The Different Types of Headaches

This article was written by the acupuncturist at Islington's Angel Acupuncture Clinic and looks at the different types of headaches that can be treated at the Islington clinic. This article covers the following:

  • Tension headaches

  • Hormone headaches

  • Cluster headaches

  • Chronic daily headaches

Tension Headaches

Tension-type headaches affect almost everyone at some point. Those that happen occasionally are just that: occasional headaches. Some people, however, have tension-type headaches just about every day, and these are considered to be chronic. Headache symptoms for tension-type headaches usually include pressure or muscle tension on both sides of the head or back of the neck; the pain is usually constant, not sharp or throbbing. Many people describe them as like having a band squeezed around their head. These headaches whether they are the acute or the chronic type respond well to treatment.

Hormone Headaches

Hormone headaches are menstrual headaches that may start before your period is due or while you’re menstruating. Migraines are often associated with menstruation, and symptoms include sharp, throbbing pain on one side of the head, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, and even touch.

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches affect men more often than women. They are extremely intense, very severe headaches that last between 30 and 45 minutes; you can have several in one day. They usually come on with no warning, catching people by surprise. The pain is piercing and usually located on one side of the head, often around the eye. People also report teary eyes on the affected side and sinus congestion. The headaches will recur over a period of time, almost always on the same side, and are followed by a headache-free period of varying length.

Chronic Daily Type Headache

Chronic Daily Headache is defined as a headache type which is present on most days typically occurring over a six-month period or longer and it can be daily and unremitting. In some patients, an episode of chronic headache resolves in a much shorter time. It can occur in children and in the very old. Twice as many men have it compared to women and the symptoms can last for decades.
About 50% of patients attending a doctor with a headache will have Chronic Daily Headache. Chronic Daily Headache Type is characterised by a combination of background, low-grade muscle contraction-type symptoms, often with stiffness in the neck, and superimposed migrainous symptoms. Patients might have had migraine in the past and experienced a difficult patch of high frequency headache.

Ice Pick/Ice cream Headache Type Typically the patient is young to middle aged and patients describe a short piercing pain like a flash of lightening lasting from seconds to minutes and may occur several times a day. Ice Pick headache type usually involves one eye and bruised after the pain has gone. Some patients find cold foods trigger the pain. Sometimes the patient has multiple attacks per day on a daily basis.

If you are suffering from headaches please call our Islington clinic and arrange to speak to our acupuncturist or make an appointment by clicking below.



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