Understanding Your Headaches
Stress. Tension. Neck Pain. Headache. This is the common journey for more than 50 million Americans suffering from "cephalgia" or headaches. Although the International Headache Society has classified 129 different types of headaches, there are 3 that are the most common. These include migraines, tension-type, and cervicogenic (cervico =neck and genic = originating from, or a headache originating from the neck). Almost 9 million suffer from "chronic tension-type headaches," which is defined as experiencing more than 180 headaches per year! Another 7milion experienced cervicogenic headaches more than 5 times per month, and approximately 11 million suffer from debilitating migraines.
Diagnosis - The First Step
The key to treating any condition is the proper diagnosis of that condition. To properly diagnose your headache, you and your doctor will work as a team. Some of the important characteristics to address are frequency (how often you experience headaches), severity (the rating of your pain on a 10 scale with 10 being the highest pain level), the location of your headache (one side, both sides, behind the eyes, starts in the neck, etc.), and other factors like seeing flashes of light, or associated nausea and/or vomiting.
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