Background: A headache is pain in any region of the head and just about everyone experiences a headache at some point. They can present themselves in many different ways; they may occur on one or both sides of the head, be isolated to a certain location, radiate across the head from one point, or have a vise-like quality.
An occasional headache is common; The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 47% of the world's adult population will experience a headache annually. Fortunately, very few headaches have serious underlying causes, but those that do can require urgent medical attention.
Signs or Symptoms: A headache may be a sharp pain, throbbing sensation or dull ache. Headaches may appear gradually or suddenly, and they may last less than an hour or for several days. Some people only experience pain in one part of their head or behind their eyes, some people experience a pounding sensation inside their whole head, and some people even experience nausea, while others do not.
Causes: The causes of headaches vary by the type of headache you are experiencing:
Primary headaches - A primary headache is caused by problematic overactivity of pain-sensitive structures in your head. Chemical activity in your brain, the nerves or blood vessels of your head outside your skull, or muscles of your head and neck — or some combination of these factors — may play a role in primary headaches. Some people may carry genes that make them more likely to develop such headaches. The most common primary headaches are:
Tension headache - medically known as tension-type headache, this is the most common form of primary headache. They are described as feeling like a tight band around the head, with a constant, dull ache being felt on both sides. Sometimes the pain spreads to or from the neck. They normally begin slowly and gradually in the middle of the day.
Tension-type headaches can be either episodic or chronic. Episodic attacks normally last a few hours but can continue for several days. In contrast, attacks are considered to be continuous is they occur for 15 or more days a month for a period of at least three months.
Migraine (with and without aura) - the second most common form of primary headache, this condition has been ranked as the seventh-highest specific cause of disability worldwide. They can last for any amount of time between a few hours and 2-3 days. A migraine headache may cause a pulsating, throbbing pain that can occur on either one side or both sides of the head. The aching can also be accompanied by blurred vision, lightheadedness, nausea and sensory disturbances.
Cluster headache - a relatively uncommon form of primary headache that impacts less than one in every 1,000 adults. They strike quickly, once or more daily at the same time each day and often without warning. They usually last between 45-90 minutes and persist for the duration of a cluster period, normally 4-8 weeks. The pain caused by cluster headaches is severe, often described as sharp or burning, and is normally located in or around one eye. The affected area can become red and swell, the eyelid can droop and the nasal passage on the affected side can become stuffy and runny.
Secondary headaches - A secondary headache is a symptom of a disease that activates the pain-sensitive nerves of the head. Any number of conditions may cause secondary headaches: sinusitis, ear infections, TMD, visual problems, dehydration, and toxicity to name a few.
Standard Treatment: Medications, dietary changes and lifestyle modifications.
Applied Kinesiology Approach: Applied Kinesiology allows me to determine which of many factors are causative in your headaches and which therapies to apply to help alleviate those symptoms. Testing is done to determine muscle imbalance, joint dysfunction and for toxic contributors. Treatments consist of chiropractic and physical therapy modalities of all joints influencing your head and neck. Nutritional recommendations are made from the analysis of your system versus standard suggestions.