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Am I having a migraine or a tension headache!?

Muscle tension is more common in headaches and blood flow issues are more common in migraines.
Muscle tension is more common in headaches and blood flow issues are more common in migraines.

At our Maitland chiropractic office we see patients who have been suffering from migraines and tension headaches for years and are looking for relief.  I typically tell our patients that to get relief of these types of headaches we need to look at the cause and correctly determine what type of headache they are having.

In the Journal of Medical Case Reports Ralph Bright et al. describes migraines as being episodic, on one side of the head and cause a throbbing feeling.  They are often associated with nausea, vomiting, hearing and vision difficulties.   Also, approximately a third of patients will get an “auro” which could be a sound, a vision or other sensation that happens before the onset of the migraine.  The exact mechanism of why people get migraines is unknown but most theories point to activation and sensitization of neurons in the brain and the consequential dilation of blood vessels.    A tension headache is typically on both sides of the head and has more of pressing or tightening quality and feeling to it.

Tension headaches are more likely to be caused by muscular imbalances and postural problems and in both migraines and tension headaches spinal fixations or misalignments can be a factor in their occurrence.  In our society more and more people are working long hours and siting with bad posture.  This in combination to the many stressors in our lives leads to tight muscles in our neck and fixations and misalignments of the spine and can lead to tension headaches.  Migraines are more likely to be linked to genetic causes and or certain triggers such as little sleep or food sensitivities.   At North Orlando Chiropractic we get great results treating both migraines and tension type headaches.  The spinal adjustments that we do help to alleviate nerve pressure that can play a role in migraines and our soft tissue techniques along with therapies help to alleviate muscle tension that can play a role in tension headaches.   If you are suffering from tension headaches or migraines give us a call today!

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