Deadly Headaches and Warning Signs

Some of you may have read about the heart breaking news last week about a softball player who randomly collapsed on a softball field near Mission Viejo and is now in a coma fighting for her life. It was determined she suffered from an aneurysm in her brain and our prayers are with her and her family. Sadly, nothing could have been done to prevent this and there are not typically any noticeable symptoms until it is too late. Sometimes however, there are signs that we need to be aware of and act on when it comes to headaches. Keep in mind; most headaches are NOT dangerous or deadly. Tension type headaches and migraine headaches are often self-resolving and do not require medical attention, although you don’t have to just live with the pain. Almost all headaches can be influenced by the nerves in the cervical spine and therefore can be influenced and significantly reduced by chiropractic adjustments to the cervical spine.

There are eight signs of a dangerous headache, but the most important factor to consider is when a “typical” headache is suddenly different. For example if there is slurred speech, difficulty communicating or forming thought, seizures, fainting or loss of balance or consciousness, memory trouble, vision issues, dizziness, numbness in the face or half the body, these are all signs that the associated headache may be a more serious problem and immediately contact your physician.

Eight signs of s deadly headache:

  1. Sudden severe headache
  2. Headaches that start later in life (after age 50)
  3. Change in the headache quality (dull, sharp, numb, burning, tingling etc…)
  4. Double vision or sudden loss of vision
  5. Weakness, numbness or any other neurological symptoms
  6. Rapid onset of fever
  7. Mental status changes such as fatigue, hallucinations, speech changes, confusion
  8. Unexplained weight loss

Any significant change from what a typical migraine sufferer experiences should not be disregarded. Typically, a migraine sufferer has an aura, which precipitates the headache. An aura is described as bright, flashing lights, or a strange odor about 30 minutes prior to the onset of the headache. Sometimes nausea and vomiting will ensue if there is not intervention such as a chiropractic adjustment or medication. If any of the previous eight signs are present with a headache, further evaluation such as MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) of the brain and/or EEG (electroencephalogram) which can rule out lesions such as tumors, bleeding, infection, aneurism, arterial malformations which if detected early enough can lead to life saving treatment intervention.

If you suffer from tension headaches and don’t want to just sit with the pain or take medication with potential side effects, call your Mission Viejo chiropractor, Dr. Allen to see how he can help reduce your pain naturally and effectively with chiropractic care. Call us today at (949) 544-0333.

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