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There are four types of headache …
These include “cluster” headaches, which cause repeated episodes of intense pain, and headaches resulting from high blood pressure, and toxic headache produced by fever.
Muscle contraction headaches
Appear to involve the tightening or tensing of facial and neck muscles.
Traction and inflammatory headaches
Symptoms of other disorders, ranging from stroke to sinus infection.
Like other types of pain, headaches can serve as warning signals of more serious disorders. This is particularly true for headaches caused by inflammation, including those related to meningitis as well as those resulting from diseases of the sinuses, spine, neck, ears, and teeth. The most common type of primary headache (not caused by another medical condition) is migraine. Migraine headaches are usually characterized by severe pain on one or both sides of the head, an upset stomach, and, at times, disturbed vision. Women are more likely than men to have migraine headaches.
When headaches occur three or more times a month, preventive treatment is usually recommended. Drug therapy, biofeedback training, stress reduction, and elimination of certain foods from the diet are the most common methods of preventing and controlling migraine and other vascular headaches. Regular exercise, such as swimming or vigorous walking, can also reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches. Drug therapy for migraine is often combined with biofeedback and relaxation training.
Not all headaches require medical attention. But some types of headache are signals of more serious disorders and call for prompt medical care. These include:
- sudden, severe headache
- sudden headache associated with a stiff neck
- headaches associated with fever, convulsions, or accompanied by confusion or loss of consciousness
- headaches following a blow to the head, or associated with pain in the eye or ear
- persistent headache in a person who was previously headache free
- recurring headache in children.
Migraine headaches may last a day or more and can strike as often as several times a week or as rarely as once every few years.
Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
The sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) is located in the back of the nose and plays a role in many types of headaches. Headache treatment by application of medication to the SPG has been done for over one hundred years. Learn more about this procedure and ask your provider if you may benefit from a sphenopalatine ganglion block (SPGB).