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The cause of headaches are multifactorial and sometimes hard to pinpoint. This means that it could be musculoskeletal, neurological, hormonal, environmental, or vascular. A headache journal, including onset, location, frequency, intensity, aggravating factors, and symptomatic relief may help your physician determine the cause of your headaches. Headaches can be anywhere, including the back of your head, side of your head, or front of your head, or even back radiating to the front.

Types of Headaches:

  1. Migraines (with and without aura)
  2. Cluster (lacrimation with spots or stars with your vision)
  3. Tension (back of the neck and head, sometimes radiating to the front)
  4. TMJ (jaw pains shooting to your temporal region)
  5. Sinus (front of head)

Symptoms include:

  • Migraines (usually vascular, traumatic or hormonal, with vision changes and light sensitivities, sometimes globally, but mostly frontal in presentation)
  • Cluster (vascular or hormonal with vision changes and lacrimation, mostly frontal in presentation)
  • Tension (musculoskeletal or traumatic, back of head and/or pain shooting to the front in presentation)
  • TMJ (musculoskeletal or traumatic, side of face, jaw, or temporal region in presentation)
  • Sinus (environmental or hormonal, front of head and seasonal in presentation)

Screening and Diagnosis:

Your doctor will take a complete medical history and perform a physical examination, including a neurological examination. Imaging tests such as x-rays, CT scan, MRI and blood tests may be performed to rule out other conditions, such as infection, tumor, or sinus pathology.


In mild cases of treatment for headaches may include rest, ice and/or heat, and medications. If pain persists, physical therapy or chiropractic care may be advised if the condition is musculoskeletal. It is important to discuss treatment options with your doctor.


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