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LOCALIZED HEADACHES AND MIGRAINES

How to identify your headache — based on pain location.

Understanding what kind of headache is causing you pain is important. Knowing your headache type might help you manage it better.

Headaches

When you have a headache, it can be difficult to navigate the pain you're experiencing. But understanding the type of headache you suffer from can help you manage it better. The first question to ask yourself when identifying your headache type: Where is the pain occuring?

TENSION HEADACHE

A constant aching or pressure around the back of the head and neck can be a sign that you're experiencing the most common type of headache. (1,2) You may also feel muscle stiffness and tightness in the neck, shoulder, scalp, and jaw. (1) These kinds of headaches cause mild to moderate pain, but usually do not interfere with normal daily activity. 

TENSION HEADACHE

A constant aching or pressure around the back of the head and neck can be a sign that you're experiencing the most common type of headache. (1,2) You may also feel muscle stiffness and tightness in the neck, shoulder, scalp, and jaw. (1) These kinds of headaches cause mild to moderate pain, but usually do not interfere with normal daily activity. 

cluster headache icon

TENSION HEADACHE

A constant aching or pressure around the back of the head and neck can be a sign that you're experiencing the most common type of headache. (1,2) You may also feel muscle stiffness and tightness in the neck, shoulder, scalp, and jaw. (1) These kinds of headaches cause mild to moderate pain, but usually do not interfere with normal daily activity. 

TENSION HEADACHE

A constant aching or pressure around the back of the head and neck can be a sign that you're experiencing the most common type of headache. (1,2) You may also feel muscle stiffness and tightness in the neck, shoulder, scalp, and jaw. (1) These kinds of headaches cause mild to moderate pain, but usually do not interfere with normal daily activity. 

TENSION HEADACHE

A constant aching or pressure around the back of the head and neck can be a sign that you're experiencing the most common type of headache. (1,2) You may also feel muscle stiffness and tightness in the neck, shoulder, scalp, and jaw. (1) These kinds of headaches cause mild to moderate pain, but usually do not interfere with normal daily activity. 

migraine icon

TENSION HEADACHE

A constant aching or pressure around the back of the head and neck can be a sign that you're experiencing the most common type of headache. (1,2) You may also feel muscle stiffness and tightness in the neck, shoulder, scalp, and jaw. (1) These kinds of headaches cause mild to moderate pain, but usually do not interfere with normal daily activity. 

TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THE BEST
TREATMENT OPTIONS ARE FOR YOUR HEADACHE OR MIGRAINE

Headaches

If you feel a constant ache in the back of your head, jaw tightness, and muscle stiffness, you might have a tension headache.1

A cluster headache appears for a “cluster” of time before disappearing. Sufferers will feel a sudden onset of severe pain behind one eye, sometimes accompanied with watery eyes, runny nose, droopy eyelids, and sweaty skin.2, 3

A stuffy nose paired with pain around the nose might mean you’re experiencing a sinus headache.The pain is usually cased by an infection, sometimes with a fever. 3

Migraines

Migraines are defined as a neurological disorder and need to be diagnosed by a physician. They can be identified by pain along one side of the head as well as nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.4 One sign of an oncoming migraine is the aura that precedes it. Aura can be identified by numbness as well as visual disturbances such as flashes of light or spots in your field of vision.5

Retinal migraines, or ocular migraines, result in a temporary loss of vision in one eye associated with a migraine headache.6

Once you identify your headache or migraine, ask your doctor about the best plan of action for you. You may use these techniques to help reduce future pain.

References:
 
  1. Alonso-Blanco, Cristina, César Fernández-de-las-Peñas, Daniel M. Fernández-Mayoralas, Ana Isabel De-la-Llave-Rincón, Juan A. Pareja, and Peter Svensson. "Prevalence and Anatomical Localization of Muscle Referred Pain from Active Trigger Points in Head and Neck Musculature in Adults and Children with Chronic Tension-Type Headache." Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (n.d.): n. pag. Web.http://painmedicine.oxfordjournals.org/content/painmedicine/12/10/1453.full.pdf.

References: tension headachesheadache treatments

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