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Types of headaches
Headache can have many causes. They occur in different parts of the head and neck. Headaches are classified as to what causes them to occur. They can be caused by:
- Pathology within the brain such as bleeds or malignancy
- Migraine from disturbances in blood flow and reactions to certain foods
- Tension from stress, anxiety and muscle fatigue
- Cervicogenic where by alterations in the joints and muscles in the top area of the neck can cause ongoing headaches that can mimic migraines.
Head or neck trauma causing alterations to the ligaments, nerves and muscles in the neck
Cervicogenic Headache is the term given to indicate that the primary structural cause of a headache is the cervical spine (neck). It can be as a result of chronic tension, whiplash, intervertebral disc disease, facet joint arthritis and weak musculature in the front and back of the neck.
Cervicogenic headache can be present in the forehead or behind the head, behind the eyeball or around the eye-socket. Certain head postures, neck movements, pressure to the neck or minor neck traumas can stimulate a headache.
A migraine headache is a form of vascular headache. These headache are caused by tightening and then enlargement of blood vessels, which in turn causes body to release chemicals from the nerve fibres that coil around the blood vessels in the brain. Enlargement of the blood vessels, stretches the nerves that release chemicals that cause inflammation and further enlarge the artery.
Tension or Stress Headaches are the most common. They can be periodic or episodic, lasting from minutes to days The severity of Tension headaches increases with its frequency Headaches can become chronic over time. The headaches affects the top and sides of the head and across the back of the head, above the neck.
The pain is usually throbbing. Unlike Migraines there are no auras, nausea, vomiting, flashing lights. Most people manage these headaches with medication and massage and continue to manage their day.