- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Headache Remedies, Causes, Cures & Natural relief
Headache must surely be one of the most common complaints of the modern world people. It is man's most frequent and troublesome symptom affecting probably every person at some time in his life. Many people have their lives ruined by headaches. Not only are they dominated by the condition when the headache is present, but also during periods of quiescence. It frequently interferes with routine work. Headaches can prevent or ruin holidays, they interfere with all attempts at relaxation and severe headaches can make one's life a misery.
Why do headaches occur?
How headaches occur?
How to cure headaches?
What are natural remedies for headache ?
These are some questions which the present article tries to answer.
What is Headache
Headache is a pain in the head. It is not a disease by itself but rather a symptom of a disease or functional disorder. Headaches vary widely in their intensity and in the seriousness of the underlying conditions that cause them, and there is no necessary correlation between the severity of the pain and its cause. Pain is an individual matter - a biological signal initiated by tissue injury, carried along fairly specific nervous system pathways, but ultimately experienced according to the psychological endowment and past experience of the sufferer.
How Headaches occurs ? Mechanism of Headache
Most headaches occur because specific pain - sensitive structures in or around the head are stimulated or damaged. Some of these are inside the skull or intra-cranial, the remainder are in the tissue surrounding or covering the skull, or extra-cranial. Extra-cranial structures are by far the more common sources of recurrent headache. The blood vessels in brain are interrelated with many nerves and it is in those nerves that the pain of headache originates. The brain itself and most of the brain coverings are incapable of feeling pain, but the blood vessel nerves are especially sensitive to changes of pressures within the skull. Many conditions can affect this pressure and cause a headache.
Different causes of Headaches
There are different causes of headaches or headaches cause. Based on the natural cause and symptoms, headaches may be grouped into following categories:
(a) Migraine Headache
(b)Tension Headache or Emotional Headache
(c) Non-migrainous Vascular Headache
(d) Referred Headache
(a) Migraine Headache: Causes & Symptoms
Migraine is a type of recurrent headache that occurs at periodic intervals, affects only one side of the head, and is often accompanied by weakness, nausea, and vomiting. The underlying cause is not always known. There are several varieties of migraines headache and they are classified as vascular headaches since they all have in common the fact that there are changes in the vascularity of the cranial area during attacks - combined with several other bodily disturbances including periodic changes in water balance and in Autonomic Nervous System functions. Patients with migraine have initial symptoms that precede headache by as much as an hour and are believed to be due to constriction of selective intracranial arteries, resulting in illusions of flashing lights, loss of vision or transient defect in speech or body movement. These symptoms subside in 10 to 30 minutes and are followed by severe, throbbing headache located over one or the other temple or occipital region. A migraine headache may last from a few hours to several days.
(b) Tension headache or Emotional Headache: Causes & Symptoms
Tension headaches are extremely common probably constituting the most usual form of headache, whereas migraine headaches usually start on one side and may or may not spread over the remainder of the head, tension headaches usually begin at the back of the head and spread over the entire cranium. They are usually felt as pressure - as though the head was in a vice. Tension headache is actually a manifestation of tenseness. The victim suffers periodically from severe headaches more or less coincident with a let-down form in extended period of tension. The tension headache is less severe but long lasting. It is brought when worry or fatigue causes contraction of the muscles of the head or neck. Tension headaches are regarded as headaches of emotional origin. They occur in so called normal persons as well as those afflicted by emotional problem, and differ in the same person on different occasions. In many instances the emotional difficulty is unknown.
(c) Non-migrainous Vascular Headache: Causes & Symptoms
These headaches are usually fairly severe, constant and fairly generalized. There may be a throbbing or pounding. These may be toxic in origin or caused by high blood pressure. Although headache is often associated with high blood pressure, its severity is not necessarily related to the height of the blood pressure reading.
(d) Referred Headache: Causes & Symptoms
Headache may be referred from the eye, nose, ears, teeth, cervical vertebrae and muscles surrounding the head. Example is Vasomotor Rhinitis, which means headache referred from the nose and sinuses. Here catarrh and mucous press upon sensory nerve endings and mucous - membranes become inflamed, the headaches occur mostly in the day time. The head feels heavy and there is often a lack of resonance in the voice. There may be some facial swelling - particularly around eyes - and a discharge from the nose. Some headaches are caused by such diseases as influenza, pneumonia, and measles. In addition, acute infection of the nervous system - inflammation of the brain, meningitis, or polio is almost followed by severe headaches.
Headaches of Organic Origin:
Headaches may arise from tumors, abscesses, inflammation or bleeding of structures around the brain or Paget's disease which is a disorder of the bone.
Other causes of headaches:
There are few other causes of headache. One large class of such headaches is the headaches of psychogenic origin. Such headaches may be the only symptoms of the condition or they may be associated with hysteria, obsessions, depressions or other mental disorders. Still other forms of headaches may start from eye disorders, head injuries, high blood pressure, brain tumors, or constipation.
Headache Remedies, Cures and Natural Headaches Relief
Modern science has made great strides in relieving and curing headaches of all types. The treatment of headaches should be directed towards the cause, if this is discoverable. This will assist in arriving at a conclusion as to the underlying cause. However, practically all headaches are associated with congestion or anemia of the head, as stated. Considering this fact, the following palliative measures are helpful headache remedies regardless of the exact cause;-
1. The occasional headache yields readily to a rest in a quiet, darkened room, an aspirin tablet or two, and a nap or night sleep. Aspirin is a safe drug to use and probably one of the most effective.
2. Many migraine victims could become reasonably comfortable if they would learn to correct faulty ways of living. Of paramount importance is regularity in living - regular habits, regular meals, and regular hours of sleep. Excess or over-indulgence should be out down or avoided.
3. Tension headaches are almost always relieved by lying down. The best protection against these headaches is the anti-stress diet containing all necessary vitamins, minerals and anti-stress factors.
4. High blood pressure headaches may be benefited by the prolonged neutral or barely warm bath with a cold or a cool compress or turban to the head, or by hot foot and leg baths, sometimes by the heating compress over the heart. A number of excellent drugs are available that can easily reduce high blood pressure and the accompanying headache.
5. Where there is congestion, as indicated by throbbing flushed face and sometimes a sensation of pressure, cold compresses or an ice-bag may be applied to the head, while a hot water bottle or an electric pad is used for the feet. A hot feet bath may be taken or a hot sitz bath may be used. A cold towel should be tied about the head during either of these baths.
6. If there is anemia, as indicated by paleness of the face and dizziness, then head should be applied to the hot compresses. These may be applied to the neck also, or to the seat of pain. It would be well for the patient to recline with the head somewhat lower than the feet.
7. Toxemic and rheumatic headaches may be relieved by a sweating bath followed by some warm bath, then a brief cold bath to terminate. A series of cool enemas and, if possible, colonic irrigations and copious water drinking should follow. Heat for the head, by fomentations, followed by massage of any painful points also is excellent for rheumatic headaches.
8. Headaches due to eye strain can be corrected by using proper glasses.
9. Psychotherapy is an important factor in the treatment of emotional headaches. Patients who are given insight into their own reactions to daily living can be shown how to reduce or avoid tensions. Reassurance, suggestion and re-education are valuable tools to surface a patient's underlying emotional conflicts. A huge dose of understanding and compassion on the part of the doctor and family members helps many sufferers from tension headaches.
10. In all cases, the patient should abstain from food. When necessary an enema should be taken to cleanse the bowels thoroughly. Rest, quiet and often darkness are advisable in some cases. A valuable zone therapy method is firm pressure upward against the roof of the mouth with the ball of the thumb, with the head held somewhat backward. If sleep can be obtained, it will prove a sovereign remedy. Hot spinal compresses and gentle stroking of the head often will assist in inducing sleep. Every effort should be made to find the cause of the condition to prevent recurrence.
Conclusion about Headache
The medical, significance of headache varies widely as the cause themselves range from relatively minor emotional difficulties to illness as serious as brain tumor. Any headache that is recurrent in onset - different from previous patterns or altered in quality requires close and careful medical evaluation. If headaches suddenly start to occur or if they are accompanied by convulsions or visual disturbances, muscular weakness or other strange symptoms, then a doctor should be consulted immediately. Again, if headaches become progressively worse a doctor should be consulted without hesitation. Whenever there is doubt about recurring headache professional advice should be sought. Fortunately, however, those with serious causes are very uncommon. However, no chronic headache should be dismissed without investigating the possibility of its having a serious cause.