Headaches come in many different varieties. The correct diagnosis of your headache symptoms allows a healthcare practitioner to craft an appropriate treatment plan. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis is all too common with head pain because the signs and symptoms of different kinds of headaches are often so similar (although some unique symptoms, such as the aura of a classic migraine, make accurate diagnosis easier).
Robert Cowan, MD, a Stanford University professor and headache expert, explained in an interview for The Huffington Post last year that self-diagnosis is the root of additional confusion. Many times, a patient will arrive at an initial medical appointment convinced they are suffering from a sinus headache when it is actually a migraine. Sinus headaches are often treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics, however, won't do anything for migraines.
The most prevalent headache is a tension headache. Tension headaches are triggered by factors including visual strain (such as that experienced by individuals in need of eyeglasses), alcohol, and stress. Other typical headaches, also more common than the sinus variety, are medication overuse headaches and cluster headaches, the latter of which involve recurrent and severe pain on one side of the head.
Another kind of headache is the exertion headache, which individuals may experience after daily activities such as workouts or even sneezes. Head pain specialists also sometimes encounter rare conditions such as the SUNCT headache, a form of head pain marked by stabbing sensations that can often only be treated with an IV drip. Sometimes, the cause of headaches is obvious, according to Dawn C. Buse, PhD, of Yeshiva University: head pain can stem from traumatic brain injury.
You are more likely to arrive at a correct diagnosis if you take a proactive role in your treatment. Describing your symptoms specifically can help doctors know what they mean. One of the best things you can do is to keep a headache diary, with as much detail as possible related to your diet and daily activities. You also want to include the lengths of time for which you experience pain and the extremity of the pain on a scale of 1 to 10.
The following details can help you differentiate between the various types of headaches as well:
Luckily a treatment method exists that alleviates pain in many different types of headaches: MiRx™ Protocol. The reason MiRx™ is so effective is that it is not one approach. Rather, it combines a medical therapy – SPG nerve blocking – with an array of biomechanical techniques to target headaches from every possible angle.