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Guide to 8 Different Types of Headaches

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/21/2011 6:00 PM   :  27 comments   :  14,689 Views

See More: woman's day,
By Sarah Jio via Woman's Day

According to the latest data, as many as 45 million Americans suffer from chronic headaches. They’re a pain, quite literally, and finding the right treatment can be tricky. Here, we’ve tapped the experts to get the latest on the most common types of headaches and their remedies.

Oral-Induced Headaches
The epicenter of one of the most common types of headaches isn’t your head, but rather your mouth or jaw, and while these headaches can be felt all day, sufferers say they’re most intense in the morning after a night of teeth-grinding, or during stressful periods during the day when most are unaware that they’re clenching their teeth. How to get help? “Most patients do not realize that they can see a dentist with special occlusion training to treat headaches,” says Colleen Olitsky, DDS, a cosmetic dentist practicing in New York and Florida. “A person's bite, or occlusion—the way the teeth come together—can cause head and neck aches.” Treatment may include wearing a specially fitted night guard, braces, veneers—or even getting Botox.

Migraine Headaches
According to the National Headache Foundation, more than 29 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches. Not only are they painful and debilitating, they’re also associated with nausea, vomiting, vision problems and sensitivities to light and sound. While little is known about the exact cause of migraine headaches, experts like Alexander Mauskop, MD, a neurologist with the New York Headache Center in Manhattan, do their best to offer patients a variety of treatment options such as acupuncture, relaxation techniques (slow breathing, visualization, yoga and meditation), vitamin B12 and magnesium supplements, prescription triptan medications, as well as Excedrin Migraine and Botox injections. Bottom line: While there are many treatment options to pursue, you’ll want to talk to your doctor about what may be best for you.

Drug Rebound or “Medication Overuse” Headaches
You take medicine to zap your headache pain, not to make it worse. But experts are warning about a new kind of headache that is becoming increasingly more common, especially among severe headache sufferers. They’re called Medication Overuse Headaches (MOH)—also referred to as “rebound headaches”—and involve a vicious cycle of pain. If you take medication for headaches and the medication is followed by more headaches, which are often described as “tension headaches,” you may be dealing with MOH. “Taking aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen daily can cause more frequent headaches,” says Dr. Mauskop. If you believe you’re suffering from these types of headaches, seek out a health care provider who specializes in this area, which is still new to many doctors. Treatment methods vary depending on the patient and the severity of the headaches.

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Comments

  • NINJA_SMOO
    27
    I get allergy-induced migraines from artificial sweetners, preservatives, scents (perfume, scented lotions, scented soaps, shaving cream, etc) and seasonal allergies. I also get jaw-headaches from teeth grinding or clenching if I'm stressed out and ocular headaches from spending too much time on a computer. - 4/19/2011   10:28:06 AM
  • 26
    I get headaches from medications. I tried meds for back pain and got really bad headaches so I try to avoid meds as much as possible. - 3/27/2011   10:45:06 PM
  • 25
    Ive gotten migraines since i was 17. now the last 6 months ive had tension headaches. im not sure which is worse. esp since they they took darvocet off the market. it was the one med i was not allergic to. - 3/23/2011   11:38:12 PM
  • GAARAMA
    24
    I used to suffer from severe oral induced headaches. My dentist said I was grinding my teeth and suggested I use a night guard. I wear it every night and waking up with a headache has stopped.

    - 3/23/2011   10:57:20 AM
  • 23
    A friend of mine suffers from migraines terribly. Right now, he's had one that has lasted over a week. The doctors have tried everything known to them, including Botox. I've only had 2 in my life, and that was MORE than enough! - 3/23/2011   10:07:20 AM
  • 22
    I suffered horrible debilitating migraines from age 16 to menopause. It was awful. But yeah for getting older. I have "normal" headaches now. I take an advil, it goes away. Still feels amazing every time, after suffering for years and feeling like I was almost hooked on drugs! So glad that chapter is over. - 3/23/2011   8:06:29 AM
  • SHAN09
    21
    I have taken Evening Primrose Oil (natural anti-inflammatory) for nearly 18 years now when I learned about it from my chiropractor/naturopath during my pregnancy and I rarely suffer from headaches. I was diagnosed with migraines after a 5 stay in the hospital at 17 and endured intensive testing including a lumbar puncture & CAT scan. I take 2 capsules (whenever I remember) up to 3 times/day. Since doing so, not only have my headaches diminished, but so has my eczema as well as my PMS!!! :)
    I also believe that some foods can trigger headaches and so I avoid these and try to keep hydrated (also very beneficial for the skin!). Most recently I began Reiki treatments for insomnia, stress and anxiety and can honestly say I do not remember having a migraine in the past 3 years. :)
    - 3/22/2011   10:46:21 PM
  • 20
    Migraines are NOT just for girls (sorry, women), but men can also get them. I have only had two migraines in my lifetime (Thank you, Lord), but both times wound up being admitted to the hospital and I needed some Major pain medication to knock them down.

    The first, and worst, required multiple injections of morphine to knock me out and eliminate the pain.

    Neither doctor was able to give me a clue WHY, because they were separated by years, with one waking me up and the other developing in the afternoon.

    For those who have multiple migraines, my prayers are definitely with you.

    Migraines rank right there with a Heart Attack and Kidney Stones for perceived pain (for me, on a scale from 1-10, a migraine and a heart attack would be a 12, while kidney stones rate a 15). A nurse once told me that having had children AND kidney stones, as related to pain, she'd rather have children. - 3/22/2011   7:56:56 PM
  • 19
    Physical therapy can help with oral headaches! I have been learning about this recently, as teeth grinding led to TMJ issues for me starting last summer. I now sleep with a mouth guard, but because it did not solve the problem I was referred to a physical therapist. Besides teaching me some jaw & neck stretching exercises & self-massage techniques, he has been applying ultrasound & electrode stimulation to my cheek just over the sore jaw. It is definitely helping. - 3/22/2011   12:32:31 PM
  • 18
    I have migraines so frequently that I have to take a daily preventive. While there are definitely triggers (alcohol, lack of sleep, hormone fluctuations, etc.), sometimes there is nothing I can do to prevent them. Fortunately, I respond well to Imitrex, and it can stop them before they get too severe. - 3/22/2011   12:27:59 PM
  • 17
    I used to get migraines just prior to my period, and read that that particular type of headache could be lack of iron. Taking an iron supplement 3 - 5 days before the start of my period cured the problem. - 3/22/2011   10:49:35 AM
  • 16
    Sometimes I wonder if there is a headache treatment I haven't tried... prevention would be so much easier (haha, similar to trying to lose weight- would have just been easier to not gain it in the first place!) - 3/22/2011   10:32:28 AM
  • 15
    I suffered from migraine headaches all through perimenopause & it wasn't till I was finished menopause that they abated. I took feverfew, calcium & magnesium which helped. My massage therapist says most headaches stem from the base of the scull and certainly she can induce a migraine in me when she finds a trigger point. - 3/22/2011   9:55:48 AM
  • 14
    This is wrong information, unfortunately. Read the book "Heal Your HEadache" by David Bucholz. It explains what headaches ACTUALLY are. - 3/22/2011   9:48:25 AM
  • 13
    I read an article a while back that said the most common cause of headaches is lack of water. So whenever my kids say they have a headache, I first ask how much water they've had to drink (usually none!), and then I ask what time they last ate. Once they have something to drink and something to eat, the headaches usually go away.

    My headaches usually happen when I get a sinus infection, or have congestion from a cold. Lots of rest, fluids, and an occasional dose of Tylenol usually helps. For the past 4 years (since having gastric bypass), I'm pleased to report that my healthy habits have kept me from being sick. I've only had 2 colds in that time period! - 3/22/2011   9:41:56 AM
  • 12
    Call me crazy but I have found specific things that trigger headaches. Just a few....Oreo cookies, Dunkin Donuts, vanilla scented candles and cigarette smoke. INSTANT HEADACHES!!! So please if you are a smoker sitting in a room with a vanilla candle burning eating oreos and donuts PLEASE have a DO NOT ENTER sign posted on your door!!! - 3/22/2011   8:26:38 AM
  • 11
    I get migraines and I am know to clench my teeth. My teeth clenching doesn't normally cause headaches, but can cause a jaw ache that I've learned what to take for it and when. My migraines aren't normally that bad and I can usually nip them in the bud before they do, however, my youngest daughter gets migraines that can last for days. She's had two that have required her to go to the doctor - one with an IV bag and both with shots of a migraine medication. She now has some medicine to keep them at bay when she feels one starting. - 3/22/2011   7:52:30 AM
  • 10
    I get hormone headaches. Just prior to and at the beginning of my period, for 12-48 hours, the headache is excruciating and doesn't respond to to regular or migraine medication. - 3/22/2011   7:48:31 AM
  • 9
    I am very fortunate that I have never suffered from headaches. I believe a lot of this has to do with diet. Growing up we had natural foods (nothing processed.) When I moved out with my husband, my diet changed to foods he liked and I put on weight and didn't have the same energy level. He always suffered from cluster headaches.
    It took some figuring out but we went back to eating non processed foods and voila, his headaches disappeared. I am back to my original weight and he lost several pounds after suffering most of his childhood with obesity.
    I truly believe that diet has a HUGE impact on our bodies reactions. - 3/22/2011   7:13:36 AM
  • 8
    My migraines are hereditary, my Mom and I both get them pretty bad. Luckily, most of the time they just come from hormones but sometimes I'll get one if I'm hungry, dehydrated, or stressed. I HATE migraines and I feel for all of the people out there that have to suffer through them. People that don't get migraines just don't understand the difference between a headache and a migraine. Sometimes they can be completely debilitating :(
    - 3/22/2011   1:57:09 AM
  • 7
    My migraines are intense and can often last for days. Since my twins were born (second successful pregnancy) the headaches have gotten worse. NOTHING seems to work on them. My vision gets blurry, I cry, get nauseous, dizzy and feel incredibly drained and weak after recovery. My girls are 4 and 19 months (the twins) and I am hoping that this isn't genetic. - 3/21/2011   11:52:03 PM
  • 6
    I've been getting cluster headaches for at least the past 10 years. I wouldn't wish them on anyone. A short description of what they feel like is - a hot poker is stuck in your eye. :( I've taken so many abortives/preventatives that I was either allergic to or they didn't work. IMO, pure oxygen is the best abortive. - 3/21/2011   11:24:25 PM
  • 5
    The 9 Foods that can Help Soothe a Headache article was actually helpful.

    I have had the same headache for about 10 years. Everyday, all day. But all the doctors say I'm fine - bull honky if that is fine.

    - 3/21/2011   8:53:38 PM
  • 4
    I have had migraines sine I was 5yrs old. During menopause my migraines increased. There are times that there is no why I get them - some times it can be just the change in season that will cause it. It is very debilitating. - 3/21/2011   8:05:30 PM
  • 3
    I only have a headache if I have a hangover... I didn't see dehydration listed in the article as a cause of headaches, or sulfites. - 3/21/2011   7:49:12 PM
  • HAKIRBY
    2
    @alaskapsych It's supposed to be more women than men who suffer migraines. My mum gets them, I get them and like you, my son gets them, to the point where he's missed 20% of his schooling. I wonder if the male suffers are like us and get migraines because it's hereditary, compared to the non-genetic suffers - 3/21/2011   7:12:54 PM
  • 1
    I have had migraines since I was about 5 years old. My father had them too. And now, my sons, but not my daughters seem to suffer from them. - 3/21/2011   6:55:37 PM

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