ones that usually involve some kind of disturbance in the visual field, or what we call an aura. Sometimes these can even have an aura with no headache. Common migraines are just like classic migraines, except there is no visual disturbance, or no aura. Often times people who suffer from migraines have sensitivity to light and sound and do best in a dark, quiet room until things resolve.
Until things resolve… makes it sound like there is no hope for these. This may NOT be the case. Recently some research came out linking migraines and people who suffer from them to possibly being deficient in a common mineral, magnesium. For migraine sufferers, as long as there are no contraindications to supplementation, I recommend magnesium and have been getting excellent results. Just make sure it’s the right kind (see this regarding supplements) There are other subtypes of migraines, but that is for a different discussion. Let’s talk about headaches.
Many other types of headaches are actually due from referral from the neck, or mechanical problems in the neck. This is where mechanical, or manual, intervention really shines. These are generally the tension type headaches and cluster headaches, which can all fall under the umbrella of cervicogenic headaches- which means coming from the cervical spine, or neck. Sometimes these issues are from muscle tension, sometimes they can be from joint, they can even be from disc (not everyone with a disc problem needs surgery, by the way). The right exam will give the right diagnosis, or classification, which will then help get these issues resolved as quick as possible. If you have, potentially, mechanically driven headaches, doesn’t it make sense to have a mechanical exam done? I think so.
If you’ve been suffering with headaches and haven’t gotten answers, feel free to give me a call. This is some of the stuff I see all the time. I’d be happy to talk with you about the options you have and hopefully help you resolve the issue quickly.