Table of Contents
What is Headache?
Headache is a prevalent condition that most people experience several times during their lives. It is a pain in the head that can range from mild to severe. The primary symptom of a headache is pain in your face or head. This pain can be constant, throbbing, sharp, or dull. If your head is throbbing, you are not alone. Headache is a widespread condition that affects millions of people worldwide.
According to medical reports, about 75% of adult people worldwide have had a headache in the past year. Painkillers are typically the first medications recommended to treat headaches and body pain. Pain contains a detrimental and deteriorating effect on almost every aspect of an individual’s life. It produces anxiety with emotional distress; interferes with functional capacity; undermines the feeling of well-being; and obstructs the ability to fulfill family, society, and vocational roles. With mild headaches or muscle aches, a regular painkiller can work and relieve the issue quickly.
What are the types of headaches?
About 150 types of headaches fall into two categories; primary headaches and secondary headaches.
These head pain are not due to any other medical condition. Any other health problem does not influence its root cause. Primary headaches may include;
- Cluster headaches;
- Tension headache;
- New daily persistent headaches, etc.
What is a Migraine headache?
A migraine is something more than a regular headache. It is characterized by intense pain that often comes with vomiting, nausea, and sensitivity to light. It is a chronic condition that can last more than a year.
A migraine is a neurological condition that causes symptoms, most notably a pulsing, throbbing headache on one side of your head. This pain will likely worsen with physical activity, sounds, lights, or smell. Research shows that Migraine is the sixth most disabling condition in the world.
Days or hours before a headache, approx. 60% of people who have migraines notice symptoms like;
- Mood changes, fatigue, severe thirst, bloating;
- Being sensitive to sound, light, or smell;
- Diarrhea or constipation, etc.
These symptoms arise from your nervous system and often involve your vision. These symptoms usually start gradually, over a 5 to 20-minute period, and last less than one hour. Patient may;
- See wavy lines, black dots, flashes of the fight, or something that is not real (hallucinations)
- Not be able to see at all or have tunnel vision.
- Have numbness or tingling on one side of your body
- Have a heavy feeling in your legs and arms
- Notice changes in taste, smell or touch, etc.
A migraine headache often starts as a dull ache and grows into throbbing pain. In this particular stage, migraines can move from one side to another. This Migraine can occur along with nausea and vomiting.
This stage can last up to one day after a headache. Symptoms may include;
- Feeling unusually happy or refreshed
- Feeling tired, cranky, or wiped out
- Weakness or muscle pain
- Food cravings or lack of appetite
Although there is no cure for migraine headaches, some medications and therapies can help lessen the severity. Standard migraine treatment may include;
Over-the-counter (OTC) and opioid medications can help relieve pain caused by migraine headaches. Medications may include acetaminophen, caffeine, codeine, etc.
These medications balance the chemicals in the brain leading to migraine headaches. They may include almotriptan, eletriptan, etc.
Techniques like resting with eyes closed in a dark and quiet room, drinking plenty of liquids, putting an ice pack on your forehead, etc.
This allows you to take note of stressful situations that trigger your symptoms. Biofeedback can stop the attack if the headaches start before it becomes full-blown. Other treatment options may include CBT, natural supplements, bodywork, etc.
What is a Cluster headache?
Cluster headache is a type of head pain that occurs in cyclic periods and is one of the most painful types of headache. This kind of headache commonly awakens you at midnight with intense pain around one side of the head or eye.
Symptoms of cluster headache
Common signs and symptoms of cluster headache may include;
- Headache that usually occurs every day, sometimes more than two times a day;
- The attack often occurs at the same time every day;
- A single attack can last from 15 minutes to 3 hours a day;
- Most attacks occur at night, usually one to two hours after bed, etc.
It is the most common type of headache that can cause mild to intense pain behind your eyes, neck, and head. Some people report that a tension headache feels like a band around their forehead. Most patients who experience this headache have episodic headaches. They occur one or two times per month on average.
New daily persistent headache
This type of headache occurs daily for a few hours. One can go for medical help if they do not have any known reason behind their headache.
A secondary headache is a type of headache that occurs due to other reasons or health conditions. Most root causes of secondary pain may include;
- Cancer or other long-term conditions;
- Drug or alcohol withdrawal symptoms;
- Insomnia or lack of sleep, etc.
How to get rid of headaches
The treatment for headaches often depends upon the type of headache. If someone suffers from a primary headache, they must use techniques mentioned earlier in migraine treatment. They may also use some OTC and opioid medications to get rid of headaches. People who have secondary headaches must work on the root cause.
However, they can also take acetaminophen or hydrocodone to get instant pain relief. At the same time, patients who have other kinds of body pain should go for a medical checkup and treat the cause of their pain. Also, they can take the help of some lifestyle changes and medications like opioids.
Some Natural Ways to Relieve Migraine, Cluster Headache, and Other Pain
Natural within itself contains various measures to treat pain without the risk of side effects. Rather than depending upon medicines, one can find the same pain relief from natural substances. Many herbs treat pain as alternative medicine, including yoga, acupuncture, Reiki, and other practices.
helps ease inflammation that is the cause of most aches or pains. The bark of the famous willow tree contains salicin, a chemical similar to the main component in aspirin (Bayer). Willow bark is also helpful in relieving discomfort from lower back pain, headaches, osteoarthritis (OA), and other such conditions.
is a spice known for its yellow color and unique flavor? It consists of curcumin, an antioxidant that helps protect your body from free radical molecules that may damage cells and tissues. Turmeric can aid in treating several other conditions such as ulcers, indigestion, psoriasis, upset stomach, and cancer.
Cloves are not just spices that enhance the taste of food but also herbal supplements that can treat a wide range of medical conditions. can help ease nausea and treat colds and pain associated with arthritic inflammation, headaches, and toothaches.
It relieves pain by balancing the body’s natural energy pathways. The flow of energy in this method is popularly known as “qi.” Acupuncturists place tiny needles in the skin concerning the source of pain and relieve the condition by releasing serotonin into the body.
Heat and Ice:
Among the common pain remedies, applying heat and ice can prove very helpful in various kinds of pain. It also helps reduce the stiffness that occurs with strains and sprains.
Tension headaches are common headaches that can be experienced under the eyes and neck. One can take OTC medications to get rid of this type of headache.
They occur in cyclic periods and affect the patient very severely. Professionals can recommend opioid medications for this kind of pain.
How to get rid of a headache
You can use OTC medications and opioids to get rid of primary headaches. At the same time, secondary headaches can be treated by managing the root cause.
Types of headaches:
There are more than 150 types of pain that fall into two categories. The first one is primary headaches which include migraine and cluster headaches. The second one is secondary headaches that contain head injury or infection pain.
Migraine headaches do not have any clinically proven treatment. However, some opioids and non-opioid medications can help relieve the symptoms of headaches.