by Ruth A. McKinney, DC

Headaches can be a real pain in the neck. Although there many types, there are four common types of headaches including migraine, sinus, cluster and tension. Nearly everyone experiences a headache now and then. Defined as a pain in any area of the head, the cause, length and intensity of the headache can vary. They can occur every once in a while or more frequently.

If you have a tension headache, you may feel a dull, aching sensation all over your head. It isn’t throbbing. Tenderness or sensitivity around your neck, forehead, scalp, or shoulder muscles also might occur. Anyone can get a tension headache, and they’re often triggered by stress.


Because Chattanooga is one of the top ten cities in the U.S. for allergy problems, many of my patients suffer from sinus headaches. The buildup of pressure caused by inflamed tissue will lead to aching around the eyes, cheeks and forehead that may worsen with bending down or


Migraine headaches can cause throbbing in one particular area that can vary in intensity. Symptoms can include a pounding headache, nausea or vomiting, metallic taste in the mouth, and sensitivity to light. This type of headache can be triggered by many things including specific drinks or food, stress, not enough sleep, and changes in the weather.


Cluster headaches are much more severe but thankfully far less common than migraine or tension headaches. Because they are so severe they are often referred to as “attacks” that occur in cycles of weeks or months. They occur more frequently in women than men. They cause of cluster headaches is not well understood but seems to stem from the part of the brain that regulates automatic body functions.


Treatment depends on which type of headache you’re experiencing. A hot shower or moist heat applied to the back of the neck may ease symptoms of infrequent tension headaches. Warm compresses on the face, use of a humidifier, and use of saline nose spray or wash can relieve sinus pressure headaches. Migraine headaches often improve in a calm and quiet environment with low lighting, and by drinking a caffeinated beverage. Most importantly, get a
chiropractic adjustment. Keeping proper biomechanical and nerve function allows your body to operate properly so it can recover from the negative effects of a headache.


To learn how Chiropractic helps with headaches call our office at 423-485- 8480.
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