Classification of Headaches

And common symptoms

Episodic Tension Headaches

(occur less than 15 days per month)

These headaches have the following characteristics:
  • Pain is mild to moderate, constant band-like pain, pressure or throbbing
  • Pain affects the front, top or sides of the head.
  • Pain usually begins gradually, and often occurs in the middle of the day
  • Pain may last from 30 minutes to several days

Chronic Tension Headaches

(occur more than 15 days per month)

These headaches tend to have these characteristics:
  • Pain may vary in intensity throughout the day, but the pain is almost always present
  • Pain affects the front, top or sides of the head
  • Pain comes and goes over a prolonged period of time

It’s important to note that these types of headaches have large variability. You may think you fall into episodic one day, but then then 2 weeks from now, it appears to be chronic. While it’s nice to know the classification you fit into, the greater issue is how to rid of them!  So, don’t stress about which one you fit into, let us help you get rid of whichever it is.

Here are some additional associated findings that you will experience with Tension Headaches:

  • Headache upon awakening
  • Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Disturbed concentration
  • Mild sensitivity to light or noise
  • General muscle aching


The following can come in any combination:

  • Moderate to severe pain (often described as pounding, throbbing pain) that can affect the whole head, or can shift from one side of the head to the other
  • Sensitivity to light, noise or odors
  • Blurred vision, bright flashing dots or lights, blind spots, wavy or jagged lines (aura)
  • Nausea or vomiting, stomach upset, abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sensations of being very warm or cold
  • Fatigue, dizziness

Cluster Headaches

Common characteristics:

  • Intense one-sided pain – burning or piercing quality that is throbbing or constant
  • Pain located behind one eye or in the eye region, without changing sides.
  • Pain lasts generally 30 to 90 minutes; the headache will disappear, only to recur later that day (most sufferers get one to three headaches per day during a cluster period). Hence the name.
  • Headaches occur very regularly, generally at the same time each day, and they can awaken the you at the same time during the night.

Sinus Headaches

You need to see your Medical Doctor if you have an active infection to get treatment for your acute problem. You can still seek treatment with us as the same time, but don’t skip this step. We can often help with decreasing frequency of infections or even altogether, but important to get over the current acute infection first.

  • Deep and constant pain in the cheekbones, forehead or bridge of the nose
  • The pain usually intensifies with sudden head movement or straining and usually occurs with other sinus symptoms, such as nasal discharge, feeling of fullness in the ears, fever, and facial swelling.

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