5 Different Types Of Headaches

What are the different types of headaches?

  1. Tension headaches
  2. Migraines
  3. Cervicogenic headaches
  4. Rebound headaches
  5. Post-traumatic headaches
Headaches have a large impact on the quality of your life. When you experience a headache, it interferes with your capacity to perform simple tasks, obstructs social activities, and affects your mood. Treatment may vary due to the different types of headaches, so it's important to know what you’re experiencing. Keep on reading to learn about the different types of headaches, their causes and symptoms, and how to treat them

Tension Headaches

This is the most common type of headache. The pain of a tension headache is compared to having a tight band wrapped around your head. Common symptoms include a dull pain across the forehead, sides, and back of the head. While rarely severe, this can cause mild to moderate constant pain that can occur periodically or chronically. A tension headache does not involve throbbing pain, is not affected by physical activity, and is not influenced by light and sound in the environment. Causes include lack of rest, poor posture, musculoskeletal problems, and stress. Long term relief was seen in a case study after chiropractic treatment of tension headache.


Woman experiencing a migraine Unlike tension headaches, migraines often begin on one side of the head in pulsing and throbbing pain. It is also affected by light and sound and may induce nausea and vomiting. It is typically worsened by physical activity and can last for hours or days. Migraine headaches are primarily caused by signals around the brain that produces pain substances that affect the nerves and blood vessels in your head. Some triggers include stress, caffeine, hormonal changes during menstruation, overexertion, loud noises, and overuse of pain-relieving medications. Treatment with chiropractic care can be useful, especially if used synergistically with traditional care to manage migraines. 

Cervicogenic Headaches

Cervicogenic headache is a secondary headache. It is caused by different medical conditions like tumors, fractures, infections, arthritis, and injury. This causes pain that can affect one side of the head which can slowly spread to the front. This is accompanied by a stiff neck, which can also limit your range of motion.  Like a migraine, you will also experience sensitivity to light and noise. Blurred vision and nausea are also common. To treat this condition, spinal manipulation has proven to be effective in not just migraine, but also cervicogenic headaches.

Rebound Headaches

Woman with a headache about to drink water Headaches interfere with daily life, causing many people to rely on over the counter medication. But long-term use of pain relievers may trigger pain instead, causing rebound headaches. Also known as medication overuse headaches, symptoms may differ depending on the original headache that you are treating. The only way to alleviate this condition is to slowly reduce the number of medications you take while focusing on preventing headache triggers and natural and holistic remedies. To reduce your risk of rebound headaches, it is recommended to look for other types of treatment such as chiropractic care. 

Post-Traumatic Headaches

People who recently suffered a head injury might experience post-traumatic headaches. It might feel like a tension headache or a migraine because of similar symptoms. These usually last for up to 12 months. With alternative treatments such as physical therapy, relaxation therapy, and nerve stimulation. With post-traumatic headaches due to sports injuries being a common concern in chiropractic clinics, treatment can help an athlete return to playing. 

Key Takeaway

Tension, migraine, cervicogenic, rebound, and post-traumatic are the most common types of headaches you might experience.  Chiropractic care has been used for the treatment of these conditions for a long time. Prioritizing a holistic method for long term results, will usually include electrical stimulation, rehabilitation, manual therapy, soft tissue therapy, lifestyle changes, and co-management. For a consultation, you can send a message here

Written By: Dr. Benedicto Luz Adorable III

Dr. Ben is the CEO and Founder of Philippine Chiropractic Healthcare Specialist. He has a Doctorate Degree of Chiropractic from Parker College of Chiropractic.

To read more about Dr. Ben, click here.

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