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Examining the Different Types of Headaches and How a Pain Specialist Can Help

Last updated 5 years ago

Headaches typically fall into one of two categories: primary headache or secondary headache. While the symptoms of primary headaches typically originate at the source of pain, an underlying cause is responsible for secondary headaches. In order for pain management doctors to alleviate headache symptoms, they first need to identify the type of headache a patient is suffering from. 

Tension headaches Even though tension headaches are the most commonly occurring form of headache, the exact cause of this condition is unknown. The intensity of tension headache pain varies from patient to patient. Some individuals report that the tight pressure associated with tension headaches lasts for several days, while others experience these sensations for only a few hours. Either way, frequent tension headaches can dramatically hinder an individual’s lifestyle by preventing him or her from engaging in social- and work-related activities.

Migraine headaches Patients who suffer from migraines tend to experience severe throbbing or pounding sensations in one area of their head. The pain from migraines can last up to three days and is often accompanied by sensitivity to light, nausea, and sensitivity to sound. To find the most appropriate treatment for a patient’s migraines, doctors need to take into account the frequency and severity of the migraine headaches as well as the history of migraines in the patient’s family.

Sinus headaches Sinus headaches are a form of secondary headache because they are brought on by pressure or tightness in an individual’s sinus system. The pain from sinus headaches is typically located in the forehead, cheeks, and nose. Patients who suffer from sinus headaches often experience nasal discharge that is yellow-green in color or that contains traces of blood.

If you suffer from chronic headaches, Pain Specialists of Orange County can help. Since 2002, we have provided Orange County residents with the most compassionate and comprehensive pain management services. To learn about our Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, or Irvine office, call (888) 699-1334.


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