The Three Types of Headaches

This is the first edition of our blog!

In this brief post, we talk about:

  • – Migraines and Tension type headaches 
  • – A lesser-known headache type 
  • – A starting point on how to manage them

Let’s get started.



We all get them. Except for that gal we know who has “never had one in her life”. Lucky.

There are several types of headaches. In fact, the International Headache Society recognizes dozens of different subtypes. For our purposes, we’ll focus on the 3 main headaches we see.

The 3 Types  

Tension type headache – this type of headache is the typical headache.

A classic referral pattern of the upper trap

Migraines – these are a bit of a beast. Complicated (we have a lot to learn still), with lots of layers and subtypes, these are difficult to treat.

  • Feels like: intense, throbbing pain, can be one or both sides, especially in the forehead region, behind the eye, and temple.
  • Often, but not always, seen with visual changes (called an aura), which can include blind spots, tunnel vision, flashing lights, and more.
  • Nausea, sensitivity to light and sound are also common

Cervicogenic Headaches – cervico-wha? Let’s just call them neck headaches.

  • Feels like: a bit like a migraine but also like a tension type headache. The difference? These are often ‘cured’ with adjustments while migraines cannot be.
  • Symptoms vary: the headaches can be both sides, one side, with or without mild visual changes (not quite like a migraine) and can be intense, moderate or mild.

What do I do? 

Treatment varies depending on the type of headache you have. For instance, recent research shows that drinking more water can significantly reduce migraines. Muscle release is very helpful for all three types, especially tension-type headaches.

In general, migraines are more difficult to manage. Depending on how bad they get, medical management is often needed. Working to avoid triggers (dietary usually), getting good rest, making sure your neck is happy and drinking more water is a good place to start.

Neck headaches and tension-type headaches are easier to manage. A combination of massage, adjustments and specific stretches and exercises can help reduce the pain.

Got headaches but aren’t sure what to do or where to go? Give us a call. We’ll be glad to help.


The Team at SSCC

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