What kinds of headaches are there?
||More than 90 percent of headaches can be classified
as tension-type, migraine or cervicogenic (headaches coming
from pinched nerve endings in the neck)
By far, most people get tension-type headaches and get them frequently.
They typically suffer mild to moderate pain, on both sides of
the head, that is often described as tight, stiff, constricting
– like having something wrapped around your head and pressing
Migraines are periodic severe, throbbing headaches that afflict
far fewer people (and more women than men), usually hurt on one
side of the head, can cause loss of appetite, nausea and even
vomiting, and may involve a visual change called an aura.
Cervicogenic headache is a muskuloskeletal form of tension-type
headache (which may also be related to migraines). Many times,
cervicogenic headache goes undiagnosed as such due to the relative
newness of this classification.
Who suffers from headaches?
Many millions of adults, worldwide, get headaches regularly. Headaches
are among the most common physical complaints prompting people
to treat themselves or get professional assistance. One estimate
holds that some 50 million people in the U.S. get severe, long-lasting,
recurring headaches. Most headaches are not signs of serious underlying
conditions, but they can be very distracting, debilitating and
account for significant amounts of time lost from work.
|What should I be concerned about?
If you are a headache sufferer, your obvious concern is to obtain
safe, dependable relief. You should avoid making things worse
by using drugs – even over-the-counter, nonprescription
drugs – that can have serious side effects and dangerous
interactions with other medications or supplements you take. You
should also be aware that many people experience what are termed
"analgesic rebound headaches" from taking painkillers
every day, or nearly every day. Watch out! The medicine you take
to get rid of today's headache may give you a headache tomorrow
and the days after.
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