Headache: Causes and Prevention

Headache: Causes and Prevention

Headache is the third most prevailing disease in the world. Women’s are more inclined to this disease. It is feeling of pain in head or upper neck. Headache may be of different types ie vascular, neurological, exertional, musculoskeletal or a brain disorder. 

Nature & Causes
The primary reason of the headache may be stress due to over-activity in blood vessels, muscles and nerves of neck and head. There may be different underlying causes like migraine, cluster headache and tension. First 3 types of headaches are primary headache without specific cause. Needs detailed discussion to understand the underlying cause.

    1. Migraine- It is a throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation usually one side of the head with a mild to severe intensity. It may accompany with nausea, vomiting, visual disturbance or cold hands. Migraine may be due to change in hormonal balance caused by serotonin chemical. Underlying causes may be environmental factors like stress, sleeplessness, fasting, fatigue, menstruation and weather change.  
Studies show that migraine occur due to because of low supply of oxygen to brain.

    2. Cluster headache- A type of neurological disorder. It causes severe pain on one side of head and around the eyes accompanied by nasal congestion, watery & 
    swallowed eyes. Pain may develop during sleep and may continue for several hours, days or weeks and are mostly found in the age group of 20-50. The primary underlying cause may be smoking, alcohol or a strong smell affecting the hypothalamus and trigonometrical nerves.

    3. Tension headache- It is a most common type of headache with dull or non-throbbing having symptoms of pain on both sides of head radiating from lower back of head including neck, eye and other muscles. Under lying causes may be stress, sleeplessness, depression, eye strain or musculoskeletal problems. 
Now we will about secondary headache where specific underlying cause is there.

    4. Sinus headache- It is pain in nasal area, forehead and cheek bones, swelling of face, fever and pressure inside the ears. Primary cause may be inflamed and blocked sinuses due to allergy or infection.

    5. Brain tumor – Headache due to brain tumor symptoms may be projectile vomiting, visual disturbance and change in speech or personality.
    6. Thunderclap headache- A worst headache which starts suddenly and becomes overwhelming in less than a minute. Its underlying cause may be cerebral hemorrhage/thrombosis or meningitis, needs urgent medical attention.

    7. Menstrual headache- A migraine type pain occurs before, during or after menstruation or at mid-cycles due to variation in o estrogen (female hormone) levels. 

    8. Others – There may be headache due to imbalance in lifestyle. 
Self-Diagnosis- Self monitoring of underlying causes helps in arresting the reasons and find appropriate remedy. So there needs monitoring of diet and life style which triggers the headache. 

PreventionPrevention is better than cure. Following practices will help in prevention.
    a. Take balanced diet, of fresh fruit, salads, sufficient water intake.
    b. Doing simple yogasana and Pranayam. Please read our article Yoga-and-pranayama for details.
    c. Meditation. Please read our article on Meditation.
    d. Taking short breaks and walks at regular intervals
    e. Try to avoid the caffeine
    f. Always seat in erect spine posture.

Home Remedies - 
    a. Inhale steam
    b. Applying ginger or cinnamon paste o forehead
    c. For sinus headache eat apple sprinkled with salt and take warm water for instant relief.
    d. Inhale natural essential oils like peppermint etc.
    e. Drink warm ginger juice with lemon. 
    f. Apply cold pack on forehead and heat pack on back of neck.
    g. Relax or sleep in an appropriate head-neck alignment.

Reference - www.vibrionics.org

Please do read the following article to control the acidity problem. Acidity-symptoms-causes-and-remedies

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