Your sinuses are air-filled spaces inside of your cheekbones, under the the bridge of your nose, and your forehead. When your sinuses get irritated, they make more mucus, swell and get stuffed up. This build-up of pressure causes head pain.
It’s important to differentiate between sinus headaches and migraines, as they have several similarities: 1. both have moderate to severe headache as a symptom, 2. changes in weather can trigger both conditions, and 3. facial pressure can present with both migraines and sinus headaches.
Because of the location of the sinuses, pain below or above the eyes is a tale-tell sign of a sinus headache. Unless you have an active sinus infection, we don’t recommend taking antibiotics. Especially because many sinus headaches are actually migraines that have been misdiagnosed. Proper diagnosis ensures that you get sinus headache relief. Excessive use of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance and digestive issues. Keep in mind that other migraine symptoms are clear nasal drainage, nausea, visual disturbances, and sensory sensitiviity.
Cluster headaches get their name from the cyclical pattern in which they happen. It’s very common for patients to say that the pain wakes them up in the middle of the night, with severe pain near one eye or one side of their head. Cluster periods can last from weeks to several months. A period of remission lasting months to years usually follows.
The good news is that cluster headaches are rare and typically not life-threatening. Unlike migraine patients, people with cluster headaches feel restless and will pace back and forth. If light sensitivity or sound sensitivity is felt, it is typically only experienced on one side of the face. A single episode can last from15 minutes to several hours, and often happen at the same time of day. Once the cluster headache clears, patients are pain-free but feel worn out.
When to Seek Emergency Care
We recommend you seek emergency care if you experience any of these signs and symptoms:
- A severe, abrupt headache, often like a thunderclap
- A headache with fever, vomiting or nausea, mental confusion, seizures, numbness, or difficulty speaking
- A headache after an injury to the head, even if you consider it to be a minor injury, and especially if it worsens
- A sudden and severe headache, described as the worse headache of your life
- A headache that changes in pattern and worsens over days
Headache pain, even when intense , typically isn’t due to disease. However, it’s important to see your doctor if your headaches suddenly feel different. Rare but severe conditions, such as brain tumors and meningitis, need to be ruled out.
NUCCA Spinal Care Provides Headache Relief
NUCCA is an upper cervical chiropractic technique that does not require any popping, cracking or twisting of your neck or spine. Patients love that it is a low force technique. The amount of pressure used during the adjustment is the same amount of pressure used to take your pulse. It feels like a gentle touch behind your ear. The upper neck is adjusted only when needed, with the ultimate goal of not needing an adjustment at all. We call this “holding” your adjustment. Many of our patients come in, get checked, and walk out without needing an adjustment. Our ultimate goal is for your body to get stronger over time, and need less intervention from our doctors.
When atlas, the first bone in the neck, is misaligned it can put mechanical pressure on spinal nerves and blood vessels. An atlas misalignment can cause muscle spasms and inflammation to the head and neck. This can make a patient more likely to suffer from chronic headaches. Poor posture, text neck, poor ergonomics and even dehydration can all contribute to the frequency of headaches. The care you receive in our office is based on analysis of your unique x-rays.
Want help with your headaches? Call our office at (619) 313-5403 or request an appointment here.