When that all too familiar pain starts in the head, most people reach for the Tylenol or other common remedy without too much thought as to what type of headache they are experiencing. However, there are many types of headaches and for headache sufferers, it is a benefit to know the type so that the treatment fits the cause. From sinus headaches to migraines and everything in between, there are up to 17 different types of headaches. While primary headaches such as migraines are often discussed, we hear about secondary headaches a bit less often. However, the distinction between primary and secondary headaches is an important one.
A primary headache is one due to the headache condition itself… think migraines, tension and cluster headaches. Secondary headaches are due to another condition such as getting a sinus headache from a sinus infection. Diagnosis of a primary headache usually lies in patient history. Has there been a stable pattern of the headache for more than six months? Can triggers be identified? Are there any symptoms between headaches? All of these can be indicators of primary headaches.
While around 90% of headaches that send patients to the doctor are primary headaches, secondary headaches are more concerning and can lead to complications, so identifying a secondary headache is important. Secondary headaches can be a bit more challenging to diagnose but some of the questions that may be asked include:
- Are there signs or symptoms that include the presence of fever, weight loss, history of cancer, abnormal blood work? Has the patient suffered an injury to the head or neck?
- Is the onset of the headache sudden?
- Does the headache worsen over time?
- Has another disorder been diagnosed and if so, has the headache been reduced or successfully treated with treatment of the other disorder?
As headaches are the most common neurological symptom seen by general practitioners and neurologists today, proper diagnosis and effective treatment plans are essential for millions of patients. Many patients who require treatment for headaches and, in the case of secondary headaches, the conditions associated with them, are finding relief through Chiropractic Neurology. Highly trained in the intricacies of the brain-nervous system connection, chiropractic neurologists effectively uncover the underlying cause of the problem, allowing them to create the best treatment plan possible. As each patient’s symptoms and experiences are unique, so are the treatment plans that your Chiropractic Neurologist will develop.
If you or a loved one is suffering from head pain and have been unsuccessful with more traditional medical treatments or would like a drug-free approach to your care, contact the team at Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center today to learn more.
For a list of headache types and the best ways in which to treat them, click here.