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The Difference Between a Tension and Cluster Headache

In this post I will be discussing the difference between a cluster and tension headache and if massage is suitable.

First of all tension, cluster and migraine headaches are known as primary headaches. Tension headaches usually have the following symptoms:

  1. Throbbing ache on both side of the head
  2. Can last several hours and recur each day
  3. Very common
  4. Stress and anxiety can make them worse
  5. Can be accompanied by neck tightness.

Cluster headaches usually have the following symptoms:

  1. More common in males
  2. Intense pain over one eye
  3. Sudden onset lasting minutes to hours
  4. Attacks can be like clockwork
  5. Characteristically appearing in the middle of the night and around the same time during the day.

Known triggers for tension and cluster headaches include:

  1. Stress and anxiety
  2. Alcohol (especially cluster)
  3. Food
  4. Hormonal changes
  5. Oversleeping
  6. Tight muscles
  7. Poor posture
  8. Intense odors
  9. Exercise.

Treatment for Tension and Cluster Headaches

First of all check out my previous post on Tension headaches for tips on relieving tension headaches.

Massage is beneficial in preventing headaches. As stress and anxiety is one of the main factors in causing these types of headaches a regular relaxation massage can assist in stress management and enhance mood.

Remedial massage is beneficial for releasing tight muscles in the neck and shoulders. Remedial massage is applied to release trigger points that can be responsible for pain referral.

When to see your doctor:

 If your headache presents itself more than 3 times in a week.
 You are experiencing first time headaches.
 You have altered speech.
 You are over 50 and are having headaches for the first time.
 You notice changes in the nature of your headaches.

Next time you have a headache either a cluster or tension try a massage instead of reaching for the Panadol. Better yet book a regular massage and prevent headaches.

Healthy regards

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