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Headaches and Migraines

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What kind of Headaches and Migraines are you experiencing?

Headaches & MigrainesWhat could be causing your Headaches and Migranes? 8 Ways To Get Rid of the Pain

Nearly everyone has Headaches & Migraines now and then.  Most fade away within hours. For far too many people, though, headaches linger, or come back again and again.

Headache pain is often a response to the realities of life.  That means you can take a proactive role in identifying and controlling the things that trigger your headache pain.

What kind of headaches are you experiencing?

Headaches come in three varieties: tension, sinus, and migraine. More than 95% of headaches are not caused by an underlying disease or structural aberration. Instead, they are caused by everyday circumstances including stress, tiredness, sleeplessness, hunger, weather changes or caffeine withdrawal. Most people don’t need a doctor’s visit or a brain scan. Instead, they can use easily obtainable pain relievers or rest and relaxation.

If you find you need to take painkillers for headaches then you may need to see a doctor.

Symptoms that occur which may need medical evaluation include:

•                Not having had headaches before

•                Headaches that worsen over time

•                A headache that comes on fast (seconds)

•                Headaches associated with fever

•                Severe headache in an older person

Cluster Headache

Cluster headaches are rare. Only about one adult in a thousand has experienced them. They have been assessed as among the most painful of all headaches. Many doctors have theories about what causes cluster headaches, but the fact is that they don’t really know. There is an inherited, genetic component to cluster headaches and so may run in the family.

Most people who suffer from frequent headaches may only have them on rare occasions. If you experience the headaches “every day for six months,” and this is new for you, seek advice from your doctor. Your headaches could be one of the two most common causes of headaches — migraine headaches or tension headaches — they also could point to something more serious.

Tension Headache

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. They usually present as a dull tightness or pressure in a band-like pattern across the forehead or in the back of the head. The entire head may hurt.

Sinus Headache

During allergy season, many patients complaining of sinus headache pain present to their doctor.  It is sometimes accompanied by nasal congestion and clear or opaque nasal discharge, and is centred around the bridge of the nose and cheeks.

Migraine

Migraine is a very common, but specific type of headache. Migraines usually come in repeated attacks that occur over many years. Migraine is experienced as throbbing or pulsating, and often is associated with nausea and interruptions to normal vision. Headaches can be severe, but are not necessarily migraines.  Some occurrences of migraines can be quite mild.

Despite years of research, scientists do not know exactly why migraines occur. Migraine pain occurs because of swelling in blood vessels and irritation of nerves that surround the brain. According to most experts, it is questionable that this is the direct cause of migraines.

Truth is, the brain doesn’t actually pain. But it processes pain signals from other parts of the body, which means that a headache is generally coming from another area of the body.

4 Ways to Get Rid of a Headache

  1. Hydrate – Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day as headaches can be caused by dehydration.
  2. Dim The Lights – One of the best ways to relieve a headache is to go into a dark room, lay down and close your eyes. Some people experience a heightened sensitivity to light and this can cause headaches.
  3. Exercise – This might be the last thing you feel like doing when you’ve got a headache but exercise can actually help to relieve it. Exercise helps to relieve endorphins which may help to minimise your headache, plus it’s also a great stress reliever.
  4. Use Relaxation Techniques – More than 90% of headaches are tension headaches that can be caused by a build up of tension in your back, shoulders and neck, so, consider giving yourself a massage. Jump in a warm shower and then use your fingers and thumbs to gently massage your neck. This can really help to relieve tension and reduce the headache you’re experiencing.

4 Different Types of Professional Treatment To Treat Headaches

Most patients who are having frequent headaches can benefit from medical attention. If the headache is interfering with your ability to function, assuming you have not been bothered by frequent headaches earlier in your life, it is imperative you investigate the causes, and have the pain evaluated.

  • 1. Acupuncture/dry needling has long been used to treat headaches. Stimulating acupoints may ease pain by encouraging production of endorphins (natural painkillers). But until recently, there hadn’t been strong evidence to support its use for headache. Two scientific reviews have altered this view. One review found that acupuncture/dry needling may help people with episodic or chronic tension headaches. The other review found that acupuncture/dry needling may prevent migraine headaches as well as or better than medications.There are a number of other options available for alternative treatment to medications. Most are concentrated on releasing stress areas in the body, thus relieving pressure in the head. This is just a brief run-down – a qualified practitioner should be consulted before trying any of these therapies:
  • Chiropractic Therapy Based on the theory that most diseases of the body are a result of a misalignment of the vertebral column with pressure on the adjacent nerves that may affect blood vessels and tight muscles. Manipulation is claimed to adjust the misalignment.
  • Remedial Massage – Muscle tension can be released in the body, thereby reducing headache.
  • Physiotherapy Treatment conducted to relieve muscle tension may lead to releasing pressure that may be causing headache.