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It's a health condition that affects millions of people around the world on a daily basis - a common headache. However, despite the regularity of this issue, many individuals do not understand the exact nature of their headaches. More than just an annoying pain, a headache can also be indicative of other physical or mental health issues. Here is some background information on common headaches and how they can affect others areas of your body.

Introduction to headaches

According to the Mayo Clinic, headaches can refer to sharp, pulsating or dull pain located in any area of the head. These episodes can come and go seemingly at random, lasting for periods ranging from a few minutes to multiple days on end.

There are three main types of headaches: a migraine, tension headache and cluster headache. Migraines typically cause moderate to intense pulsating pain sensations that can stick around for as long as three days. Furthermore, these headaches can occur frequently and produce additional symptoms of nausea, sensitivity to external stimuli and widespread pain throughout the body.

By comparison, tension headaches usually involve dull pressure across the entire head. Depending on the person affected, they could last for an hour to a week, and occur rarely or on a regular basis. Cluster headaches usually happen on one side of the head, often behind the eye. Though the pain is usually brief, it can feel incredibly sharp.

Causes of headaches

The U.S. National Institutes of Health reports that headaches can be caused by a variety of factors. Common reasons for experiencing a headache can include a recent head injury, poor posture, muscle tension, excessive stress and feelings of depression.

Physical stress is often a significant influence on individuals who deal with headaches on a regular basis, as working long hours or feeling overly anxious can result in muscle tension and stiffness. Over time, tense muscles located in the neck can begin to crowd nearby nerve endings. The C-1 and C-2 nerves are located in the upper cervical spine and run directly to the brain, and any pinching of these nervous system pathways can be a direct cause of frequent headaches.

As a result, individuals may experience intense pressure behind their eyes, discomfort in the occipital region and pain around the temples. Damaged C-1 and C-2 nerves are likely causes of migraines and cluster headaches in particular, which are consistent with the sensations of dull pressure near the eyes and temples. Depending on the person affected by pinched cervical spine nerves, headaches and discomfort may be unilateral or bilateral. Not only can this cause pain and difficulty concentrating throughout the day, but pinched nerves can make it a challenge to sleep through the night uninterrupted as well.

In certain cases, overuse of substances like painkillers or alcohol can lead to headaches. Headaches are also common when people are experiencing illnesses like the flu or a cold. Similarly, poor blood circulation and cardiovascular health issues may be to blame for recurring headaches. Rare and serious causes like brain tumors or infections can also cause headaches and indicate a greater problem.

Treating frequent headaches

Treatments usually depend on the type of headache a person has experienced. In many cases,rest and time are enough to relieve the pressure or sharp pain around the head, according to the Ohio State University Medical Center. Changing dietary practices, drinking more water and engaging in regular exercise can also help in many cases.

However, for headaches caused by muscle tension, chronic pain or pinched nerves, devices from Dr. Michael Ho can offer a safe and effective way to combat discomfort. For instance, the Dr. Ho Neck Comforter can support the neck and head, relieving pressure and tension caused by injured muscles or poor posture while sitting, standing or sleeping. This can help deal with pinched C-1 and C-2 nerves located in the cervical spine, which can be a great step toward overcoming regular tension, cluster and migraine headaches.

In addition to the neck comforter, the Dr. Ho Pain Therapy System Pro can be an effective means of treating most types of headaches. This clinically proven transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation technology, or T.E.N.S., helps to soothe pain and massage tense muscles through controlled, pulsating electrical stimulation. Users can simply attach a series of adhesive Gel Pads to the surface of muscles in the neck and shoulders, then switch on the small control device for safe and effective T.E.N.S. massage therapy. Ideally, individuals should be lying down on their backs for the most effective results.

Beyond relieving immediate pain symptoms related to muscle tension, the Dr. Ho Pain Therapy System Pro addresses the direct causes of headaches, such as poor blood circulation. This can take pressure off of the pinched C-1 and C-2 nerves, reducing and even preventing the chance that another headache will occur in the future.


To learn more about headaches, visit our Headaches page.

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