Headaches compared

Headaches compared

What’s my headache?

Headache is so common that almost everyone experiences pain in the head or neck area at one time or another. Should you experience frequent, persistent or severe headaches, start recording the details of your symptoms, everything you did or experienced on headache days, including food, drinks, the weather and exposure to bright light, smoke or odors, and schedule a visit with your health care provider. The following chart comparing major types of headaches will give you an idea of what kind of headaches you are having.

CHART:

Type: Tension
Location: Either or both sides of head or neck
Quality: Steady, tight pressure
Duration: 2 hours to days
Intensity: Mild or moderate
Nausea, sensitive to light, sound or odor: No
Red eye, tearing, stuffy nose or facial sweating: No
Gender: Both
How common: 90% of adults

Type: Migraine
Location: One or both sides of head, may migrate
Quality: Throbbing
Duration: 4-72 hours
Intensity: Mild, moderate or severe
Nausea, sensitive to light, sound or odor: Yes, maybe
Red eye, tearing, stuffy nose or facial sweating: Maybe
Gender: 3 in 4 are female
How common: 12% of adults

Type: Cluster
Location: One side, extending from behind eye
Quality: Stabbing
Duration: 30-90 minutes
Intensity: Excruciating
Nausea, sensitive to light, sound or odor: No
Red eye, tearing, stuffy nose or facial sweating: Yes
Gender: 5 in 6 are male
How common: 1% of 45+ years

Type: Sinus
Location: Face, forehead, between eyes, above nose
Quality: Pressure
Duration: Days, if untreated
Intensity: Mild to severe
Nausea, sensitive to light, sound or odor: No; pain increases bending forward
Red eye, tearing, stuffy nose or facial sweating: Yes
Gender: Bothe
How common: ~15% of population

Text and illustrations by Kevin T. Boyd


Acupressure for headaches
Here are lists of acupressure points for Migraine, Base of skull headache, Crown of head headache, Front of head headache, Severe headache, Sinus headache, Tension headache, Any headache on PointFinder.org.
If this is your first time, please read the instructions. Don’t use acupressure to replace standard emergency procedures or licensed medical treatment. If you are seriously injured or have acute¬†symptoms seek urgent medical treatment.