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October 8, 2019 Jeff Blanchard

Understanding Headaches & Migraines

Headaches & Migraines

No matter who you are, you’ve probably experienced a few headaches in your life. It’s one of the most common reasons that keep people from going to work. Chronic primary headaches however, are a disease all their own. They are often triggered in normally healthy people by stress, emotional factors, foods, fumes in the environment, or even a change in the weather. These types of headaches affect over 50 million people in the United States. 

Tension Headache

This is a very common type of headache. Odds are, you’ve probably had one of these headaches in the last year. You will feel a steady pain, usually in the back of the head and along the sides of the neck. 

Migraine Headache

The migraine headache affects around 25 million Americans each year. Migraine headaches can be inherited, so if a family member suffers from migraines, you might as well. Migraines can cause an extremely painful throbbing on the side of the head. It can also cause nausea and vomiting, as well as sensitivity to noise and light. Sufferers of migraines often seek out a dark and quiet room during an attack. Just minutes before a migraine hits, your body often sends a warning whose symptoms vary – flashing lights, trouble speaking or an awareness that something is wrong. 

Cluster Headache

The cluster headache is more of a variant of a headache than a completely different type. They’re not nearly as common as the migraine and are usually found in men who smoke or drink heavily. They are called cluster headaches because, after the first one starts, they keep coming back for weeks and even months. Most of the attacks don’t last more than a few hours and are associated with severe pain in one eye which may water and become inflamed. The nose is also usually stuffy as well. During a cluster, each headache tends to strike at the same time of day as the last. More often than not, these headaches occur during nighttime hours.


There are a variety of at-home treatments for headaches and migraines you can try to ease your pain. 

  1. Rest in a quiet, dark room.
  2. Apply a hot or cold compresses to your head or neck, whichever feels best.
  3. Gently massage the effected area
  4. Drink small amounts of caffeine.
  5. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), and aspirin.

If you suffer from persistent headaches or migraines, contact Twin Cities Pain Clinic today to discuss treatment options.

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