Headaches are common. Almost everyone will have headaches at some time during their lives. Thankfully, most are mild in intensity, short in duration and have very little impact on our lives. However, for some people their experience of headaches is much more severe, frequent and debilitating and in these circumstances they seek out treatment to relieve their suffering.
Now remember, the majority of headaches are not life threatening and can be managed successfully with the proper treatments. However, there are some circumstances where a headache can be a sign of something more sinister going on and should be evaluated as soon as possible by either a chiropractor or medical doctor.
New onset headache
If you’ve never suffered from headaches before and now headaches are beginning to occur, it worth getting it check out. This is even more important if you first start to develop headaches over the age of 50. Most headache sufferers get their first headaches from a relatively young age, so if you’re a 50 year old that has never had headaches before and is now beginning to experience them, that would be a reason to get check out.
A recent change in the frequency or intensity of headaches
For most people, their headaches follow a similar pattern. It might always be on the right side, left side or both, they might last 1-2 days then ease off or they might go away with a simple pain killer. If there is a change and the headaches appear to be more intense, wont ease off as they normally do, last longer than usual or are occurring more frequently, it might be worth getting it assessed.
Cognitive changes or changes in executive function
Although headaches are a nuisance and uncomfortable most people can still function with them. If headache frequency is increasing and there are changes in mood or behaviour, memory or ability to concentrate and stick to tasks your headaches would warrant a review.
Focal neurological signs
Most headaches present as simply a pain or tension in the head. Some headaches, like migraines for example can also be accompanied by symptoms like tingling and numbness in the limbs or face, flashing lights or blind spots in the visual fields, nausea and vomiting or ringing in the ears. Most migraine sufferers know their common pattern of symptoms. However in most situations addition symptoms like ringing in the hears, hearing loss, visual changes like blurred or double vision, loss of balance and/or co-ordination, changes in speech should not normally be associated with a simple headache.
Now that we’ve got those out of the way, there are a few things to remember here – firstly, this is not an exhaustive list of signs or symptoms that can indicate a more sinister reason for a headaches, and secondly, having one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that your headache is something life threatening like a tumour, stroke or serious infection. But it is a good reason to have your headache assessed by a chiropractor or medical doctor.
If you would like a headache assessment from one of our chiropractors so that we can come up with an individual management plan for you, then you can book an appointment with one of our practitioners.
Contact the clinic on (03) 5222 6868 to book an appointment today, or
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