What Type of Headache Do You Have?

Headaches – we almost all get them, but If you’re lucky enough not to suffer from them regularly, or if you’ve just started experiencing them you might be surprised to learn there are different types of headaches.


What a Headache!

Over 90% of people will have at least one headache in their life[1]. If you’re lucky, you might suffer only from the occasional episode – but for some, occasional headaches can turn into a daily occurrence that disturbs both work and hobbies. Why are they so common?  – In many cases, it’s because headaches aren’t associated with a disease but are, instead, a result of daily habits and actions. More often than not, we never address these underlying habits, preferring instead to blame our headaches on some issue or other – but the fact reminds us that the most common triggers for headaches include stress, fatigue, lack of sleep, hunger, and caffeine withdrawal.. the truth is, these are all factors we can at least improve in our lives.


What kind of headache is it?

To stand a chance at treating a headache, especially if it’s occurring regularly, you need to be aware of the (likely) underlying cause. For many of us, stress is often the primary cause of all types of headaches. It’s important to remember that stress can be mental or physical. Physical stress (which is very often the real culprit) can include muscle tension in your shoulders, head, and neck resulting from long hours at the computer, unbalanced posture, or a lack of regular exercise. Injury and illness are also possible causes – but it’s worth ruling out the most common issues first.

The three most common types of headaches include tension, sinus, and migraine headaches.

Tension headaches are usually felt across the forehead and last a few hours – they’re commonly associated with physical or emotional stress. This kind of headache is best treated with physical remediation, such as chiropractic (if posture is an underlying issue) or mental health support (where the cause is thought to be psychological).

Sinus headaches typically occur in the face, last a few hours, and are seasonal – if these bother you all the time, rather than just during allergy season you may have an underlying sinus issue, which is best investigated by a medical professional. Otherwise, over the counter medications are the most effective option to reduce these.

Migraine headaches are especially painful and are often felt in the back of the head, temples, or eyes. Unlike other forms of headache, they can last a day or longer and can produce sensitivity to light and sound. Chiropractic can be an excellent approach to reducing migraine headaches, although the exact mechanism for this is unclear – indeed, the exact cause of migraine itself has not yet been firmly determined.


Help for headache sufferers

Once you’ve identified the types of headaches you are usually affected by, you can begin taking proactive steps to reduce your risk – firstly, it’s worth addressing those lifestyle factors – getting enough rest and watching your caffeine intake is a good start.  You may find that “cleaning up” your lifestyle is enough to reduce or climate your headaches.

If, however, you have a persistent headache – especially of the tension or migraine variety, Chiropractic care could be an excellent approach for you. What’s more, at Complete Chiropractic, we’ll also work with you to address underlying postural or habitual issues which may be triggering your headaches, and it’s all within the cost of your normal treatment!




[1] Headache. Stanford Health Care. 2021.


Blog by / May 22, 2021 / Blog

Dr. Paul Irvine is a doctor of chiropractic who graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of NSW and in 1996, attained his Master of Chiropractic degree from Macquarie University in Australia. He practised in North Sydney for 5 years before he left Australia to travel and practise in the UK. He joined Complete Chiropractic in 2003 (est 1999) and took over the clinic in 2007