Classifications of Headache

At our Miami acupuncture center, one common ailment we treat are headaches!

When you’re feeling pain or discomfort in any region of your head, then you are most likely experiencing a headache. However, it is important to know the different types of headache to be able to treat it properly.

1. Primary – includes three types:

  • Tension – the most common type of headache, described as pressure or ache around or at the back of the head, including the temples and neck.
  • Migraine – pain is from moderate to severe described as pounding or throbbing pain and usually felt at one side of the head. Pain can last about 4 hours to 3 days and is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound.
  • Cluster – often described as sharp, stabbing or severe pain behind one eye or at one side of  the head.

2. Secondary – headaches that are caused by other health problems like inflammatory diseases, brain tumours, stroke or head injuries.

Headache Treatment

Headaches are usually treated with OTC medications like ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen. For migraine headaches, patient must rest in a dark and quiet room and place a cool towel or cloth on the head.

Another treatment option is to acupuncture headache which is a drug-free treatment patients could try, especially for those who experience chronic headaches. In one study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, migraine acupuncture helped reduce the duration migraine headache is experienced by participants. Acupuncture can therefore be used either to prevent chronic headaches or as a supplement to non-drug treatment for migraines.*

Depression and Anxiety

Many patients with chronic headaches usually experience depression and anxiety. Depression is a mental condition wherein a person feels down, discouraged, hopeless or unmotivated. Meanwhile, anxiety is felt when one feels constant fear and overwhelming worries, heart palpitations and panicky feelings. While these conditions are different, these often occur together.

Treatment for these mental conditions includes antidepressant medications, psychotherapy or a combination of both. Lifestyle changes, exercise and stress-reduction techniques can also help. On the other hand, treatment relating acupuncture and depression anxiety are increasingly becoming popular among patients who are looking for alternative cure for these two conditions.

Based on Chinese beliefs, depression and anxiety are caused by blocked pathways of energy in the body. Treatment with acupuncture by inserting needles on acupuncture points in the body would then correct the blockages and help alleviate or improve the symptoms of the two conditions. To date, many studies have already been made to prove that acupuncture treatment for anxiety and depression is effective, longer-lasting and effects faster than antidepressants.*

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