If you have a headache, you’re not alone. Approximately 1 in 6 Canadians suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea. What do you do when you suffer from a pounding headache? Do you grit your teeth and carry on? Lie down? Pop a pill and hope the pain goes away? The better alternative is to understand why these headaches are occurring and getting to the root of the problem!
There are two types of headaches: primary headaches and secondary headaches (caused by associated diseases).
Primary Headaches: Tension headaches are the most common type of primary headache affecting 90% of headache sufferers. These are set off by mental, physical or chemical stress. Tension headaches are more common among women than men and are most frequently caused by nerve interference (subluxation). They are felt in the base of the head and can radiate into behind the eyes. They are also commonly associated with neck and upper back pain. Migraine headaches are the second most common type of primary headache. An estimated 12% of the population, mostly women and including children, will experience migraine headaches. They generally occur in high-strung people and are thought to be caused by improper functioning of the arteries in the head. These arteries are controlled by the autonomic nervous system and any interference (subluxation) to it can set off migraine headaches. They are felt as a sharp stabbing pain usually on one side head in the temple, eye, forehead, or base of the head. They may be associated an aura, nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Cluster headaches are a rare type primary headache, affecting 0.1% of the population and mostly men aged 28-30. They are felt behind one eye and can cause sinus drainage and bloodshot eyes. They are thought to be vascular as well and can also be affected by subluxations.
Secondary Headaches have diverse causes, ranging from serious and life threatening conditions such as
brain tumours, high blood pressure, strokes, meningitis, and subarachnoid hemorrhages to less serious but
common conditions such as withdrawal from caffeine or other drugs, overuse of medications (called rebound
headaches), hormone change and infections such as in sinus headaches.
Treatment options for headaches are vast. People traditionally would reach for a bottle of pills and wait for the pain to go away. More and more people today are moving away from drug therapy and demanding an answer as to the cause of problems and addressing those issues. An alarming statistic reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association on April 14th, 1999 stated “106,000 people die each year from correctly administered drugs, making it the 4th leading cause of death in the USA.” Before committing to a regime of drugs one should try the following:
For those that suffer from chronic headaches – never give up. There is a cause and there MUST be a solution!
The information in this column is of a general nature. Consult your health care
professional for specific health concerns. Dr. Amit Sharda, of the Bowmanville Family Chiropractic Centre (BFCC), has been serving Bowmanville for three years after returning from New York with the latest advancements in Chiropractic technologies. He supports and educates his patients to create conditions for Optimum Health, with a focus on lifestyle modification and stress management so each individual can work towards achieving Optimum Health and in turn educate others. BFCC acts as our communities Subluxation Check-Up Centre. He can be reached at (905) 623-8388 or at www.DrSharda.net.