Chiropractor Explains The Diagnosis Of Headaches

By: Dr. Shane Davidson DC

There are many causes of headaches and many types, but the most common headache treated by Chiropractor in Lincoln, NE is called the cervicogenic headache, typically brought on by poor posture or stress.  Lincoln Chiropractors provide a variety of services that help the patient cope with headaches. Lincoln chiropractic care with gentle corrections, massage therapy, diet change, and postural advice is extremely effective in treating this kind of headache.


Diagnosis of a headache is essential. The American Chiropractic Association suggests that your Lincoln chiropractor ask you to complete a headache diary consisting of:

  • Day and time of the headache
  • Headache location
  • What the headache feels like
  • What you were doing when the headache began
  • How long does the headache last
  • What makes it feel better or worse

CT scans, a sinus X-ray, eye exams, and blood chemistry tests may be ordered to help in the diagnostic process. Due to many potential underlying conditions, a healthcare provider needs to consider all options – especially when the patient has severe or persistent headaches. Over 150 diagnostic headache categories have been scientifically established. The most common types of headaches are:

Tension Headaches

These are sometimes referred to as chronic daily headaches. Tension headaches are very common and caused by muscle contractions and cause mild to moderate pain. Muscles contract due to the presence of stress. There are times where depression is the cause as well. The contractions can develop in the presence of a head injury too. A Lincoln chiropractor can help ease the tension in these areas, which helps alleviate the headache symptoms. Tension headaches come and go over a period of time. Note that these are not the same as cervicogenic headaches. 


Migraines are associated with neurological conditions and cause more severe symptoms compared to a tension headache. The headaches are often described as debilitating. Inflamed blood vessels and arteries literally squeeze around your brain until it hurts. You may feel nausea, increased blood pressure, and sensitivity to bright light or noise. One of the best treatments for migraines is chiropractic care.

Cluster Headaches

A cluster headache can be excruciating. The symptoms radiate from the cyclical patterns. The pain comes in bouts of symptoms and can last for a prolonged period in some patients. The least common (but most severe) headache is often described as located behind the eye region. Cluster headaches can occur one to three times per day during a “cluster” period, which may last two weeks and extend as long as three months. To further complicate matters, a cluster headache may go into remission for months or years only to recur later down the line.

Organic Headaches

An organic headache refers to symptoms that are caused by an underlying condition. Organic headaches are the result of abnormalities in the brain and can lead to serious consequences. Only 5% of headaches are organic. It is incredibly important to go to your nearest hospital immediately if you feel:

  • Sudden, sharp, severe pain
  • Sudden lack of balance or falling
  • Confusion
  • Seizures or difficulty speaking

Content Reviewed By

Dr. Shane Davidson Lincoln, NE Chiropractor
Doctor of Chiropractic