While you may say that a nagging person or problem is “giving you headaches,” cranial pain is not something to be taken casually. “Headache” refers to persistent pain in the head. It can be sharp or dull, brief or prolonged, forward in the sinuses around the eyes or in the back of the skull where it meets the spine. Migraines are a special class of headaches that generally affect both sides of the head, preceded by auras and causing protracted throbbing pain.
There is no need to just grin and bear it through headache pain. At Utah Sports and Wellness in Millcreek, we encourage you to seek treatment if you experience frequent headaches or migraines.
There are hundreds of different kinds of headaches, including tension, cluster, and sinus headaches, and the range of causes is just as broad. Head injuries, overexertion, and illness are just a few offenders. Physical compression of the head, poor posture, and inadequate sleeping habits are a few others. Primary headaches indicate conditions in which the headache is the medical problem, while secondary headaches are symptoms of underlying concerns.
Because headache is such a common result of so many medical discrepancies, it is crucial to receive a thorough diagnosis from a qualified healthcare professional to know how to treat your specific headaches. Based on the frequency and severity of symptoms, you may need to have both bloodwork and medical imaging (like x-ray or MRI scans) performed. Below are just a few causes of headaches that stem from acute trauma.
Concussion, or trauma to the brain, can lead to headaches. They can be treated with rest, both from physical activity and cognitive strain. To learn more about concussions, see our “Concussions” page.
Whiplash describes an injury to the neck caused by rapid back-and-forth movement. It can result in a limited range of motion, muscle spasms, fatigue, dizziness, or, of course, headaches. Whiplash is not always associated with car accidents, though they are the most common cause.
Headaches and other pain from whiplash do not always manifest immediately, but it is still important (as with any injury) to seek clinical care immediately after an accident. FSM and massage therapy offered at Utah Sports and Wellness can alleviate the pain caused by whiplash. Ice can also provide temporary relief and can be administered at home.
Your temporomandibular joints (TMJs), sitting just before the ears on both sides of the face, connect the lower jawbone to the skull and are crucial to jaw movement. TMD refers to temporomandibular joint disorder and occurs when the ligaments and muscles around the joints become irritated or inflamed.
TMJ dysfunction can be caused by injury, arthritis, a misaligned bite, or the grinding or clenching of teeth. The condition is more common in women than in men. In addition to headaches, TMD can cause jaw pain, earaches, popping in or locking of the jaw, and difficulty chewing. TMJ dysfunction can be diagnosed with panoramic x-rays. Treatments can be subsidized by applying heat followed by cold and by eating soft foods and minimizing jaw activity.
Though not well understood, migraines are debilitating for millions of people. Migraines are more common in women than men, perhaps due to fluctuating hormone levels, and they tend to be hereditary. Migraines can be preceded by auras—usually visible phenomena like bright spots or wavy lines but sometimes a loss of vision or of sensation in the extremities. Migraines can last from 4 to 72 hours. During that time, sufferers may experience throbbing or pulsating pain on both sides of the head, heightened sensitivity to light or sound, and even nausea and vomiting. There is no cure for migraines currently, though a host of medications are available to mitigate symptoms.