What to know about the different types of headaches.
Your head hurts. You want relief. But is it a migraine or a different type of headache? Knowing what you have will help you get better treatment – and help you get rid of the pain quicker. Here’s what you should know.
All headaches aren’t the same.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache, according to the Oregon Health & Science University. They’re marked by mildly intense, nonpulsating pain and are not associated with nausea or vomiting. Routine physical movement doesn’t worsen the pain, and you may be sensitive to sounds or light – but not both.
Migraines, on the other hand, are marked by moderate to severe pain that has a throbbing or pulsating quality. Routine physical movement makes the pain worse, and these headaches are associated with nausea and vomiting or sensitivity to light and sounds. These are just two of the many types of headaches – to learn even more, check out this webpage from Mayo Clinic.
Get the right treatment.
Once you know what kind of headache you have, you can get the right treatment – and get feeling better ASAP. Just make sure you always talk with your doctor about your symptoms – and your overall health – before taking any medications.
Your doctor will probably recommend common over-the-counter medications for tension headaches. The medications for migraines usually require a prescription, and your doctor will know which will work best for you. But medication isn’t the end of the story. When you have a migraine, Mayo Clinic stresses the importance of doing this as well:
- Step away from what you’re doing and find a calm environment.
- Relax in a quiet, dark space.
- Apply ice packs or heating pads to your head or neck.
- Drink a caffeinated beverage in small amounts – this can help relieve the pain!
And to help prevent migraines before they even start, try these tips:
- Get enough sleep – and follow regular sleep hours.
- Eat smartly. Avoid foods that trigger your headaches and don’t skip meals – fasting can increase your risk of migraines.
- Try your hardest to manage stress. Take breaks, find time to relax and enjoy simple quiet time.
There you have it – some quick tools to help you deal with migraines and other types of headaches. Ask your doctor for even more tips, and stay a-head of the game in managing your pain. Bad pun fully intended!
Check out these links for much more information:
- Want help combating stress? Check out this blog article and this page of resources from Hally® health.
- Listen to this podcast for ways to relieve your migraines and other headaches. Courtesy of our friends at Riverside Healthcare.
- Learn the “do’s and don’ts” in managing your migraines, from Carle Health.
- Find out how to get the right help for your headaches in this article from Sarah Bush Lincoln Health System.
- Get information on when you should see a specialist to treat your headaches, from our partners at OSF HealthCare.
- Are certain foods or drinks giving you headaches? Find out more here from FirstHealth of the Carolinas.