Between 70 and 90 million Americans suffer from intermittent headaches. Headache pain may be generalized (all over) or localized (in one area) and may range from mild to severe. Some headaches have a known cause while others, like migraine headaches, do not. Migraine pain, which is usually more intense, may be throbbing, pounding or felt more on one side of your head. The usual symptoms of a migraine headache are intense pain on one side of the head, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.
Migraine headaches can be severely debilitating, or can involve only mild to moderate pain. Migraine headaches tend to be hereditary and affect 18% of women and 6% of men. An estimated 40 million Americans are migraine sufferers. Only a healthcare professional can determine if your headaches are migraines, and then recommend an appropriate treatment program for you.
Tension headaches caused by muscle contraction are the most common kind of headache, and cause the mildest pain. They're often described as a "tightening or constricting of the head". Causes may include stress/anxiety, poor posture, allergies, eye strain, low blood sugar, sleep loss, alcohol use, and clenching or grinding teeth. Since they usually respond to nonprescription pain relievers, they're also the simplest headaches to treat.
Co-sponsored by the National Headache Foundation, this support group provides a place for chronic headache sufferers to share experiences, take part in discussions with other headache sufferers, learn about new headache concepts and treatment and receive related educational materials.
The Headache Support Group, a part of the Chronic Pain Support Group, meets the second Monday of each month from 5:00- 6:30 p.m. at the John P. Murtha Neuroscience and Pain Institute (Suite 2400). For more information, please call (814) 269-5238.
Check to see when the next support group meets: Calendar of Events.