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Different Kinds of Headaches and How To Treat Them

Any headache has the potential to disrupt your day, but not all of them arise for the same reasons. Relieving the distraction could depend on the originating cause of your pain, so it’s important to understand what kind of pain you have. 

Occasional headaches are simple to treat at home; but if headaches become more frequent, or your usual relief methods aren’t working, then it’s time to contact Houston Spine & Rehabilitation Centers to get to the bottom of the problem while finding an effective pain relief solution. 

When tension is the issue

Most of the time, tension is to blame. Up to  90% of headaches appear as a result of physical or emotional tension. 

Also known as stress headaches (also sometimes called muscle contraction headaches), these cause mild to moderate pain on both sides of your head, around your temples, and behind your eyes. You may feel like a tight band is squeezing your head, face, and neck.

If daily life is causing you stress, the muscles around your scalp, jaw, neck, and shoulders can contract, leading to a tension headache. With poor posture, your shoulders could be hunched and your back and neck may be held with unusual curves, causing physical tension.

Other triggers can include certain foods, caffeine withdrawal, lack of sleep, cold temperatures, eye strain, and long hours in a single position, such as sitting or standing. 

The mysterious migraine

Migraine headaches can be severe and debilitating, lasting anywhere from four hours to about three days. These cause intense, throbbing pain on one or both sides of your head, often accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Bright lights and sounds worsen the condition; you retreat to lying down in a quiet, dark room.  

Sometimes migraines send you warning signs that you’re about to experience one. You may have vision changes such as seeing flashing lights. Early warning auras may also manifest as having difficulty speaking or feeling confusion, stiffness, or pins and needles in your legs and arms. 

When headaches come in clusters

Cluster headaches are, fortunately, rare, but they can be extremely painful as well as frequent. You may experience a headache every couple of days or even more than one in a single day. 

Cluster headaches always affect one side of your head with severe pain that may feel like a hot poker behind your eye. Your eye and nose may become swollen and red. These headaches often happen in the middle of the night. Auras may precede a cluster headache.

This rare type of headache may be caused by a head injury or glitches in your body’s biological clock due to a genetic cause. Smoking and alcohol may be triggers.

Treating different types of headaches

When headaches are frequent or severe, you may need to do some of your own investigative work. One of the most useful types is a headache diary, a list of the dates, times, durations, and symptoms of your headaches. Keeping a record of your activities, the foods you eat, or the conditions of your life could give valuable diagnostic insight. 

Tension headaches

Medications are often the first line of defense in headache treatment. Tension headaches often resolve with over-the-counter treatment. When they’re recurring, you’ll want to get to the root cause, whether it’s poor posture, certain food triggers, or stress from work or a relationship. 


Prescription drug therapy may be useful for migraines. Some classes of drugs act on your nerves and blood vessels to calm the pain quickly. Other drugs may help when you have frequently occurring migraines, or when nausea is a common symptom. Advanced treatments include neuromodulation

Cluster headaches

Cluster heachaches share many of the treatments used for migraines. When these aren’t effective, you may need to undergo further diagnostic steps to establish the underlying causes behind your pain. 

When home care no longer provides sufficient relief, contact the most convenient location of Houston Spine and Rehabilitation Centers. There’s no need for you to live with headache pain, so call today. 

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