The frantic pace of our present day lifestyles is wreaking so much havoc on our health than we can imagine. Caught in a bind, people are running after money, power, and prosperity. But there comes a situation when the world of deadlines, annoying bosses, long night shifts, scanty sleep, and traffic jams takes a toll on our lives. This is where a headache enters our lives. Headaches are something which everyone must have experienced at some point in time irrespective of their gender or age. As the agonizing pain of a headache penetrates through the defenses of its host, suddenly everything begins to irritate the host shutting down his/her thinking abilities.
Headaches do not require any scientific definition to explain it. We usually associate it with stress and over-thinking, but it is so much more than that. The pain of a headache can originate anywhere in the head or neck. If not treated on time, it can lead to severe consequences. (And don’t forget the pain the migraine patient goes through once the full-blown migraine pain crops up. *shudders*)
Types of Headaches
1. Tension headaches: Tension headaches are most common among women above the age of 20. They are caused due to the tightening of the neck and scalp muscles. The factors which contribute to this type of headache are poor posture and stress. It usually lasts for a few minutes, but there are cases when it can last for days.
2. Cluster headaches: These headaches cause a severe and burning pain either on the sides of the head or behind the eyes. It is common among men between the age of 20 to 40 years. The reason why these headaches are called cluster headaches is that they can last for hours, sometimes as long as 6 weeks. They may appear every day or at least once a day.
3. Migraine headaches: These headaches can lead to a quivering, crushing pain, mostly on one side of the head. This category of a headache is further subdivided into other categories which include chronic migraines, that occurs in every 15 days or more.
4. Rebound headaches: Rebound headaches occur when a patient stops taking medicines for such headaches.
5. Thunderclap headaches: These kind of headaches are sudden and happens to a person very often. They can last up to five minutes. These headaches are like symptoms of an underlying problem with the brain’s blood vessels which requires prompt attention.
6. Sinus headaches: This type of a headache is characterized by a feeling of fullness and pressure in the front of the face, on the forehead, and behind the eyes due to a sinus infection.
7. Caffeine Headache: This headache is caused when a person suddenly stops the excessive use of caffeine.
8. Cervicogenic Headache: This headache is similar to a tension headache. It is caused by the tightness of the neck.
9. Stress Headache: Another kind of tension headache is a stress headache. It may result from any kind of a stress.
10. Exertion Headache: This is a headache that is a result of extreme physical exertion.
11. Allergy Headache: This headache is similar to a sinus headache. The allergens present in the environment get into the nasal passages and sinus tissue and leads to headaches.
Causes of Headache
A headache is generally caused due to an irritation or injury of the pain-sensing structures of the head like the forehead, scalp, top of the head, the muscles of the neck and head, the sinuses, major arteries and veins in the head, and the tissues surrounding the brain.
The events that lead to a mild headache among its patients vary widely. Common causes of headaches include:
- The excessive level of carbon monoxide in the air
- Hormonal fluctuations due to menstruation
- Muscle tightness in the back and neck
- Sudden stoppage on the regular medications
- Withdrawal from caffeine, alcohol, and sugar
- Eye disease
- Stiffness in the back and neck
Symptoms of a headache
- Changes in vision
- Difficulty with balance
- Eye, ear, or facial pain
- Cold & Cough symptoms
Home remedies to treat headaches
The simple way to treat headaches is definitely to take a painkiller, maybe to adhere to acupressure or sip on some chamomile tea. We are ready to do anything to get rid of that pounding headache.
1. Ginger: Lauded as an amazing remedy for headaches, ginger provides quick relief from pain and helps in reducing tenderness of the blood vessels in the head and neck. Make tea from equal parts of ginger juice and lemon juice. You can take this drink once or maybe twice a day. You can also make a paste with ginger powder and water, and apply it on your forehead for some minutes.
2. Peppermint Oil: As peppermint oil is imbued with healing effects, it has the ability to cure headaches. The menthol content in this essential oil helps in easing the pain and relaxing the muscles. Applying diluted peppermint oil on the affected areas will relieve the pain arising from the tension headaches and migraines.
3. Lavender Oil: Lavender oil is known for its invigorating and relaxing effect on the mind. It is not only used to treat anger, stress, loneliness, irritability, high blood pressure, and anxiety, but also to relieve headaches. This essential oil can calm your senses and also provide relief from the pain of a migraine headache. Mix 2-3 drops of this oil in one tablespoon of warm olive oil, and massage on your forehead gently.
4. Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a spice comprising magical properties to treat headaches. Make a powder of some cinnamon sticks, and add some water to it to make a thick paste. Apply this paste on your forehead and temples. Take rest for about 30 minutes and then remove it with warm water.
5. Thyme: Dab some drops of thyme oil and massage on your temples and forehead to relieve yourself from a headache. Lie down for several minutes to let it work.
6. Basic Stretches: Doing some basic stretches of your head and neck region can help in reducing the intensity of a headache. Move your chin upwards and downwards, left and right, and bend your neck sideways towards each shoulder.
7. Ice Pack: Ice packs help in reducing the pain of a migraine if we apply them to the back of our neck. It also has a numbing effect on the pain.
8. Cloves: Cloves Helps in easing a throbbing headache because of its cooling and pain-relieving properties. Make a powder of few cloves and put them in a clean handkerchief. Inhale its smell until you get some relief from the pain. You can also mix one tablespoon of coconut oil, two drops of clove oil, and some salt together and rub this mixture on your forehead and temples.
9. Basil: Basil is a strong-scented herb which helps in relaxing muscles and gets rid of headaches caused by tension and tightening of muscles. You can boil 3-4 fresh basil leaves in a cup of water. Add some honey and sip the tea slowly.