Do you ever wonder what the root cause of your headaches is? Probably not in the middle of having one! Realistically, you just want it gone. The functional medicine approach does not stop at the symptoms. It is a whole-body approach that asks what the root cause of those symptoms is. It’s at the moment you realize that your headaches don’t start in your head, that you are on your way to healing.
There are 4 different types of headaches, each with their own distinct symptoms but all are debilitating, no matter the form. Distinguishing the symptoms will help you categorize the type. These types are migraines, tension headaches, cluster headaches, and secondary headaches. Let’s explore the symptoms of each.
The most severe and longest-lasting of all types of headaches are migraines. Migraines often times are preceded by an aura, flashes of light or blind spots. Sufferers may have difficulty speaking and experience tingling on one side of the face, an arm, or a leg. The throbbing or pulsing pain lasts from hours to days and is normally felt on one side of the head. Other symptoms of migraines can include light and noise sensitivity, nausea, and vomiting.
The most common headache is called a tension headache, or stress headache, It feels much like squeezing or “vice” like feeling around the head, temples, and upper neck. This type of headache is continuous and lasts anywhere from a half-hour to a week and symptoms can include trouble sleeping and difficulty concentrating.
Cluster headaches, lasting 15 minutes to 3 hours occur in cluster periods, over a longer period of time. These are considered the most painful or excruciating types of headaches developing on one side of the head, in or around one eye and one side of the face. The severe, burning pain strikes at night.
Secondary headaches are those that are caused by other conditions. These conditions can include sinus issues; high blood pressure, overexertion, medication side effect, withdrawal, or hormone imbalances, just to name a few.
Functional Medicine treats all types of headaches with success by looking deeper at the causes. We have remarkable success in treating headaches because we look deeper at the causes and treat accordingly. Often, more than one underlying cause contributes to each headache.