Understanding the Different Types of Headaches

Headaches are so common that not experiencing one every now and then might be considered abnormal. But there’s nothing normal about having a headache more days of the week than not. If you’ve ever experienced frequent or severe headaches, you know they can make life miserable.

The multidisciplinary specialists at Synergy Medical in Marysville, Ohio, can help. Our pain management experts serve residents of all ages throughout Union, Logan, Champaign, Madison, Delaware, Marion, and Franklin Counties.

The comprehensive treatment services we offer focus on addressing your symptoms as well as the underlying cause of your discomfort with minimally invasive, medically sound therapies that are also cost-effective.

We’re happy to share information about headache types and why we work to identify the cause of your pain before designing a treatment strategy.  

Categorizing your headache

Headaches come in all shapes and sizes, and successful treatment depends on the underlying cause of the pain.

Doctors generally classify headaches into two categories:

Primary headaches

Primary headaches are those not related to an underlying illness or condition, the most common of which include:

Though often quite painful and debilitating, primary headaches are not generally considered a medical emergency.

Secondary headaches

Secondary headaches are essentially symptoms of an underlying illness or condition, which may include:  

Secondary headaches are sometimes related to serious, even life-threatening illness. 

It’s important to seek emergency medical care if you or a loved one experiences head pain associated with:

Identifying specific headache types

Once we’ve categorized your headache (primary vs secondary), we investigate further to identify the trigger or specific cause of your pain.

Tension headaches, for instance, are by far the most common type of headache and are related to muscle contractions in the head and neck, which may be linked to:

The type of discomfort you’re experiencing also helps narrow our treatment focus.

Tension headaches, for instance, cause pain that tends to wrap around your head in a band-like sensation and may travel upward from the neck.

Migraines, on the other hand, cause throbbing or pulsating pain that’s typically felt on one side of the head and may be accompanied by:

You can assist in this step of our investigative process by keeping a diary of details regarding the length, frequency, nature, and possible triggers of your headaches.

Treating headaches by type

Medication may temporarily relieve discomfort, but does little to address the underlying cause of your headache, which means your pain returns once the medication wears off.

At Synergy, we take a multi-pronged approach to treating headaches that includes a detailed exam, discussion of your symptoms, and diagnostic studies as necessary to accurately identify your headache type.

Your Synergy specialist then develops an individualized treatment strategy that’s designed to address your needs and circumstances. Your plan, for instance, may include remedies for relieving postural issues linked to tension headaches versus treatments that reduce the frequency of migraines. 

Schedule a visit at Synergy Medical today for relief from long-lasting or frequent headaches. We’re here to help! 

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