What is a headache anyway?

While it may feel like it, a headache is not pain in the brain. The brain itself cannot feel pain as it has no pain nerves, but it can tell you where other parts of your body might hurt. Most head pain happens in the muscle and nerves in the head, neck, or face. Some headaches may also have a genetic factor.

Headaches or head pain is difficult to describe for many people, but common sensations include throbbing, squeezing, constant, and unrelenting. You may feel it in just one part of your face, on the front or side of your head, or it may feel as if it’s across the entire skull. It may come or go spontaneously or they may be regular for you. Severity may decrease or increase over time.

There are many types of headaches. The most common primary headaches (those without an underlying condition) are tension headaches, migraine headaches, migraines with auras, and tension headaches. Headaches may bring on nausea and vomiting, especially migraines. They can be triggered by external factors like exposure to intense light, sound, smells, or tastes.

Some headaches are symptoms of underlying diseases. These are called secondary headaches. They are much less common but can be much more severe. If you have a headache with a fever, weakness, change in feeling on one side of the body, or change in behavior, contact your primary care doctor or an emergency service immediately.

What are the symptoms of common headaches?

While diagnosis is required to confirm what type of headache you suffer from, the most common is a tension headache. Their cause is not well understood, but they are treatable. The most likely cause is severe tightening of the muscle that covers the skull. A tension headache feels like a tight band around the head or pain on both sides of the head. You may also feel pain or tension in the face and neck muscles, as well as difficulty falling asleep and sensitivity to light and loud noise.

Migraines with or without auras are the second most common form of headache. According to the American Migraine Foundation, migraines are the 3rd most common disease in the world, with 1 in 4 households in America with a member that suffers from chronic migraines. Migraines may last for hours, days, or weeks.

Retinal migraines, also known as ocular migraines or migraines with auras, are less common than migraines without auras. An aura is a visual disturbance in one or both eyes that can include flashes of bright light, shimmering spots or stars, blind spots, geometric designs, and floating zigzag lines. An aura usually precedes head pain by less than one hour and can be accompanied by tingling in the face or one hand and may travel up or down the arm. Concentration may become difficult, including speech and language difficulty.

Head pain from a migraine attack is often described as dull, acute, or throbbing pain. Migraine sufferers often report other symptoms including sensitivity to light, distorted vision, dizziness or lightheadedness, general malaise, sensitivity to light and/or sound, nausea, vomiting, irritability, nasal congestion, and scalp tenderness.

The third type of major headache is the cluster headache which occurs in patterns over time. Cluster headaches my last weeks or months, followed by a long period of remission for months or years. A cluster headache is severe and always on one side of the head.  They are often accompanied by nasal discharge, red eye, or a tearing eye on the same side of the head. You may also experience drooping upper eyelid, small pupils, flushing, sweating, or agitation.

Headaches are one of the most common complaints for pain in the entire body. There are many other types of headaches that are treatable, such as sinus and allergy headaches, hormone/menstrual headaches, post-trauma headaches such as from concussion, and more. If you have moderate to severe head pain, especially if it’s regular, there are many treatment options and we can help.

How does BackFit treat headaches and migraines?

BackFit Health + Spine offers a number of progressive treatments for headaches and migraines. After evaluation of your symptoms, a family history, and a diagnosis (if you do not have one already), we will offer a treatment plan that may include one or more of the following to reduce or eliminate your headaches.

  • Diagnostic Imaging: we may order x-rays in-house or ct scans to pinpoint areas to specifically target.
  • Lab Testing: you may need a food allergy and environmental testing done to identify potential headache triggers.
  • Chiropractic Care: by carefully and gently adjusting the joints in the back, neck, and skull, many patients’ headaches are relieved.
  • Physical Therapy: providing exercises to stretch the muscles in the neck and strengthen supporting muscles, such as those in the shoulders, can reduce head strain.
  • Medical Care: while our goal is to provide a more natural solution, there are a number of temporary medical pain relief options available.
  • MiRx® Protocol: this medical solution provides long-term relief to head pain through a nasal application procedure. While multiple sessions are normal, immediate relief is common.

Every patient experiences headaches differently. We will work with you regarding all aspects of your head pain so that we can provide you with a comprehensive, long-lasting solution. Our medical doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists will all work together to provide pain relief and prevent your migraines and other headaches long term.


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Absolutely love this place! My husband and I have been going here for a while, and every time they remember us. We never have to re-explain anything. From the front desk to the medical team and chiropractors, they genuinely care. I’ve been having issues with my back and knee for as long as I can remember, and they helped make me feel better then I ever have. It's hard to find businesses that are run like BackFit. They have what is best for you at heart. Thanks for making my husband and I feel better then we’ve felt in years!

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I would highly recommend BackFit. The staff and doctors are wonderful and my treatment has been very successful. My migraine headaches and sciatic nerve pain are completely gone. I have significantly less lower back pain and much more range of motion despite the fact that the disc in my back was very damaged. I can now go about my daily living without health issues getting in the way.

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Great adjustments. Friendly staff too. Good therapists for exercising and stretching before I get adjusted. Been going for 4 years, totally love coming to get adjusted. Not scary at all. I had severe lower back pain and spasms. When I go for a routine adjustment it keeps from back pain occurring and my back spasming.

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Going to BackFit was one of the best decisions I've made. I couldn't get out of bed because of severe back pain. I called BackFit and they were able to see me that day. They took x-rays in office. Loved that I didn't have to go anywhere else. Went back a couple days later to go over x-ray results with the chiropractor and started working on a solution, also with their in-house physician assistant and physical therapist. Not only have they been able to relieve the pain in my back but they have worked on other kinks in my body. Oh, and they also helped me lose weight. What more can I say, the people are amazing and the results are amazing! If anything in your body hurts, go to BackFit!

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I recommend this place to everyone! Highly attentive professionals that are not only motivational and work very well as a team, but most importantly make you feel like family. I always look forward to my visits.

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The team here is so friendly and helpful! They helped me rehab my whiplash and back pain! I am so grateful for the people that took the time to listen to me and that gave me the attention I needed.

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I look forward and enjoy every visit in my road to back recovery. The staff is extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and welcoming. I will no longer be looking for another chiropractor office to meet my back needs. I also like the fact they provide other health needs.

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I was a little weary at first, but man even in the first two weeks they are really making a difference in my health! I felt the difference just after my first visit! I am committed to coming back and staying consistently. I actually recommend!