Different Types of Headaches

Close to 90% of the population will suffer from some type of headache during the year. The good news is that about 95% of all headaches are just that – headaches – in that they are not caused by some type of underlying condition. Only about five percent of all headaches fall under the category of secondary, meaning that they are caused by another condition such as sinusitis, meningitis, brain tumors, etc.

Tension headaches account for about 85% of all headaches. Pain usually centers around the back of the neck & on the scalp, & is generally considered mild to moderate. Contrary to popular belief, men & women suffer from tension headaches at an equal rate, & the pain can last for just a few hours or up to a full day.

Migraine headaches are the second most common primary headache, & they affect women more often than they do men. Pain ranges from mild to debilitating, & often is concentrated on one side of the head, occasionally behind the eye, even though the pain can shift from side to side. Symptoms can also include changes in vision, such as seeing spots, nausea, vomiting, & sensitivity to light & sound. If headaches occur frequently, it is advisable to seek professional help, as over the counter medications are often not effective in targeting these types of headaches.

The least common & most painful type of primary headache is the dreaded Cluster. The name is appropriate since the pain occurs in clusters that can last for a few minutes to a few hours, at least once a day for many weeks/months, often at the same time of day. Men are affected more often than women, & those who smoke and/or drink heavily are at greater risk. Symptoms of cluster headaches are unusual as well & include red, watery or swollen eyes, facial swelling & nasal congestion. Cluster headaches also have a tendency to strike a few hours into one’s sleep.

There are many different “triggers” for headaches, ranging from environmental factors such as weather & air quality, foods, food additives & posture. Since it can be hard to determine the cause of your headaches, it might be very useful to keep a headache journal. Note the time of day your headache begins, the duration, any pain relievers taken, what you ate, where you were & what you were doing.

Meanwhile, an easy fix is simply to ensure that you are maintaining proper posture both during the day & at night. Poor posture for even brief periods can directly result in headaches & related problems. Contour Living is a leader in the comfort & support industry & gives many products designed to alleviate these problems.

Contour is the brand leader in ergonomic products designed specifically for comfort & support. Products include support pillows & back & bed wedge cushions & more. Visit Contour Living for much more information on solutions to improve posture, sleep better, correct support problems & live more comfortably.