There are over 150 different types of headaches and they are often very difficult to differentiate. Different types of headaches have different symptoms, they happen for different reasons and they need different treatments.
Some of the most common types of headaches are:
- Tension headaches - we'll talk more about them in the next section
- Migraines - they are often described as a throbbing pain on one side of the head. They can last from 4 hours to 3 days and usually occur 1 to 4 times a month. In addition to pain, there are other symptoms such as sensitivity to light, sounds, and smells, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, and stomach pain.
- Cluster headache - these are the most intense types of headaches in which intense burning or stabbing pain occurs around one eye. The pain can be so severe that most people with cluster headaches cannot sit still while the headaches persist. It also often awakens the patient at night. They usually occur in groups 1 to 3 times a day for a period of 2 weeks to 3 months.
- Sinus headache - with sinus headaches, you will feel a deep and constant pain in the cheekbones, in the forehead area, and on the tip of the nose. They occur in parallel with sinus inflammation. The pain usually comes with symptoms such as a runny nose, fullness in the ears, fever, and swollen face.
- Post-traumatic headaches - they usually start 2 to 3 days after a head injury, and their symptoms are dull pain that gets worse from time to time, dizziness, confusion, problems with concentration, memory problems, extreme fatigue, and irritability. These types of headaches can last up to several months.
Sciatica is an inflammation of the sciatic nerve (the longest nerve in the human body) that occurs as a result of compression of the nerve itself. Sciatica pain usually spreads from the lumbar spine to the gluteal musculature, along the back of the thigh and lower leg, and towards the foot. Also very common is tingling in the legs.
Sciatica can occur for several reasons and some of the most common are:
- disc protrusion (disc herniation)
- bone irregularities (osteophytes, spondylolisthesis)
- narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis)
- nerve compression with hypertonic muscle (piriformis syndrome / "false sciatica")
A cervicobrachial syndrome is a group of symptoms manifesting pain in the neck and tingling in the hands. It is caused by compression of the brachial plexus (group) of nerves that exit the cervical spine, extend to the shoulder, along the arm, and end up in hand.
Most often it occurs in patients with sedentary types of jobs due to the long-term unfavorable position of the neck during the working day. IT specialists, administrators, economists, lawyers, managers are some of the most common professions where this syndrome occurs frequently.
Causes of cervicobrachial syndrome can be:
- disc protrusion in the cervical spine
- degenerative changes of the cervical spine
- whiplash injury to the cervical spine
- wrong adaptation of posture
Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis is a condition that affects the shoulder joint and manifests itself as shoulder pain and stiffness within the joint that can last as long as 1 to 3 years! In the syndrome of frozen shoulder, there is a thickening and swelling of the joint capsule, which causes considerable pain and greatly reduces the range of movement in the joint itself. Since the shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in the human body, the thickening of its capsule will also cause a serious deficit in the functioning of the entire arm. The lack of hand function will cause a major problem in the daily functioning of the patient at work and other daily duties and activities.
There are 3 stages of Frozen Shoulder Syndrome:
- The stage of " freezing” - the stage in which a pronounced pain in the shoulder develops during movement, which gets worse with time and is stronger at night, the first stage can last 6 to 9 months
- Frozen shoulder phase - the pain decreases, but the movement in the shoulder becomes much worse, and there is an inability to perform daily activities, this phase can last 4 to 12 months
- The "thaw" phase – the movement in the shoulder returns to the normal range and the pain decreases significantly, the last stage can last from 6 months to a year
Tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis is one of the most common overstrain syndromes characterized by pain and tenderness in the area outside the elbow. It occurs in response to the excessive activity of the extensor muscles of the forearm that overload and create inflammation in the tendons of these muscles.
The name comes from the fact that it often occurs in tennis players due to specific movements and loads on the extensors of the forearm when holding the racquet and playing tennis.
But, tennis is the cause of tennis elbow only in 5% of cases, in the other 95% of cases, it is other specific repetitive activities and occupations. The most common professions in which tennis elbow occurs are foresters, painters, car mechanics, plumbers, ceramists, cooks, bricklayers, factory workers, shoemakers, surgeons, and dentists.
Jumping knee or patellar tendinosis is a strain syndrome that causes pain and sensitivity in the area of the tendon of the quadriceps muscle. The tendon of the quadriceps passes over the knee itself and the pain usually manifests itself in the knee.
As well as in the syndrome of the tennis elbow , the cause of jumpers knee is repetitive trauma to the tendon itself due to frequent and excessive load on the quadriceps and knee joint.
At the higher risk of this syndrome are athletes whose sports include frequent jumps such as basketball, handball, volleyball, gymnastics, and athletics. Overtraining and training on hard surfaces proved to be additional risk factors for jumpers knee syndrome.
Shin splints, which are also called medial tibial stress syndrome, are non-specific pain that occurs in the lower legs when running. The cause of the shin splints is stress in the area of the tibia and stress on the connective tissue that connects the lower leg muscles to the tibia.
The most common risk factors for the development of running lower leg are:
- flat feet
- inadequate shoes when running
- running without warmup
- no exercise for flexibility and mobility after running
- limited range of movement in the ankle
- weak muscles of the core, quadriceps, hamstrings, and lower legs
The most at risk of developing shin splints are professional runners, recreational runners, dancers, and soldiers.