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Headaches – causes and prevention

Updated on October 14, 2011

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Headaches – causes and prevention

Over the years, people have had serious or fair share of the headache problem. Some have asked the causes and prevention methods while others chose to manage themselves especially in Africa. Headache is not new to mankind. In fact, almost every able-bodied man or woman must have come in contact with headache in one way or the other.

Headache is associated with irritation, sharp pain which arises within and outside the skull. Headache is mainly caused by not due to irritation of the brain, but due to the pulling or stretching of the blood vessels or coverings of the brain.

Also, when headache arises outside the skull, it is attributed to the stimulation of the fine nerve fibres in the walls of the arteries or within the powerful muscles of the head or neck. “A headache is caused by the swelling or dilation of blood vessels,” explains Dr. Seymour Diamond, director of a headache clinic in Chicago. “Cold will cause these vessels to constrict.” He recommends putting crushed ice in a plastic bag and pressing it against your forehead for 30 to 45 minutes while either sitting or lying down.

The following two types of headache will help us identify the causes and if possible provide us with the preventive measures.

Tension headache: this type of headache is the everyday headache we experience after a major work. It is felt in the muscles at the back of the head or on both sides of the head; or even above the eyes. The symptoms may range from pressure or sensation of weight on the head. It is mostly caused as a result of excessive or sustained contraction of the muscles of the scalp and the powerful muscles of the neck that support the head.

Migraine headache: this type of headache affects only one side of the head. It results in a painful throbbing due to affected arteries outside the skull. It is followed by a feeling of unsettled stomach, other digestive disturbances or even sickness. Also, this type of headache mostly affects one side of the head. Sometimes, this type of headache is inherited. Many a time, classical migraine may be followed by a preheadache warning.

Fighting headache

“There are many ways to kill a rat” as the saying goes. There are many ways to prevent or stop headache. In this modern era, development in technology, medicine and science gives us the edge over our sorrows. But, this will have appropriate result if care is well taken. It is know that amidopyrine and phenacetin can cause harm; therefore it is not advisable to use them.

Paracetamol and Aspirin are known to be great help in the fight against headache. It is safer to use, cheap and affordable. Care must be taken when taking these drugs and the recommended dosages must be adhered to strictly to avoid complications. Also, proper rest, relaxation, warm bath and a thorough massage of the muscles of the neck have been known to remedy this situation.

More so, it is a common fact to state that headache may be invited simply by anxiety, stress, conflict or even fatigue. Again, excitement, emotions or violent emotions can trigger the occurrence of headache. According to Dr Oliver W. Sacks, in his book Migraine: The Evolution of a Common Disorder (1970), writes: “Violent emotions exceed all other acute circumstances to provoke migraine reactions, and in many patients—especially sufferers from classical migraine—are responsible for the vast majority of all attacks experienced. . . we find, in practice, that sudden rage is the commonest precipitant, although fright (panic) may be equally potent in younger patients. Sudden elation (as at a moment of triumph or unexpected good fortune) may have the same effect.”

Prevention tips.

For one to overcome headache, necessary steps must be taken. A proper attention must be given to diet, eating habit, relaxation, recreational activities, rest and our mental attitude. It is not a rumour to say that a well balanced diet and eating in moderation is a good way of curtailing headache.

The following have been known to cause headache, they include stress, fatigue, depression, and harsh conditions at work, poor ventilation are factors that contributes to headache. Health expert would advise patients to indulge in healthful recreational activities like walking, a trip to the beach and having a positive mental attitude towards life. More so, our ability to overcome emotional stress, tensions, depression and strains may minimize the occurrence of headache. By and large, we must strive to keep our heads up and make necessary adjustments to see if we can minimize this scourge. But, we must keep in mind that all these defects in one way or the other must plague mankind since we are still in an imperfect world. Therefore, we must try to cope with it and also keep a positive mental attitude in life.

It helps!



Have you ever had severe headaches? what drug have been effective in treating severe headaches? Please use the comment box to help others.

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    • Debby Bruck profile image

      Debby Bruck 8 years ago

      Thank you for visiting my poetry hub. Your comments are right on ~ good lifestyle results in well-being and vitality. When we push ourselves too hard [who doesn't?} we get headaches. Don't forget to seek out a good homeopath to find the inner source of this disorder. There are plenty of great ones in UK.

    • ubanichijioke profile image
      Author

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 8 years ago from Lagos

      thanks for stopping-by. I am delighted to have you as a friend and I would like you to furnish me with enough information about homeopathy. with my little knowledge about homeopathy, i think it is a better and kinder type of treatment. from what i know, it involves repeatedly diluting a healing agent so that the original material can rarely be tangible. Please furnish me with more info on Homeopathy. I will be delighted. Have a blessed day.

      Alexander

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 7 years ago

      Ubanichijioke, Great informative hub! You have presented some very good ideas and suggestions here for homeopathy. Thank you for sharing, Blessings!

    • ubanichijioke profile image
      Author

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 6 years ago from Lagos

      Thanks DeBorrah, thanks for stopping by and your encouraging words will spur all to do more. Remain blesseD

    • TINA V profile image

      TINA V 6 years ago

      This is an informative hub. You've sharead good tips in preventing and fighting headaches. Rated up!

    • ubanichijioke profile image
      Author

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 6 years ago from Lagos

      Thanks Tina, your careful observation is duely appreciated. Hopefully, you & I including other people will continue to benefit. God bless you Tina

    • Roy Perrin profile image

      Roy Perrin 5 years ago from Jacksonville, NC

      I am always on the lookout for more tips and new information about headaches and migraines in particular. Thanks for continuing to shed light on a commonly misunderstood and misdiagnosed problem with very few real answers.

    • profile image

      Binaya.Ghimire 5 years ago

      When you are not composing poetry your hubs are very useful. While your poems are beautiful, your non-fictions are interesting and helpful.

    • ubanichijioke profile image
      Author

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 5 years ago from Lagos

      @roy, i hope those tips will help in one way or the other. Headache can be a frustrating enemy so having the right information on how to give it that upper-cut punch can never be underestimated. Always grateful to see a friend like you. Be blessed

    • ubanichijioke profile image
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      Alexander Thandi Ubani 5 years ago from Lagos

      @Binaya, you have the sweetest tongue of the century. Better be ready cos anytime am bored i will run straight to you. Your words re flavored with charm. Thanks my one true friend.

    • profile image

      Binaya.Ghimire 5 years ago

      Look who is taking! I think other way around.

    • ubanichijioke profile image
      Author

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 5 years ago from Lagos

      Together we shall make it. You ve been of immense help and will continue to be. I will always lookout for you. Be blessed

    • Aris Budianto profile image

      Aris Budianto 5 years ago from Lying along the equator Country

      Thanks for the info, relaxation is a way for me to relieve headache.

    • ubanichijioke profile image
      Author

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 5 years ago from Lagos

      That's true Aris, relaxation is a good therapy. Am glad you re benefitted. Be blessed

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      ubanichijioke, this is a fine hub filled with useful information that you've taken the time to research. That's great! I like when people use quotes in their hubs (although I don't always, myself, LOL)

      I rated it useful and interesting. Here is another reason why people suffer from migraines: allergies to foods, such as chocolate. My sister in law cannot eat chocolate, poor woman, or she will become violently ill.

      Thanks for sharing this.

    • ubanichijioke profile image
      Author

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 5 years ago from Lagos

      Oh Denise, i am so much motivated by your sweet, grateful comment[s]. It shows one thing 'that you are a good, awesome, gregarious personality' i adore you. I also accept your contribution that allergies to food is a major factor as in the case of your sister in law. She will do fine. Always be blessed

    • profile image

      lostwithinmyself 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this, i have recently been suffering badly with headache :( x

    • ubanichijioke profile image
      Author

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 5 years ago from Lagos

      I wish you quick and easy recovery. You will be ok. As strong as you are, you ve conquered that headache. Bless you my dear

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 5 years ago

      I have had headaches since Vietnam I suppose. They started maybe a few years after Vietnam. No blame pointing. I've been in accidents (including in Vietnam) like being hit by 2 cars and one truck- at different times (not the same day). My neck does not have the natural curve. There is bone and disc damage. I absorb all the antioxidants I can fighting inflammation. I'll try any product that may help joints or inflammation or headaches.I have a traction device for my neck. I have an electrical device that shocks the nerves into submission. I use ice/heat.

      I have ridden hard bike rides on Wednesday and Saturday, sometimes Sunday. I take hydrocodone on those days. I seldom take anything for pain otherwise. If pain gets unbearable I may take the pill.

      But- hydrocodone affects the respiratory and the cardiovascular. The heart and lungs have to slow.

      With headaches - and even with no hydrocodone - I get bouts of dizziness.

      Thanks for this hub on the headache. And remember - never marry one. Let's be careful out there.

    • ubanichijioke profile image
      Author

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 5 years ago from Lagos

      Your express concern and experiences stand you out as a true champion. You ve lived life irrespective of its odd challenges and have persevered even till now. Sir, i duff my hat for you. You re a clear example of determination, strong will and a survivor. I salute your courage and hope in due time, you will get relief and better drugs for your pains. Wishing you the best of luck. Be blessed

    • HattieMattieMae profile image

      HattieMattieMae 5 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

      Well usually I have learned to meditate and control my anxiety and not worry about anything, learning to get through hardships and stress without hurting yourself, by taking care of your mind, eating properly, and drinking a lot of water. Excersize as well. The headaches are less. I thought it was interesting when I read a book that talked about water can get rid of headaches if you drink it enough. Peppermint sometimes helps too smelling it.

    • ubanichijioke profile image
      Author

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 5 years ago from Lagos

      Hattie, your kind comment is a real tonic and lifesaver. The following outlined ways will surely help some of our friends who face this situation. Thank you for rendering help. Be blessed

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      Excellent hub on headaches and how to prevent and cure them. Being a sufferer from extremely painful tension headaches and migraine on occasion I really enjoyed this very informative hub.

    • ubanichijioke profile image
      Author

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 5 years ago from Lagos

      I am grateful you enjoyed this piece. I hope you re benefitted too. I wish you all the best. You will surely be ok. Take care and bless you

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 5 years ago from Shelton

      Another very useful Hub :) up and useful!

    • ubanichijioke profile image
      Author

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 5 years ago from Lagos

      Thanks dear Frank, you re the comforter of the weak. Your great words bring me solace. Bless you

    • Anaya M. Baker profile image

      Anaya M. Baker 5 years ago from North Carolina

      I tend to get sinus headaches rather than the typical stress or tension headache, so for me cold remedies (decongestant, humidifier, hot shower, spicy foods) work best. I have noticed though that when I've been faced with a really tough, potentially life-altering decision, I tend to get extremely painful headaches, making it even harder to figure out what to do :) No fun. But I think you hit the nail on the head that taking care of ourselves is the best way to prevent them in the first place!

    • ubanichijioke profile image
      Author

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 5 years ago from Lagos

      Dear Anaya, i am glad you could come by and provide help to people out there. Continue doing good cos you will be rewarded gracefully. You re amazing. Thanks and sorry for those troubling sinus headaches. Take good care.

    • VENZKHVAM profile image

      VENZKHVAM 5 years ago from Milk way galaxy, trying to find a more adventurous place in another galaxy with my great followers

      Thinking about headaches itself is a Headache.And when it comes everything in front you seems to be a nuisance and burden.

      My empathies goes to those suffering fro headaches.

      Our poetic friend has written a nice hub on this topics and some good curing methods.

      I am sure those will be useful to reduce the headaches.

      I enjoyed reading.Thanks for sharing with us.

      I had voted this up and interesting

      with warm regards

      Dinesh Nair.

    • ubanichijioke profile image
      Author

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 5 years ago from Lagos

      Oh my sweet VENZKHVAM, you re truly amazing not just that you also have a very sweet tongue. I find in your a wonderful asset. Be blessed

    • VENZKHVAM profile image

      VENZKHVAM 5 years ago from Milk way galaxy, trying to find a more adventurous place in another galaxy with my great followers

      thanks and same to you. be blessed

    • ubanichijioke profile image
      Author

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 5 years ago from Lagos

      Peace, loving kindness and joy are all yours. Lots of love

    • Brinafr3sh profile image

      Brinafr3sh 5 years ago from West Coast, United States

      Agreed, eating in moderation can help with less headaches. But overeating causes headaches, thanks.

    • ubanichijioke profile image
      Author

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 5 years ago from Lagos

      Thanks for the kind comment. Am happy to know this piece proved beneficial & helpful. Remain ever blessed

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Very interesting. I have my fair share of migraines, which are genetic from my mother. I have noticed a rise in them lately as they almost come on daily. Over that time, I haven't ate well or had much sleep. I believe that may be the causes. Very informative. I thank you.

    • ubanichijioke profile image
      Author

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 5 years ago from Lagos

      Dear lyricwriter, i hope and wish you all the best as you try to overcome the migraines. We are all partakers of life's eventualities. Coming out victorious is our goal. A well appreciated comment. Be blessed

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

      I thank you my friend. Let us keep our head high and shoot for the stars.

    • ubanichijioke profile image
      Author

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 5 years ago from Lagos

      Well said great writer. The top is our starting point. Be blessed

    • parentsreview profile image

      parentsreview 5 years ago from Lansdowne, PA

      This is a great article! I've had terrible migraines for most of my life. I used to just take Excedrin, but in the last couple of years, I've been taking a prescription called, Immitrex. It's a life saver!

    • ubanichijioke profile image
      Author

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 5 years ago from Lagos

      Thanks for sharing. Atleast others will be benefitted by the medicine mention. Be blessed

    • laadhy profile image

      laadhy 5 years ago from Maldives- The Paradise on Earth

      nice hub

    • ubanichijioke profile image
      Author

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 5 years ago from Lagos

      ????-???»???????????????????Thanks?????????????????????-???»??

      Have a great day Laadhy

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