What if it’s a brain tumor? Sometimes it is. Everybody has heard a story about someone who had a headache, and it was a brain tumor. It’s always a possibility on the differential diagnosis list that I’m making in my head as I consult with a headache patient.
The problem is – it’s rare. Really rare. Less than 1 in 1000 headache patients actually have a tumor, so when it actually does occur, the first two doctors missed it, and instead, gave the patient medication.
- Stress and tension – Yes and No. See my discussion below.
- Sinuses – Also Yes and No.
- Migraines/ Vascular Headaches – Mixed cause. See below.
- Eye Strain/ Need New Glasses – Also Yes and No.
- Didn’t Eat Today or No Coffee Today – Absolutely Yes.
So, what do I mean by “Yes and No” in numbers 1-4 above?
Think of your headache like you would an itch on your arm. There’s a long list of possible causes that have the same result. For example, using a poison ivy treatment cream is ineffective if you have a mosquito bite.
Headaches have triggers. If you blame it on the wrong trigger, then your treatment won’t work. Maybe your sinuses are a little stuffy, or maybe you will see better with new glasses. But those are rarely the reason for a headache. All of these are often triggered by neck strain and misalignment. The only headache on the list above that wouldn’t be affected by a neck structural problem would be #5. But, I know you know how to solve that one.
If you have a structural problem in your neck, get it fixed! It won’t guarantee that you’ll never get another headache, but remember the straw that broke the camel’s back. If all those other straws weren’t already there, that one straw wouldn’t be effective. A solid, strong neck will knock out most of your headache triggers.