When Is A Headache “Just A Headache” & When Is It A Medical Emergency?

Have you ever had a headache? Most people have. Some get them quite frequently.

despair-513529_1920Well, has this thought ever crossed your mind: “Is this just another headache… or is this something serious?” That is an important question that could save you or a loved one’s life.

But, before we differentiate headaches, the first thing to understand is that there is no such thing as “just a headache.” While some are MORE dangerous and even life threatening, all headaches are a sign that something is wrong.

Know this: Pain is not normal. It is your body’s way of telling you there is a problem. For example, if you put your hand too close to a fire, it hurts. The closer you get… the more it hurts. Too close, and it starts to burn. If you have a headache, there is a cause. Your body is sending you warning signals and you should be examined by a health care professional trained to diagnose headaches, their causes and treatment options.

Chiropractors are trained to diagnose many types of headaches and have had success treating one of the most common types of headaches, the cervicogenic headache. A cervicogenic headache is a headache that is characterized by chronic head pain that is referred to the head from either bony structures or soft tissue of the neck.

So, if you get headaches, a Chiropractor is a good option for both diagnosis and treatment.

Now, what you should know about headaches and medical emergencies? In a recent article in Tribune Newspapers, Joshua Miller, Medical Director at the Cleveland Clinic’s Strongsville Family Health Center, said, “The headaches that worry us are ones that start suddenly, like a thunderclap… especially if it’s accompanied by a stiff neck, nausea, fever, bright lights bothering your eyes… it could be bleeding on the brain, encephalitis, meningitis or some other viral or bacterial infection within the spinal fluid.”

Here are other signs and symptoms of a medical emergency: Chest pain and squeezing/tightness of the chest, nausea and shortness of breath, and fluttering heart. If you feel short of breath after doing an everyday task you usually do not get shortness of breath from, you should not ignore it.

Also, abdominal pain should not be ignored. Fever, abdominal pain, vomiting can mean big trouble. Kidney stones and gallbladder disease are possibilities. Bottom line: you should not try to diagnose yourself. No headaches are “normal” and sometimes, they can be quite serious.

Remember, we’re always here to help your body heal and maintain the pain free body you deserve.

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