By Dr Kristin Webb


Did you know there are many different types of headaches?


What’s the difference? Different location, intensity, frequency, triggers & associated symptoms are all clues as to where the headache is originating from.


Headaches fall into two categories. Primary or secondary headache. With primary headaches, the headache is the main issue, not a symptom of something else. Secondary headaches are a symptom of dysfunction else where in the body. What that dysfunction is, is very important to determine accurately as every headache is managed differently.


Chiropractors are Primary Health Care Providers which means they are trained to screen for all types of headaches, even those they do not manage. This means that should the cause of your headache lay outside the scope of a Chiropractor they can ensure your are referred & connected to the best Allied Health Practitioner to manage your condition. 


7 Common Types of Headaches:


Cervicogenic Headaches: These are the most common form of headaches managed by Chiropractors. Cervicogenic means they are coming from the neck. If the movement in your neck is not optimal it can result in irritation of structures like joints & nerves which may then present with headaches. 


Migraines: Migraines are severe headaches often accompanied by throbbing pain, nausea, vomiting, visual auras and sensitivity to light and sound. They can last for hours to days.


Sinus Headaches: Sinus headaches are associated with inflammation or infection of the sinus cavities. They often cause pain and pressure in the forehead, cheeks, and nose areas. Other symptoms may include nasal congestion and fever. Chiropractors can help to release pressure in your sinuses causing headache.


Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ) related headaches: Poor mechanics of your jaw can cause headaches. Tension of the muscles around your jaw, bruxism, side sleeping, grinding your teeth can cause overactivity of the muscles, irritate nerves & generate headaches.


Tension Headaches: Tension headaches are the most prevalent type and are often described as a constant, dull ache that feels like a tight band around the head. They can last for hours or even days. Stress, poor posture, or muscle tension typically trigger these headaches.


Rebound Headaches: Also known as medication-overuse headaches, these occur when overusing pain relief medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen. Over time, these medications can lead to more frequent and severe headaches, creating a cycle of dependency.


Hormonal Headaches: Hormonal changes, especially in women, can trigger headaches. Menstrual migraines, for instance, are often linked to hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle.