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Other Patterns of Headache

Not all headaches are migraine. One common type is tension or muscle-contraction headache, which results from spasm of the muscles at the back of the neck and sides of the head. Because these muscles must hold our heads up against gravity, they do not get much chance to rest during the day. When they contract, the headache can be quite painful. While muscle-contraction headaches are related to stress, they do not necessarily occur on the most stressful days.

While sinus problems are often blamed for headaches, most headaches — including those on the forehead — are not due to sinus problems. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems also are not a common cause of headache. Be wary of elaborate and expensive treatments for TMJ. Some benefit but many do not.

Some people get headaches nearly every day. While migraines can be a factor in these chronic daily headaches, they are not the primary cause. Understandably, people suffering from these frequent headaches take pain relieving medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen on a continuing basis, but this may perpetuate the problem by lowering the pain threshold. Migraine measures may help somewhat, but do not usually completely solve the problem. Tapering off the medication, usually with medical supervision, is important.

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Migraine Headaches
Other Patterns of Headache
Hormonal Migraine
How Migraine is Treated
Alternative Treatments for Migraine

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