Just about everyone has experienced an occasional headache at some point. The main types of headaches are tension headaches, migraines and cluster headaches
Tension headaches, also known as stress headaches, usually begin slowly. People with tension headaches feel a constant, achy feeling on both sides of the head and tightness in the shoulder, head or neck muscles.
If you have a tension headache, the following things may help:
- Put heat or ice pack on your head or neck
- Take a hot shower
- Relieve stress in a healthy way, such as by taking a walk
- Get enough sleep
- Exercise regularly
- Some over-the-counter medicines, such as Tylenol, Advil or Aleve, can also help relieve your headache. If they do not help, call your primary care physician. He or she may prescribe medication for you. Some prescription medications can help stop the pain, while other medications can help prevent them from occurring.
It has been estimated that nearly 28 million Americans suffer from migraines, but only about half receive treatment. Understanding what triggers migraines, and communicating your symptoms openly with your physician, can help determine the best treatment for you.
Migraines are intense headaches that can get in the way of your daily activities. Some possible symptoms of migraines include:
- intense pain or throbbing on one or both sides of your head
- nausea or vomiting
- sensitivity to light or sound
- blurred vision