Headaches are a social and economic issue in America, and globally. In the U.S. alone, more than 4% of the population suffers from frequent headaches. In 2007, the International Headache Society put together a classification system to properly diagnose and provide treatment for the millions of people who suffer. Headaches were distinguished in various categories:
The IHS separated headaches into three classifications: primary, secondary and other. Primary were determined as headaches affecting the quality of life of a patient, namely; migraine, tension and cluster headaches. Tension headaches are reported as the most common headache. The cause of tension headaches is muscle contractions, causing mild to moderate pain and lasting over an extended period.
Migraines were reported as second amongst adults and children; an estimated 28 million reported suffering from migraines. These headaches are related to abnormalities in the brain, and contraction of blood vessels. Symptoms include: sensitivity to light, sound and smell, nausea or abdominal discomfort.
Cluster headaches are rare in the primary classification system. These headaches are defined as sharp, stabbing pains with a continuous throbbing. Pain is usually located behind the eye or eye area, never changing sides. Attacks occur one to three times a day, for up to two weeks in a normal cluster period.
At Bergen Medical Sports & Spine we use an interdisciplinary approach in assessing your headache. Solutions may lie within the disciplines of traditional medicine, chiropractic, massage therapy , acupuncture and/or physical therapy.