Most of us have experienced headaches at some point in our lives, but not all headaches are the same. Here’s an overview of the most common types of headaches.

Tension Headaches are a form of Muscle Contraction Headache and also the most common type of headache. They can be described as feeling pressure of varied intensity. These types of headaches can be the result of stress, muscle strain of the neck and scalp, changes in brain chemistry or high blood pressure.

Cluster Headaches are a type of Vascular Headache that is recurring grouped or “clustered” headaches. They are usually accompanied by sharp and often debilitating pain on one side of the head.

Sinus or Traction Headaches are a type of Inflammatory Headache and are usually a symptom of underlying issues ranging from cervical spine disease to sinus infection. These types of headaches are usually experienced throughout the sinuses, cheekbones and forehead. Treatment usually involves antibiotics, antihistamines and/or nasal decongestants.

Rebound Headaches are a type of headache that results from overexposure to certain chemicals, substances or medications. In this way, rebound headaches are often described as a withdrawal symptom.

Migraine Headaches have a variety of causes such as hormonal changes, chemical imbalances, food allergies, stress, sensory overstimulation, changes in sleep or environment or as a side effect of certain medications or medication combinations.

Migraines are frequently described as feeling pulsating or throbbing pain. For some, migraines are accompanied by changes in balance such as feeling dizzy or lightheaded. Nausea is also a common.

Sometimes migraines include changes to vision. Blurred vision, heightened sensitivity to light or other hallucinations are commonly reported. Patients describe seeing flashes or shapes of light often referred to as an aura.

Pain from migraines can vary in severity and duration but are typically severe and can last anywhere from four to 72 hours.


For people experiencing headaches, there are many potential risks that are often overlooked or ignored. For example, if visual disturbances are accompanied with limb weakness, it may be a sign of hemiplegic migraines which include symptoms similar to a stroke and can pose immediate and sometimes severe risk.

  • Headaches in months following head injury
  • Chronic headaches that are exasperated by cough, strain or sudden movement
  • Sudden or severe headaches
  • Headaches accompanied by fever, neck stiffness, confusion, seizure, double vision
  • Headaches that are debilitating due to disturbances in sensory, motor or speech functions
  • Any abnormal changes in headache historically or during the headache



According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, if you experience three or more headaches per month you should seek preventative care. Some treatment options include:

  • Pharmacological Intervention
  • Nutritional
  • Intervention
  • Massage Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Behavioral Therapy
  • Hot and Cold Therapy
  • Meditation


If headaches are impacting your quality of life, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you feel like you can benefit from talking with a provider call us now to schedule a consultation. Chicagoland Medical is experienced in treating all different types of headaches. Whether they stem from a head injury or other causes, Chicagoland has a viable treatment option that can eliminate your pain and get you back to feeling right!

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