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Trigger Point Self-Help CD-ROM
Companion Materials: Headache Types

Companion Materials:
  Headache Diary
this pageHeadache Types
  Perpetuating Factors

Headache Type by Symptom

A tabular reference describing headache types by pain location, quality, duration, and level; symptoms; and common triggers.
Download: Adobe Acrobat format (.pdf, 79 kb)


Type of Headache Location of Pain Quality of Pain Duration of Pain Pain Level Other Common Symptoms Common Triggers

Migraine without aura

Often one-sided, but can be both, or switch from side-to-side.  Some people have pain behind the eye, or on the neck and back of the head.

Usually throbbing, pounding,  or pulsating

four hours to three days typical

moderate to severe

nausea, vomiting, depression, fatigue, disturbed sleep, tenderness in the neck and scalp, cold and sweaty hands and feet, and/or sensitivity to light, sound, and smells

Menses, alcohol, smoking or exposure to smoke, weather, allergies, altitude changes, jet lag, hormonal changes, stress, sun glare, flashing lights, constipation, some medications, lack of food, water, sleep, or exercise, strong smells such as petroleum fumes and perfumes/colognes, and foods that contain caffeine, (MSG), and nitrates.

Migraine
with aura

see above

see above

see above

see above

the above symptoms, plus visual auras, vision problems,  or non-visual auras such as dizziness, vertigo, tingling or numbness of the face, tongue, or extremities, speech or language abnormalities, or weakness of movement. 

see above

Migraine with aura, without headache

 none

none

none

none

see "migraine with aura" above

see above

Tension Headache

Usually both sides of the head or generalized, maybe worse in the scalp, temples, or back of the neck

Pressing pain or dull, steady ache, but can be pulsating.  May feel like tight band.

30 minutes to several days or more

mild to moderate, though can be severe

Usually none, unless it is a combined migraine/tension headache.  Can be accompanied by difficulty sleeping.

Stress, anxiety, depression, poor posture (including forward-head posture), structural problems, low blood sugar, lack of exercise, fatigue, noise, glare, teeth clenching, and bite alignment problems.

Headaches and Neck Pain from Trauma

depends on location of trigger points and types of injury

varies

varies

varies

varies

 

Cluster Headaches

one-sided, often centering around one eye, or can involve one side of the face and neck, usually come on at night

steady sharp, burning, or boring pain

intermittent, from minutes to series of days, weeks, months,

severe

flushed face, nasal congestion, a drooping eyelid,  swelling under or around the eye, or a red or teary eye with a small pupil, usually on the same side as the headache

Alcohol, smoking, drugs that dilate or constrict blood vessels, seasonal factors, glare, stress, certain foods.

Headaches associated with TMJ pain

varies depending on location of trigger points

varies

varies

varies

varies

Dental problems, emotional factors

See Headaches, Trigger Points, & Perpetuating Factors for the relative roles of inputs in causing different types of headaches, plus common perpetuating factors.

Alaskan Natural Care, Inc.     info@triggerpointrelief.com     (907) 435-7060
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