Types of Headaches

Millions of people suffer from headaches every year. They can range anywhere from a minor inconvenience to life altering and debilitating. So what type do you have and how can you get some relief from them? First, lets go over the types.

Tension Headache

This is the most common type of headache. It is most likely caused by stress, muscle tightness, anxiety, or poor posture. Most people describe this type of headache as having a band wrapped around the head squeezing it tightly causing moderate pain. The pain in usually felt on the forehead, temples, back of the head, and upper neck. This type of headache usually only lasts for less than a day.

Cluster Headache

This type of headache causes severe pain that is usually felt on one side of the head around the eye. The “cluster” refers to these headaches coming in clusters where you get them several times before having a period of time where you don’t have any.

Sinus Headache

This type of headache often occurs with a sinus infection or where the sinuses are affected. They often accompany facial pressure, runny or stuffy nose, fever, or a cough. These headaches usually have moderate levels of pain and are felt around the forehead, nose, eyes, and cheeks.

Migraine Headache

This type of headache causes moderate to severe pain and is usually limited to one side of the head. It is often accompanied by nausea, sensitivity to light, intense throbbing, and visual disturbances. These headaches can last anywhere from multiple hours to several days. They can be very debilitating.

Thunderclap Headache

This is a general name for any type of headache that comes on within a few minutes and causes severe pain. This can indicate a brain bleed or some other serious condition. Call 911 immediately if you have a severely painful headache that comes on quickly.

Secondary Headaches

There are many other types of headaches that we won’t discuss in detail including: Hormone headaches, Spinal headaches, Icepick headaches, Hemicrania headaches, Exertion headaches, Caffeine Headaches, and many more.

Figuring Out What You Have

Now that you know the general presentation of each type of headache, you may be able to discern what type of headache you have. Headaches are a symptom of a problem within your body and are often not the problem themselves. This is an important consideration when trying to get rid of headaches permanently. Now of course this isn’t always possible, but in some cases it is. Knowing what type of headache you have may help you when trying different at home relief options. Some headache symptoms can be treated at home with changes to your diet, better posture, correct exercise and stretching, drinking more water, etc. Now if you’ve had a certain type of headache for more than a few months that hasn’t responded to at home treatment, it’s time to seek help from a health professional.


Now if you’re seeking help for your headaches, I recommend you start with a Chiropractor. Chiropractic is natural, inexpensive, and has little to no side effects. It is also often has very good results when it comes to treating headaches. Tension headaches are often caused by things that Chiropractic has a direct result on. It can sometimes have a draining effect on sinuses which can help with sinus headaches. It also can be beneficial for migraines as well. Determining the cause and origin behind migraines is tougher to do, but we’ve seen great results with migraines limiting occurrences and pain levels. Whatever type of headache you may have, it’s worth seeing a Chiropractor to see if they may be able to help you.