A headache is the term used to define any kind of ache or pain that occurs in and around the head, or even in the upper neck. Headaches may occur independently, in the sense that they are unconnected to any health condition or disease, or they may at times occur as a symptom of some disease. All of us experience headaches at some point or the other and it is in fact one of the most common complaints and also the most widely treated with home remedies and pharmaceutical headache treatments. Although headaches may in most cases be unconnected to specific ailments or health conditions they are often like a warning system from our body that something is not right. In most cases it is stress, lack of sleep, and other such circumstances that trigger this response. For example, if you haven’t had adequate sleep for a few nights in a row you would most likely experience headaches. Headaches may not necessarily be trigger by psychological factors such as emotional distress, stress and so on, but could also be triggered by physical stress and exhaustion.
There are various types of headaches, with an even greater variety of causes, but the most commonly occurring types of headaches are tension headaches. There are probably none among us who have escaped this type of headache. The severity may vary greatly and so will the duration, depending on the trigger, the tension headache treatment provided and other factors. Tension headaches generally occur due to causes like neck pain, stress, anxiety, depression and also because of muscle tightness or tension in the shoulders, jaws and scalp. Tension headaches are most likely to affect you if you work excessively, if your social relationships are strained, if you follow irregular eating and sleeping patterns, or consume excessive amounts of alcohol. As with any other condition the only effective treatment would be to eliminate the cause and provide relief. Tension headache treatment with over the counter medications that simply provide relief will only offer a temporary solution, and you will be plagued by the problem increasingly frequently.
Apart from tension or stress headaches there are some other types of headaches that are quite common. Sinus headaches and migraines are probably the next most common types, although migraines cannot really be classified as headaches as this would be an over simplification. Migraines are a lot more severe, and the experience of a migraine is not comparable to the normal headache. Sinus headaches, which are the other common phenomenon, are triggered due to blockages of the sinus passages that create a buildup of pressure and also due to infections of the sinus like sinusitis. Cluster headaches are another type of headache that is not uncommon. Headaches in children are again not something out of the ordinary and could have similar causes, but if persistent, severe or unresponsive to treatment should be given medical attention promptly. Under normal circumstances however mild natural headache treatments should suffice for headaches in children. When dealing with headaches in children always check the forehead in case of a fever and seek medical advice promptly if there is any vomiting.
Headache treatment no matter what the cause or type of headache can however best be remedied through simple lifestyle changes and relaxation. If you have persistent headaches that do not respond to treatment, make sure you consult your health care provider. A sudden onset of severe or recurrent headaches could also be indicative of some serious health disorder, or if accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, stiff neck, disorientation, fever or ear and eye pain. Headaches that occur following trauma to the head should also receive medical attention.
Chronic headaches should always be treated seriously, particularly in children as chronic headaches would have some underlying causes that may be serious and treatment should be directed towards these causes, not simply for relief.
Natural Headache Cures and Headache Remedies
Headache cures are the most sought after remedies as it is one of the most common ailment people suffer from. Headaches afflict almost everyone at some time or the other. Most headaches are functional, being caused by temporary upsets, and are not related to any organic changes in the brain. They are often natures warning that something is wrong somewhere in the body. The actual pain, however, arises from irritation to nerve endings in the shoulder, neck, and scalp muscles, and also in the smooth muscles encircling the blood vessels which severe these areas. Migraine headaches in an acute condition suffered by some patients and we have listed some useful information for them also.
Symptoms of Headache
Tension or stress headaches usually cause pain that diffuses and is not concentrated in one identifiable spot. There is also likely to be tenderness in the surrounding areas and muscles. Here are some of the common symptoms associated with tension headaches.
• Tension headaches tend to cause mild to moderate intensity pain.
• Typically headaches like these do not develop suddenly, but there is a gradual build up of pain. There is however no warning or prodrome prior to the actual onset of the headache.
• The pain could radiate from one side of the head or it may be present on both sides. It could cause an aching and squeezing sensation in the forehead or temples, or towards the back of the head. Headaches occurring towards the back of the head will generally radiate down towards the neck and the shoulders. There is a general feeling of tightness around the head.
• The pain from a headache is usually constant, although there may fluctuations in the severity.
• Tension headaches are usually not intensified with physical activity, nor is there any association with nausea or vomiting.
• In some cases there may a slightly increased sensitivity to visual and audio stimuli.
• You are also likely to experience a sensation of pressure behind the eyes.
• Headaches of this type often come on during the day and progressively worsen, lasting for a few hours.
Cluster headaches are characterized by excruciating pain that may be localized around one eye, producing a stabbing sensation. Tearing and nasal congestion are also likely to occur on the same side as the affected eye. Cluster headaches may just last for a quarter of an hour or for as long as four hours. There is also a high possibility of them recurring through the day. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption is likely to influence or trigger cluster headaches.
Migraines on the other hand cause an intense throbbing pain that may be felt on just one or both sides of the head. The pain from a migraine generally is accompanied by other symptoms like nausea and vomiting. Blurring of vision is another common symptom of headaches in a migraine attack. Light, sound and movement can cause the symptoms to be severely aggravated. Migraines may be brought on by specific triggers like red wine, chocolate, cheese, heat or other factors, often not easy to identify. For many women menstrual cycles may influence the pattern of migraines and they can also be brought on because of the influence of oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy.
Causes of Headache
Headaches Symptoms, Causes, Remedy and Diet
Allergies, Stress, Eye Strain
The common causes of headaches are allergy, emotional stress, eye strain, high blood pressure, a hangover, infection, low blood sugar, nutritional deficiency, tension, and the presence of poisons and toxins in the body. Allergies are often the unsuspected cause of headaches. The foods to which some people are allergic and which can trigger headaches are milk and milk products, chocolate, chicken, liver, alcohol and strong cheese. Sneezing and diarrhoea are further indications of an allergy.
Headache Cures and Remedies
Headaches home remedies and natural cures, Questions and answers
Natural Headache Cure using Lemon
There are several natural remedies for various types or headaches. The juice of three or four slices of lemon should be squeezed in a cup of tea and taken by the patient for treating this condition. It gives immediate relief. The crust of lemon, which is generally thrown away, has been found useful in headaches caused by heat. Lemon crusts should be pounded into a fine paste in a mortar and applied as plaster on the forehead. Applying the yellow, freshly pared-off rind of a lemon to each temple will also give relief.
Cure Headaches Naturally using Apple
Apples are valuable in curing all types of headaches. After removing the upper rind and the inner hard portion of a ripe apple, it should be taken with a little salt every morning on an empty stomach in such cases. This should be continued for about a week.
Natural Headache Remedy using Henna
The flowers of henna have been found valuable in curing headaches caused by hot sun. The flowers should be rubbed in vinegar and applied over the forehead. This remedy will soon provide relief.
Headache Remedy using Cinnamon
Cinnamon is useful in headaches caused by exposure to cold air. A fine paste of this spice should be prepared by mixing it with water and it should be applied over the temples and forehead to obtain relief.
Headache Treatment using Marjoram
The herb marjoram is beneficial in the treatment of a nervous headache. An infusion of the leaves is taken as a tea in the treatment of this disorder.
Headache Treatment using Rosemary
The herb rosemary has been found valuable in headaches resulting from cold. A handful of this herb should be boiled in a litre of water and put in a mug. The head should be covered with a towel and the steam inhaled for as long as the patient can bear. This should be repeated till the headache is relieved.
Diet for Headaches
Headaches : Home Remedies suggested by users
Proper Nutrition, Excercise, Positive Thinking
The best way to prevent headaches is to build up physical resistance through proper nutrition, physical exercise and positive thinking. As a first step, the patient should undertake a short fast, and take citrus fruit juices diluted with water every two hours from 8.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. daily. Thereafter, he should plan his diet in such a way as to put the least possible strain on the digestion. Breakfast may consist of fruits, both fresh and dried. Lunch may consist of protein foods. Starchy foods such as wholewheat bread, cereals, rice, or potatoes should be taken at dinner along with raw salads. Spices, condiments, sour buttermilk, and oily foodstuffs should be avoided. Drinking a glass of water (warm water in winter and cool water in summer), mixed with a teaspoon of honey first thing in the morning, is also a good remedy. Copious drinking of water throughout the day is also advised.
Other Headache Remedies
Other helpful measures in the treatment of headaches are a cleansing enema with water temperature at 37 degree C, a cold throat pack, frequent applications of towels wrung out from very hot water to the back of the neck , a cold compress at 4.4 degree C to 15.6 degree C applied to the head and face, or an alternate spinal compress. Hot fomentations over the abdominal region just before retiring relieve headaches caused by stomach and liver upsets.
Hot Foot Bath
Hot foot baths are also beneficial in the treatment of chronic headaches. The patient should keep his legs in a tub or bucket filled with hot water at a temperature of 40 degree C to 45 degree C for fifteen minutes every night before retiring. This treatment should be continued for two or three weeks.