Primary vs Secondary Headaches

Headache, Migraine, Head PainHeadache Classification

All headaches are classified as primary or secondary headaches, which means there's a reason and a cause for your headache. They key is finding out which type of those classifications your headaches fall under, and then take steps to alleviate and overcome the cause of your headache.

Now, let's define the differences between the two classifications

Primary Headache

  • 90% of all headaches are primary
  • They usually start between the ages of 20 and 40
  • Migraines and tension-type are the most usual types experienced
  • Head pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound are usually concurrent with migraines
  • Pressure on both sides of the head is usually concurrent with tension-type headaches
  • Manifest as migraines, tension-type headaches, or cluster headaches

Secondary Headache

  • They account for 10% of all headaches
  • They can begin when a person is any age
  • Sometimes result from problems elsewhere in the head or neck
  • Sometimes result from overuse of medication or use of certain medications
  • Caused by a disease or condition, such as concussion or brain tumor

About Your Headache

So, which one of these classifications of headaches do you suffer from? Well, primary headaches are most likely either migraines, Tension-type, or cluster. If you get headaches, but they don't feel like one of those three types of headaches, then your headaches are most likely secondary headaches. That means there is an underlying cause for your head pain. It may be something as common as whiplash, or it may be due to a condition, such as Influenza or sinusitis.

Right now, the best this you can do is stop relying on that headache medication, which won't help the underlying cause and may even worsen your head pain or cause it to become more frequent. Instead, pick up the phone and make an appointment with an upper cervical chiropractor. They will examine your upper cervical spine for any misalignments in your neck that may be the underlying cause of your condition or disease that's causing your head pain.

Your brain send signals to your body via the brainstem, when your two upper neck vertebrae are out of alignment by just ΒΌ of a millimeter, that communication system is hindered. Realigning those two vertebrae, then, restores, allows your brain to communicate with your body unhindered.

To find a Doctor in your area go to or if you are in the Redwood City California area to schedule your NUCCA evaluation, click the button below:

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Dr. Pete Tsiglieris of Advanced Spinal Care in Redwood City, California is an Upper Cervical Specialist trained by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). His upper cervical clinic also serves San Mateo, Palo Alto, Menlo Park, San Carlos, and Sunnyvale. They are uniquely trained to correct problems in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). This vital area is intimately connected to the central nervous system and problems in this area have been shown to be an underlying cause of a variety of different health problems, including migraines and other headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain, back pain and shoulder pain and weakness. More information can be found on our website at

To schedule a complimentary consultation call our Redwood City office at 650-595-0500 or you can also click the button below.

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NUCCA chiropractor in Redwood City

Want to know how your misalignment is affecting your body?

Advanced Spinal Care now provides our patients with a great tool to see how your body is affected by your unique misalignment.
Advance Spinal Care
The Redwood City chiropractor who offers fast track resolutions to chronic pain with technically advanced NUCCA chiropractic, upper cervical diagnostic methods and treatment protocols.
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643 Bair Island Rd Ste 208
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(650) 595-0500
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