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Guide to 8 Different Types of Headaches

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
3/21/2011 6:00 PM   :  27 comments   :  15,074 Views

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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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