Headache fast relief: The request could not be satisfied
Fast Headache and Migraine Relief: Treatments, Coronavirus-Related Headaches, and More
Am I at Risk for Chronic Daily Headache?
Anyone who has recurrent acute headaches and who uses short-acting medication or techniques to treat them is at risk of developing chronic daily headache, which is characterized by headache symptoms 15 or more days of the month over three months, notes an article published in February 2020 in Global Advances in Health and Medicine on “Integrative East–West Medicine Intervention for Chronic Daily Headache.”
The two most common types of chronic daily headache are chronic migraine and chronic tension-type headache, although the two types often overlap. In other words, people diagnosed with chronic migraine often also have symptoms of chronic tension-type headache, and vice versa.
Individuals with chronic daily headache often also have a diagnosis of medication-overuse headache.
If your head pain or other symptoms cause you to frequently take short-acting medication, talk to your doctor about being referred to a headache specialist, who should be able to identify medical treatments as well as lifestyle or behavioral changes that can help to relieve your symptoms while also reducing your reliance on acute medications.
If My Headache Isn’t Going Away, Should I Get Tested for Coronavirus?
Headache is one of the symptoms of COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A February 2020 report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19, from early in the pandemic, found that of 55,924 people confirmed to have the disease, 13.6 percent had a headache.
There’s no treatment for COVID-19, but the same OTC pain relievers that help with other types of headaches may alleviate headaches caused by this disease. (Despite rumors, the World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend against the use of ibuprofen for people with COVID-19. )
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and want to get tested, the CDC recommends calling your state or local health department or a medical provider. Most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and are able to recover at home, the CDC notes.
RELATED: A Guide to Living With Migraine During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Home Remedies to Ease a Headache or Migraine Attack
Many headache symptoms can be at least partially alleviated without medication. Here are some tips for homemade headache and migraine relief:
Apply an ice pack to your head and neck. Cold compresses on the head and neck are a common home remedy to ease the pain of a migraine attack. Some people also find it helpful for tension headaches. To avoid skin injury, wrap the ice or cold pack in a cloth and apply it for no more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
Apply heat to the head, neck, or hands and feet. Applying heat may help relieve a tension headache or dull the pain of a migraine attack, according to the Mayo Clinic. Use a heating pad set on low, a hot-water bottle, a warm compress, or a hot towel. A hot bath or shower may also be helpful, or simply run warm water over your hands and feet.
Have a big glass of water. Dehydration can trigger a migraine attack or lead to a nonmigraine headache, says the National Headache Foundation. Replacing the liquids your body needs may help to relieve the pain.
Practice a relaxation technique. Meditate, breathe deeply, and try to visualize a peaceful image. “Various relaxation techniques can significantly help patients who suffer from ‘muscle contraction’ headaches,” says Rozental.
Give yourself a massage. Massage eases muscle tension, and sometimes helps to reduce headache pain, according to the Mayo Clinic. Gently massage your temples, scalp, neck, and shoulders with your fingertips, or gently stretch your neck.
Try acupressure. You may be able to reduce migraine and headache pain by massaging the pressure point located in the “V” between the thumb and forefinger. Use the thumb of one hand to massage the other hand with a circular motion for 15 to 20 seconds, then switch hands.
Drink a caffeinated beverage. In small amounts, caffeine can decrease migraine-related pain in the early stages of an attack or enhance the pain-reducing effects of OTC medication, according to the Mayo Clinic. But don’t overdo it: Drinking too much caffeine too frequently can lead to withdrawal headaches.
Dab on some peppermint oil. Rub some peppermint oil into your temples or forehead to see if this natural remedy helps reduce your head pain, suggests Migraine.com. Because peppermint oil can cause skin irritation, you may wish to mix a drop of peppermint oil into a teaspoon or two of a neutral oil such as jojoba or avocado oil to dilute it first.
Close your eyes and rest. This is an effective treatment for headaches associated with migraine, and it can help ease a tension headache as well. Sit or lie down in a quiet, dark room with your eyes closed and just relax for a bit. “Patients with migraine instinctively seek out a dark, quiet environment in which they can go to sleep for at least a few hours,” Rozental says. “Sleep frequently diminishes or eliminates the pain.”
Learn More About Home Remedies for Migraines
Self-Care Tips to Prevent Headaches and Migraine Attacks
You may be able to prevent some headaches and migraine attacks by avoiding the triggers that can set them off. Here are some wellness tips that may help:
Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to a headache or trigger a migraine attack, and a chronic lack of sleep — caused by sleep apnea, for example — can also cause headaches. If you snore or suspect you have sleep apnea, see your healthcare provider for help. Whether or not you snore, try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day to avoid triggering a migraine attack.
Maintain healthy eating habits. What you put into your body and when can have a big impact on your headaches. Rozental observes that regular meals are important, especially for people who get headaches from low blood sugar. “Do not skip meals, particularly breakfast,” he says. It’s also important to eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Manage your stress. Stress can act as a trigger for both tension headaches and migraine attacks, so find ways to manage your stress level, whether through a meditation practice, working with a psychotherapist, exercising regularly, or a combination of approaches.
Avoid cigarettes. Smoking tobacco can trigger migraine attacks and nonmigraine headaches in both the person who smokes and in those who inhale the second-hand smoke, according to a study from the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology.
Limit your alcohol intake. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to a hangover in anyone. For some people with migraine, any type of alcohol is a trigger for a migraine attack, and for others, only certain types of alcoholic drinks trigger attacks. Learn how to drink safely from MigraineAgain.
Keep a food journal. Writing down everything you eat and drink for a period of time can help you determine whether a certain food or beverage may be triggering your migraine attacks.
Exercise regularly. Exercise releases chemicals in your body that block pain signals to the brain and can help prevent tension headaches and migraine attacks, according to the Mayo Clinic. But start slowly; overdoing it with vigorous exercise can trigger some types of headaches.
Maintain a healthy weight. In people with migraine, obesity raises the risk of developing chronic migraine, according to Andrew Charles, MD, writing for MigraineAgain.
Consider taking supplements. Supplements like riboflavin (vitamin B2), coenzyme Q10, and magnesium (if your level is low) may help prevent migraine attacks, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Butterbur is an herbal remedy that some people take to prevent migraine attacks, but some experts caution against it because of possible liver toxicity. Always talk to your healthcare provider before taking any supplement.
Additional reported by Ingrid Strauch.
How to get rid of a headache without medication
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
Headaches are a very common form of pain and can be a nuisance when someone has one. Rather than reaching for over-the-counter painkillers, there are many natural methods that people can try to help them get rid of a headache.
In this article, we look at a range of home and natural remedies for headaches. People can try many of these remedies right away, and some of them might help to prevent headaches in the future.
Share on PinterestDrinking water will stop dehydration, which can be an underlying cause of many headaches.
Drinking enough water may help prevent headaches or reduce their severity.
Dehydration can be an underlying cause of many simple headaches. It may also alter how a person feels, acts, or thinks.
As a study in the journal Antioxidants notes, even slight dehydration may alter how people think and function, making them feel worse, with or without a headache.
Water may help make someone in this situation feel better, although some studies are more cautious.
A critical reading of one study published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice noted that drinking water did not reduce how long people had their headaches, but it did make them subjectively feel better.
Staying hydrated may be as simple as carrying a water bottle around and sipping on it throughout the day. Eating foods high in liquid, such as fruits, smoothies, or soups, may also improve hydration.
A cold compress may be a simple headache solution that many people have on hand. Applying an ice pack or another cold item to the head or neck may help constrict the blood vessels and reduce inflammation in the area. Doing so could temporarily relieve headache pain.
A study in Hawai’i Journal of Medicine & Public Health found that applying ice packs to the neck for 30 minutes significantly reduced pain in people with migraines.
In other cases, such as with a tension headache where the muscles are too tight, a warm compress may help relax these muscles and bring relief.
A warm compress could be as simple as a heated towel. People may be able to get the same effect from a tepid shower or bath.
In some cases, there is a physical reason for a headache. Check for anything that is putting too much pressure on the head. This may be a ponytail or bun that is too tight or a hat or headband that has been on too long.
Some people who get headaches become sensitive to light. Bright office lights or even the bright light from a smartphone may make symptoms worse.
It may help to rest in a dark or dimly lit room while recovering from a headache.
Herbal tea may be a useful way to add water to the diet while also enjoying the benefits of other natural compounds.
For instance, ginger tea may help with a migraine. One 2013 study found that ginger powder had similar effects to a common medication for reducing migraines. A simple tea of warm water and ginger powder may help with symptoms.
Other potentially calming teas include herbs such as peppermint, chamomile, and lavender.
Exercise may help keep the body healthy and promote better circulation, which might reduce the chances of a headache showing up.
One 2018 review of research published in the journal Children noted that too little exercise may actually influence headaches among adolescents. Regular, moderate exercise may help, such as briskly walking or riding a bike for 30 minutes a day.
Sometimes food intolerances may be the underlying cause of symptoms such as a headache.
If a headache seems to show up after meals, it may be helpful for people to keep a food journal of everything they eat each day. This may enable them to identify and avoid any foods that could trigger a headache.
Different issues may lead to headaches, and sleep problems are among the more common ones.
Getting too much or too little sleep or not sleeping soundly may influence a headache in some people, as they have not fully rested their body.
As one paper in the journal Sleep notes, adults should try to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.
Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine, where practitioners place small needles into the surface of the skin. The aim is not to cause pain but to stimulate the body’s own energy.
The review published in Children notes that research has shown acupuncture to be an effective way to prevent migraines and tension headaches or reduce their frequency.
Massaging certain pressure points may help relieve tension in the head and reduce a headache. Many people do this instinctively, such as rubbing the back of the neck or pinching the top of the nose when they feel stressed.
There may be some truth to these instincts. Many people find that massaging the temples, jaw, or neck may help relieve tension and reduce a tension headache that comes from being too stressed.
Some other areas to try massaging include the area between the eyebrows and the two spots at the base of the eyebrows on either side of the bridge of the nose. These spots may hold tension from the eyes or head, and massaging them could help relieve this tension.
Massaging the neck near the base of the skull may also help release tension.
Again, the review in Children notes that relaxation training and techniques may help many people with their headache symptoms while also reducing stress and anxiety.
Relaxation techniques include practices such as deep-belly breathing, guided meditations, and actively focusing on relaxing the muscles.
Drinking a beverage with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, or soda, may sometimes help ease a headache.
Some pain medications designed for headaches include caffeine, as the compound may improve their effectiveness.
As a review published in the Journal of Headache and Pain notes, caffeine by itself may help reduce symptoms of a tension headache or migraine. Caffeine tends to relax the blood vessels, which may support circulation and ease tension.
Aromatherapy that uses some essential oils may also relieve symptoms of a headache. The 2018 review in Children noted that inhaling lavender essential oil for 15 minutes reduced the severity of headaches, according to one study.
A separate study posted to the journal Pain suggested that peppermint oil is more effective at reducing tension headaches than a placebo.
The smells of essential oils may bother some people, and experimenting with different oils that individuals find relaxing may be a way to ease headache symptoms.
A 2015 review published in the journal Nutrientssuggests that people who regularly experience cluster headaches or migraines may be more likely to have low magnesium levels.
Adding magnesium to the diet, as a supplement, may help reduce headaches or prevent them in these cases.
Some B vitamins may help protect against headaches or reduce them. One 2015 review in Biomed Research International noted that vitamins, including folate and the vitamins B-6 and B-12, may all play a role in preventing migraine headaches or reducing headache symptoms.
The B vitamins are readily available as supplements with several brands that people can buy online.
Vitamin E may also play a role in headache symptoms. A 2015 review of vitamin supplementation noted that vitamin E might relieve headache pain and migraine symptoms from menstrual migraines with a low risk of side effects.
This may be valuable for women who experience migraines during their menstrual cycle, as vitamin E may help keep their hormones balanced to prevent symptoms.
The review did call for larger studies before making any claims about the vitamin, however.
Some people may not respond well to drinking too much alcohol. A headache is one of the more common side effects of a hangover. This may be because alcohol acts as a diuretic, making the body release more water via the urine.
These kinds of headaches do not only occur with bouts of heavy drinking. Even with light or moderate drinking, alcohol may lead to mild dehydration symptoms in some people or make headaches worse.
Anyone who is uncertain if alcohol affects them in this way could try limiting their drinking and seeing if it changes or prevents their symptoms.
For people who often experience migraines, avoiding strong smells may be a wise step to take when trying to prevent them.
One 2013 study found that odors from sources such as perfumes or other strong-smelling chemicals may trigger migraines after just a few minutes of exposure.
It may help if people avoid sources of these smells, such as department stores, others who wear a lot of perfume, or chemical smells from cleaning products.
There are many different types of headache, and one natural remedy may be more suitable than another to ease a specific kind. Some common headache types include:
- Tension headaches. The most common headache, these often occur after a person has become overstressed and their muscles have tensed. Pain appears in the middle and top of the head, which may feel as if it has a tight rubber band around it.
- Sinus headaches. This type involves pain behind the eyes and nose and a general congested feeling in the head. A similar headache occurs when a person has a hangover.
- Cluster headaches. These headaches may appear throughout the day, causing a stabbing, sharp pain that occurs in one spot of the head.
- Migraines. Migraines usually cause a throbbing pain behind the eyes that grows and pulses throughout the head. The person may also become very sensitive to light, activity, or movement.
There are several natural and home remedies that people can try to get rid of a headache without using medication. Some of these may work better with different types of headache.
In the end, some headaches may still not respond to these methods, and taking an over-the-counter drug, such as ibuprofen (Advil), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or naproxen (Aleve), may bring relief.
It is essential not to ignore a persistent headache. An ongoing symptom may be a sign of an underlying issue. People may want to discuss a persistent or particularly severe headache along with other symptoms with a doctor to find and resolve a problem.
How Do You Get Rid of Migraine Fast?
Was this helpful?
For fast migraine relief, pack a migraine relief kit in your purse, desk or car. Migraine treatment options for quick relief:
Eye mask and earplugs
Cold compress for your head and neck
Caffeine, such as chocolate, coffee or tea
Pain reliever like acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen
- Deep breaths of clean, fresh air
Was this helpful?
About The Author
Elizabeth has been writing for Healthgrades since 2014 and specializes in articles about alternative and complementary therapies like meditation, yoga, energy work and aromatherapy. She also performs improv comedy and is a firm believer that laughter really is the best medicine.
Last Updated: August 5, 2019
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
How to Get Rid of a Headache in Two Minutes Flat
Almost everyone knows: there are few things as debilitating as a nasty headache or migraine. Sometimes it can feel like a sledgehammer pounding on your skull or a sharp, biting, repetitive stab that sears through your brain. In those moments, you might try just about anything to make it stop.
Well, we found a totally strange trick that apparently works, and even if it doesn’t, it won’t hurt to try. This method might have been laughable if our intern hadn’t put it to the test when she came down with a crushing headache—and verified that it effectively eliminated her pain in two minutes.
The Genius Trick
The man behind this unusual remedy is Kamil K. Wawrzyszko, a business consultant and YouTuber with almost 70,000 subscribers of his channel, Kamil’s View. He posts motivational videos on topics like how to stop procrastinating, how to be happier, and how to wake up more energized. One of his greatest hits: how to end a headache in two minutes. It’s been viewed over five million times, with thousands of comments attesting that it works.
Here’s the strategy: You focus on the headache, and picture the shape, color, and location of the pain repeatedly until it’s gone. Some commenters have said that their headache goes from being a large, dark shape to a lighter, smaller shape as the exercise progresses until the pain diminishes completely. Others have said they were near vomiting from a horrendous migraine, but then this exercise really did the trick.
Take it from our very own intern who was experiencing a severe migraine and tried the visualization trick at her desk; she said it full-on worked. For the first time ever we found ourselves wishing for a headache just for a chance to try this out and see if this magic is legit.
There’s no known logic to why or how this trick might work, but chances are, it has something to do with going into a meditative state. So if this particular method doesn’t end up working for you, perhaps a simple meditation might be just what you need to get you through the pain.
You could also try other holistic practices. There’s reiki, which involves harnessing universal life force energy to allow the body to heal itself; it’s been used by practitioners to provide pain relief. Acupuncture has also been known to be helpful for headaches and migraines.
For something even simpler, a whiff of certain essential oils, like lavender, rosemary, or peppermint, has the potential to soothe your headache. And of course, if all else fails, there’s always Excedrin ($11)—because sometimes nothing does it quite like good old-fashioned medicine.
4 ways to tame tension headaches
If you ever had a tension headache, you know it can put a damper on your day. This kind of headache usually develops in the afternoon, causing mild or moderate pain that may feel like dull tightness or a band of pressure. Tension headaches occur when neck, shoulder, and scalp muscles become tense. Some people experience tension headaches from time to time; others get them more often. While a tension headache is rarely debilitating, it can certainly make life miserable.
If you have frequent tension headaches (more often than once or twice a week), here are some strategies that can show you how to get rid of a headache.
- Pay attention to the basics. Get enough sleep, don’t skip meals, and be sure to pace yourself to avoid stress and fatigue.
- Relaxation techniques. Physical and psychological relaxation therapies can help stave off tension headaches, so long as you practice these techniques regularly. Physical approaches include applying a heating pad to your neck and shoulders to relax the muscles. Exercising these muscles also helps by strengthening and stretching them. Guided imagery exercises that help you focus your attention on various parts of your body in order to relax them and release tension and stress can also help.
- Biofeedback. This relaxation technique requires special training but can help people avoid recurrent tension headaches. Typically, a therapist will attach electrodes to your skin to detect electrical signals from your neck and shoulder muscles. You then learn to recognize when you are becoming tense and practice ways to relax the muscles before they tighten so much that you develop a tension headache.
- Medical approaches. Some people with tension headaches have very sensitive areas, known as trigger points, at the back of the neck or in the shoulders. Injecting a local anesthetic into these areas may eliminate the pain and prevent the headache from occurring again. There are also a number of medications that can help keep tension headaches at bay. If non-drug therapies aren’t giving you the relief you need, talk with your doctor about the medication options that might be right for you.
For more information on preventing, diagnosing, and treating headaches, read
Headache Relief: Preventing and treating migraines and other headaches
, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.
Image: Cecilie_Arcurs/Getty Images
Share this page:
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
10 Effective Home Remedies to Fix Headache Fast
Whether it is because of ‘Monday blues’ or due to our hectic lifestyle schedules, pounding skull is always difficult to manage. While many people rely on medicated formulas to treat headaches, depending on some home remedies is always proven to be effective.
We bring to you a few home remedies that will ensure speedy recovery and help in the prevention of headache.
One of the common reasons of headache and even migraine is lack of water in our body. Properly hydrating yourself plays a significant role in our well-being. Hence, keep yourself well hydrated. You should have ample amount of fluids which may include fresh juices, water, coconut water. Avoid over consumption of caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee as these drinks contribute to dehydration.
Follow a balanced diet
Our body requires all type of vitamins and minerals. And deficiency of any essential nutrient could take a toll on our health. Hence, it is important to have a balanced diet. One should also have food at the right time as delay in any meal could make your health suffer.
Proper functioning of our brain requires glucose and absence of glucose could cause hypoglycaemia, which in turn, results in headache. So, follow a proper and healthy diet and also increase your body’s metabolism.
Another effective way to treat and even to prevent headache is to sleep for 7 to 8 hours every night. Lack of sleep could disrupt your healthy lifestyle and can be responsible for various diseases. You may feel stressed out due to interrupted sleep which may become the reason for your throbbing skull.
Take a nap
When you feel stressed or out of energy, relax and close your eyes. This will help in releasing tension and pressure from your body and can help in preventing headache. You should also avoid to exert yourself physically.
Head massages are indeed helpful but massage should be done with gentle hands. Apply gentle pressure to the painful area with your index finger or thumb. Massaging your head helps in relieving the tightened muscles and improves blood circulation.
Take a hot shower bath
This is another effective way to treat headache. Wash your head with luke-warm water and let it run down on your neck and back. It will alleviate the muscle tension and improve blood circulation.
Headache is generally a result of stress and tension. And if it is a minor headache, simply smiling and laughing can cure it. The ‘feel-good’ hormones will release the chemicals in your brain that will help in curing headache.
Your body requires rest in case of any illness. Even a milder headache needs relaxation of muscles and easing tension. Just close your eyes and relax for some time.
Breathe in and breathe out
This technique is great to relieve stress and tension. And if done in fresh air, it is one of the best practices to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Avoid any stressful situation
If you experience any stressful situation, try to divert your attention. Distract your mind and concentrate on something that soothes your mind and body. Opt for various stress busters as they help in treating headache!
Instant home remedies for headaches: 10 easy ways to get rid of headache
Easy remedies to treat headaches  |  Photo Credit: Getty Images
- Mild headaches can be easily treatable but severe headaches means a whole lot of discomfort
- Generally, headaches can be treated at home too by following some easy remedies
- Researches have shown chronic dehydration is a common cause of tension, migraines and headaches
Headache is one such type of pain that one suffers from because of innumerable causes and you might get headache while counting it. Generally, mild headaches do not affect your work life and sometimes even disappear unknowingly but severe headaches may give unbearable pain and often the pain turns into suffering.
There are a lot of types of headaches with tension being the most common factor. Cluster headaches are painful and happen in ‘clusters’ or groups, while migraines are a moderate-to-severe type of headaches.
But for most headaches which are not because of a disease, you don’t need to buy a pack of over-the-counter medicines and some easily available and natural remedies will help you out.
1. Drink water
Studies have shown that chronic dehydration is a common cause of tension, migraines and headaches. The most dehydrated ones will get the benefit of drinking water as their headaches will start to lessen its intensity within 30 minutes to three hours.
Dehydration can worsen your concentration and cause irritability which can worsen the symptoms.
So to avoid dehydration-led headaches, drink plenty of water and consume foods that are rich in water.
2. Herbal tea
Along with providing the advantages of herbs, these types of tea also fulfil the water requirements.
One can try various kinds of herbal tea in case of a headache. Ginger tea may help with migraines. Ginger tea also treats the symptoms of nausea and vomiting that are commonly associated with headaches.
Other teas to get relief from headaches include chamomile, lavender and peppermint.
3. Sleep, sleep, sleep!
Sleep deprivation is one of the major causes of headaches. Also, getting good sleep or nap, if suffering from a headache, provides good relief. A headache can be triggered by either less or excess of sleep. The idea is to get sound sleep and this means sleeping somewhere close to 7-9 hours.
Drinking a beverage with caffeine such as a coffee or a soda also helps with a headache. Some of the headache medicines contain substances such as caffeine.
A study revealed that caffeine has the properties of reducing symptoms of headaches due to tension or migraine. Caffeine causes relaxation in the blood vessels which improves circulation and wipes out tension.
However, don’t consume too much of caffeine as its withdrawal may generate its own headache.
5. Hot or cold compress
Just simply use an ice bag and put it on the affected area in the forehead or neck. This will constrict the blood vessels and reduce inflammation. It can temporarily give relief from headaches.
A study found that applying an ice bag in the neck for 30 minutes greatly helped people with migraines.
When faced by headaches due to tensions, applying a heating pad on the forehead will relax the muscles and provide relief.
An alternative could be a tepid bath. One can also apply a heated towel in the affected area for treating headaches.
6. Peppermint oil
Peppermint oil opens up clogged blood vessels which cause headaches. It also contains methanol oil that regulates blood flow in the body. Mix three drops of peppermint oil in one tablespoon almond oil. You can also mix some water and a few drops of peppermint. Apply this solution in your temple or back of the neck. One can also apply crushed peppermint leaves on the forehead
7. Lavender oil
Apart from its beautiful aroma, lavender oil also acts as an essential remedy to alleviate headaches. Lavender oil is also very effective in treating migraines. Apply lavender oil on the upper lips, inhale it and it will help in reducing migraine pains and its symptoms.
In case of headaches, you can also add lavender oil in a tissue and inhale it for a while. One can also add in two cups of boiled water, two drops of lavender oil. Inhaling the steam of this solution also treats headaches.
8. Relaxation techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing
Relaxation techniques are also very good at tackling stress and anxiety during headaches. Practise some methods such as deep-belly breathing and guided meditation for reducing the pain caused by headaches.
Cinnamon is very effective to treat headaches. To try this method, grind cinnamon sticks and convert it into a powder. Add some water and make a thick paste out of it. Now apply it on the temples and forehead for 30 minutes. Then rinse it with lukewarm water.
Exercise maintains the blood circulation in the body which reduces the chances of getting a headache. Some stretching exercise like moving chin up and down, left and ride and rotating the neck in both directions also relax neck muscles.
Some studies have shown that people doing physical activities faced lesser risks of getting a headache.
Finally, limit drinking alcohol as one faces severe headaches after a hangover. Even moderate drinking can lead to dehydration which can cause headaches. Also, in many cases, these methods may not work and for that medicines prescribed by doctors become the need of the hour. Do more yoga, reduce stress, and follow a balanced diet.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.
How to quickly relieve a headache without medication
When a head hurts, it becomes unbearably difficult to do even what you love. But what if the necessary pills are not at hand? What then helps with headaches?
The causes of headaches vary from dehydration and lack of sleep to toxic gas poisoning, poor circulation and the onset of serious illness. To eliminate it, people take pain relievers. But when he is not there, a severe headache can be relieved in other ways.
To get rid of a headache without pills, you can:
- Do acupressure
- Do a general head massage
- Conduct aromatherapy
- Take a shower or bath
- Drink clean water
- Get some fresh air
- Eat lemon, ginger or mint
- Drink cinnamon tea
Acupressure, or acupressure, is a treatment by applying pressure to specific points of the body.No special knowledge is required for such a massage.
First you need to relax. Imagine that you are sitting by the fireplace, wrapping yourself in a blanket and drinking delicious hot tea. Breathe slowly and deeply.
Now, with light circular motions, massage each point for an average of 1–2 minutes. The pain will go away after about 5-10 minutes of massage.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, there are six main acupressure points on the head. To quickly understand where they are located, you can use a mirror.
Before the massage, consult a specialist.
Remember how Indian girls draw a dot on their foreheads? This is where our first acupressure point is located: between the eyebrows, above the nose.
Press about 30 times and move on to the next one.
These two points are located in the lower part of the face, between the nose and the upper lip, on either side of the corners of the lips. Massage slowly for two minutes.
Above, at the inner corner of the eye, closer to the bridge of the nose. Massage for one minute.
Behind, at the beginning of the spine, at the hairline. Massage for 1-2 minutes.
Points on both sides near the temples, above the ear. Massage for one minute.
Located between thumb and forefinger.Press on the point for 1-2 minutes.
2. Do a general head massage
In the fight against headaches, a general head massage can help you. Especially if the pain is caused by a spasm, as this massage improves blood circulation and helps relieve pain.
- Tilt your head back, slightly knead your neck with your fingers from top to bottom and vice versa. Movements should be spiral. Do this for two minutes.
- Then go to the top of the head.Very gently and gently do the movements that resemble washing your hair. When performing such a self-massage, you should feel a pleasant warmth. The appearance of heat signals good blood circulation. Duration of massage: 5-7 minutes.
- Place your fingers on your temples, then massage them in a circular motion, moving from the temples along the ear to the back of the head. Massage for 3-5 minutes.
- Now massage your earlobes. Movements should be soft. Place your thumbs behind your ears, spread your fingers all over your head.The massage lasts 2-3 minutes.
After the general massage, rest, do not make any sudden movements and start your business in 15 minutes.
3. Conduct aromatherapy
In the 18th century, essential oils were used to treat various diseases: for a cold, inhalations with peppermint oil were made, for insomnia, they took a hot bath with chamomile or lavender. Nowadays, aromatic oils are easy to find on store shelves. They are used regularly both to prevent headaches and to relieve them.
Will help relieve headache oils from the following plants:
- clary sage;
- yarrow, etc.
Essential oils should not be applied undiluted to the skin! Most of them are very concentrated and will cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction.Before using the oil, you must mix it with another neutral oil, for example, with apricot kernel oil, or with cream, shampoo, milk, yogurt, honey or sour cream. Fragrance oil can be inhaled using an aroma lamp, diffuser, or other means.
Eight uses of aroma oil:
- Bath. Mix eight drops with one tablespoon of regular bath butter or milk, then add to the water.
- Diffuser. Aroma diffusers are special ultrasonic devices in which water with essential oil is added, and then, under the influence of ultrasound, aromatic vapor is sprayed.Add 3-4 drops per 15 m2 to the bowl. Turn it on for 15-20 minutes 2-3 times a day.
- Aroma lamp or candles. Light them 2-3 times a day.
- Compressor. Add a few drops of essential oil to warm water. Wet a towel and place it on your forehead.
- Facial massage. Mix about six drops with a tablespoon of massage oil. Now massage your face and neck in a circular motion.
- Full body massage. Add a few drops to a tablespoon of unscented massage oil.
- Inhalation. Add 3-5 drops to a large container of hot water. Take a towel, cover your head and inhale the aromatic vapor for five minutes (this method is not recommended for asthmatics).
Use only natural oils! Sometimes essential oils contain artificial fragrances that can backfire or even make things worse.
4. Take a shower or bath
One of the easiest and most effective ways to get rid of a headache is a hot shower or bath.If the pain is associated with poor circulation due to pinched vertebrae, back problems or muscle spasm, then you need to dilate the vessels so that the blood circulates well and supplies oxygen to the cells. In this case, both a hot water bottle and a hot shower will do. Adding lavender oil diluted in milk to your hot water bath will not only relieve stress, but also relieve pain.
5. Drink clean water
Dehydration is one of the reasons why a small personal hell associated with headaches can easily begin.Perhaps pain is just a signal from your body about a lack of moisture.
It is very important to drink clean water. Tap water can be hard, high in iron or chlorine. Therefore, to take care of your health, it is better to use a water filter.
6. Get some fresh air
Elevated carbon dioxide levels are one of the most common causes of headaches.
In order to normalize the level of carbon dioxide, it is necessary to regularly ventilate the room.But open windows do not guarantee getting rid of migraines: noise, harmful gases and unpleasant odors can penetrate from the street, which will only intensify the pain. The breather supplies fresh air with the windows closed, cleaning it from dust, allergens and gases. It also has a climate control function and can heat the air in the room to the required temperature.
Go for a walk in squares and parks more often. Even fifteen minutes in the fresh air will help normalize heart function, relieve headaches, reduce stress and improve mood.
7. Eat lemon, ginger or mint
Some products help fight headaches:
- Lemon. Apply lemon peel or zest to your temples and forehead, or mix a few drops of lemon with water and sip slowly to help relieve headaches.
A cup of lemon tea is also great.
- Mint. Pour 200 ml of boiling water over one tablespoon of dried mint and leave for ten to fifteen minutes.Then strain the broth and drink.
- Ginger. Make a cup of ginger tea. Not only will it relieve headaches, but it will also help improve immunity.
You need to prepare tea as follows:
- in a small saucepan with boiling water, add a tablespoon of grated ginger root or a teaspoon of dry;
- cook over low heat for several minutes;
- strain and let it brew;
- add tea and honey or sugar to taste;
- Drink this ginger tea several times a day.
Ginger inhalation also helps. To do this, pour a few tablespoons of ginger with water and boil. Then cover your head with a towel, bend over the hot broth and inhale the steam.
8. Drink cinnamon tea
Consuming cinnamon helps to improve blood circulation, which is a prerequisite for saturating the body with oxygen and other nutrients.
Pour half a teaspoon of dry cinnamon or one straw with hot water (not boiling water).Add some sugar and leave for half an hour. Drink two sips every hour. In case of severe pain, it is necessary to make such a solution more concentrated.
Make cinnamon tea. For this:
- Brew tea in a small kettle.
- Add one teaspoon dry cinnamon, ground ginger and a dash of black pepper.
- Leave for five minutes for the tea to brew and cool properly.
- Stir and add a teaspoon of honey.Honey contains vitamins A, C, E, B vitamins, potassium, iodine, calcium, magnesium. Calcium and magnesium improve cerebral blood flow and relieve pain. In addition, headaches can be caused by a drop in blood sugar levels. Honey will also solve this problem. It is important that the water is not too hot, otherwise honey will lose its medicinal properties. Scientists have found that when honey is heated above sixty degrees, oxidation of fructose begins, which turns into a carcinogen.
- Add a couple of orange slices, lemon, lemon balm or mint to taste.
- Drink this tea for headaches several times a day.
There is another way to use cinnamon:
Prepare a thick mixture of ground cinnamon. Mix three teaspoons of cinnamon with a little water so that it resembles thick sour cream or pasta in consistency. Lie down, apply the mixture to your temples and forehead, and leave for half an hour. A warming cinnamon mixture will relieve headaches, especially if it is caused by a sharp change in weather and pressure drops.
People with gastrointestinal problems, heart problems and high blood pressure are better off drinking cinnamon in small quantities. Frequent consumption of cinnamon irritates the stomach lining, raises the heart rate and raises blood pressure.
Cinnamon is prohibited for nursing and pregnant women!
When should I see a doctor?
Take your headache seriously.
Contact a specialist if:
- headache more than once a week;
- You take the pill more than once a week;
- You need to increase the dose of your medications to relieve your headache;
- pain becomes stronger or its nature, location changes;
- pain is accompanied by fever, clouding of consciousness, general weakness, speech impairment or other factors.
Prevention of headache
To minimize the occurrence of headaches, you must:
- Get enough sleep. Constant lack of sleep leads to stress and weakening of the immune system. To get enough sleep and rest, a person needs to sleep an average of eight hours. For a normal rest during sleep, it is better to go to bed at the same time. Compliance with the regime helps to establish the internal biological clock, and therefore improve the quality of sleep. Also at night, melatonin is produced – the so-called sleep and youth hormone, which has a beneficial effect on health.
- Go in for sports. During sports, the “happiness hormone” – endorphin is produced, which helps to reduce emotional stress and relieve stress. Also, physical activity saturates the body with oxygen. This has a beneficial effect on blood circulation and the general condition of the body.
- Drink less coffee. With the constant abuse of coffee, the nervous system is overloaded, which all the time works in a stressful mode. Too much caffeine can lead to a number of serious consequences, such as insomnia, irritability, decreased mental activity, and headaches.
- Drink more water. Water removes toxins from the body and improves metabolism. Scientists estimate that you need to drink an average of two liters of water a day. If you are not used to drinking such an amount, you should not force yourself. It is better to drink a little more every day, gradually accustoming the body to the desired rate.
- Worry less. Try to devote more time to your family, friends and favorite business. Even a simple walk in the fresh air will help relieve stress and therefore prevent headaches.
- Monitor the power supply. Eat foods that do not contain hazardous additives. When a large number of low-quality products are consumed, intoxication of the body may occur, and as a result, a headache will occur. Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. They contain many vitamins and minerals, which will help strengthen the immune system and protect against diseases that can lead to migraines.
Attention! All the presented methods of dealing with headache do not guarantee one hundred percent results.Before using them, consult a specialist. Be healthy!
Author: Anastasia Panova
90,000 7 natural headache remedies that really work
Headache can be triggered by a number of
reasons: fatigue, stress, nutritional deficiencies and many others. Natural
remedies for this ailment are not only effective in relieving symptoms
headache, but are also able to eliminate the causes of its occurrence and do not have
Surprisingly, this is often all we need. TO
Unfortunately, many of us suffer from chronic dehydration. And the use
coffee, alcohol and sugary drinks only exacerbate the situation. As soon as you
have symptoms of an impending headache, drink one large glass
water. Continue drinking a lot throughout the day. Also increase the number
water in the body can be eaten by eating vegetables and fruits with a high content of it.Add
fresh cucumbers, celery, cabbage, zucchini, spinach in your daily diet,
watermelon, grapefruit and orange.
One of the most common problems of migraines and headaches
is the low level of magnesium in the body. Taking 400-600 mg of magnesium will enhance
blood flow to the brain and relieve the spasms that cause discomfort. Magnesium
can be taken on an ongoing basis – this will reduce the overall tendency of the body to
the appearance of migraines and headaches.For a quick effect, use liquid
nutritional supplements. You can also increase magnesium levels by adding to the diet
high plant foods such as nuts and seeds, legumes,
cereals, avocados, broccoli, and bananas.
3. Vitamins of group B
Lack of vitamins of group B – other possible and frequent
the cause of the headache. According to one of the theories about the causes of its occurrence,
nerve cells have too many tasks, and sometimes there is simply no energy to complete them
enough.So, vitamin B12 plays one of the most important roles in the production of the same
energy. Often, patients with migraines are prescribed the whole complex of vitamins of the group.
B, which includes 8 vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folic acid
acid, vitamin B12, biotin and pantothenic acid. Benefits of group vitamins
B is great: They not only relieve headache symptoms, but also improve
the state of brain cells, blood circulation, as well as the work of the cardiovascular and
4. Essential oils of lavender and pepper
The natural properties of these essential oils make them extremely
effective in relieving headaches. When applied to the skin , Peppermint Oil stimulates blood flow to the affected areas – this relieves spasms
and relieves pain. Lavender oil works as a sedative and stabilizer
mood. Applying oils to relieve headaches is very simple. Mix
a few drops of both oils in the palms of your hands, followed by gentle massaging movements
apply to forehead, temples and nape of neck.If the aroma is too intense for
you, just dilute the mixture with a little almond or coconut
oils. It would be ideal to find a quiet place where you can relax, mindfully and
breathe deeply and wait for the headache to begin to release.
There are a number of herbs that can weaken headaches.
pain. Among them is feverfew. It has a relaxing
effect on the narrowed blood vessels of the head.This herb has another
ability – to suppress inflammation and other types of pain. Act
pyrethrum is akin to aspirin, only this remedy is natural and therefore does not have
Decoctions from chamomile and
collection of spring primrose, lavender, rosemary, mint and valerian.
Ginger can reduce inflammation, including
number in the blood vessels.For headache relief, cook hot
ginger drink. Pour in 3 small pieces of fresh ginger in 2 cups
water, bring everything together to a boil and let it brew. Into the finished drink for
taste, add a slice of lemon and honey. Be sure to inhale when consuming
ginger couples – all together will have a pleasant sedative effect and ease
7. Relaxing bath
One of the methods of headache elimination is
cleansing of unnecessary toxins.Try to take a regular detox bath according to
this recipe. Pour hot water into the tub; temperature should be
high enough to stimulate the movement of toxins to the surface of the skin.
As the water cools down, your body will gradually rid itself of harmful
toxins. Take this bath once every 7-10 days. Add to the water:
1 cup of baking soda – it kills bacteria, reduces
inflammation and softening of the skin,
essential oils – for example, peppermint oil or
and 2 cups of apple cider vinegar – also known for its
healing properties, including the ability to relieve headaches,
tone the skin and have a beneficial effect on the joints.
Here are so many natural remedies that successfully fight against
headache. In general, try to listen to yourself, analyze what
could be the cause of the malaise that has arisen – perhaps it is a changed diet,
and the headache is caused by an allergic reaction. Or maybe your body is just
dehydrated or you have skipped meals and have a headache from a low level
90,000 Four of the best ways to quickly relieve headaches!
We are used to grabbing analgesics as soon as it starts pounding in the temples or squeezing the back of the head.Although it is known that these drugs have a lot of side effects – they have a bad effect on the stomach, and it is difficult for the liver to be excreted, and the kidneys are overloaded. It’s good if your head is your strong point and you swallow pills no more than once every six months.
And if your head is cracking almost every day? The reasons are most often either vascular, or they are tension pains – from stress and a forced posture at a desk or driving a car. How to deal with headaches without pills? Here’s what the experts advise:
It has been scientifically proven that if a person often suffers from headaches and at the same time spends some time for massage at least 2-3 times a week, then his attacks will be at least twice less frequent and much weaker. Massage restores blood supply and allows the body to relax – and this relieves spasms – the main cause of pain. In addition, head massage is very pleasant. Do it in smooth circular motions – moving from the back of the head to the forehead. And the bio-point, which is responsible for the normalization of blood pressure, is located under the occipital protuberance [self-massage for headaches – in the BTW rubric].
Tension pains occur due to stagnation of blood in the collar zone and because the muscles become numb and “stiff”. It’s that simple! We knead the neck, lifting the head up, then lowering it down, then left and right, and finally make circular movements with our head. Moreover, at the end point of each movement, we make a stretching movement with the neck and fix the neck and head in this position for 10 seconds. Then five seconds of rest and proceed to the next movement.
3.Warm – cold
If the pain is throbbing, then you can apply ice or a wet towel to your temples – here are important arteries that supply blood to the cerebral cortex. A slight decrease in temperature can quickly numb headaches, according to CNN Health. On the contrary, if the pain is pressing, then you should put something warm on the back of the neck – this will create an outflow of blood and lower the pressure.
4. Relaxed atmosphere
Very often we cannot cope with headaches without medication simply because we cannot relax.Hence the constant overvoltage. Give your poor little head “unloading” minutes – at least 20 minutes after the working day listen to pleasant background music (preferably without words, so as not to concentrate on the meaning of the song and not start humming), learn to control your breathing according to the yogic principle (breathe with your stomach, “knock down” breathing rhythm – it helps relieve stress). And the most important thing is to train yourself to clear your head of all extraneous thoughts for a short time! According to scientists, in a day we assimilate only 5-7% of the necessary information, all other thoughts are empty chores.
It is better to do self-massage while sitting. All points need to be pressed with an average force for 1-1.5 minutes each.
So, if you have a pain:
The first point is located above the bridge of the nose – in the middle between the eyebrows. Roll your thumb with your fingernail down and apply pressure with the pad.
Next, find a point located on the midline of the face 1-1.5 cm above the front border of hair growth. Press on it with the pad of your thumb.
From above, inspect your hand with tightly folded fingers. A muscle tubercle is formed between the large and the index. The point we need will be in its center. Press down firmly with the thumb of your other hand. Massage the points on both hands alternately.
Feel the hole in your temple – this will be the “sun” point especially revered in Chinese massage. It is better to massage these points with the middle fingers at the same time.
The next point is located on the head just behind the top of the ear.Press on both points at the same time with the pad of your middle finger.
First, thoroughly knead the muscles in the neck and shoulders.
Then, using your index fingers, massage the brow ridges from the bridge of the nose to the center in light circular movements.
Find the point under the occiput. Massage it a little longer – 2-2.5 minutes.
Chronic headache | Medical center “President-Med”
Chronic headache – this is how medical practice calls systematic pain in the back of the head, as well as in the temples for two or more weeks.It is of several types: chronic migraine, abusal pain and others.
Cephalgia (headache) can bother for several months in a row, greatly exhausting the body: weakness, depression, fatigue, apathy, insomnia, etc. appear. Every 20th patient is faced with this ailment, and in women, symptoms appear more often.
Chronic headache symptoms
Chronic cephalalgia can manifest itself as acute or dull pain. The duration of the attacks differs between different types of chronic headache (less than or more than four hours daily).
- Transformed migraine is a unilateral headache with a throbbing sensation that occurs daily for more than 15 consecutive days. The pain syndrome is strong and prolonged, interferes with physical activity. The person may develop nausea as well as vomiting. During the period of painful exacerbation, the patient reacts painfully to bright light and sounds.
- Tension headache – there is a feeling of pressure, as if a headgear two size smaller was put on or the head was squeezed with a belt. Bilateral pain is usually moderate, sometimes intense. During an attack, the patient becomes hypersensitive to loud sounds.
- Cluster headache – this malaise is more often manifested in men, it is quite rare. The main symptoms include a sharp, severe headache. Usually felt in the temples or at eye level, less commonly in the neck and sides of the head. The pain is one-sided, it can last up to three hours. During an attack, patients develop irritability, anxiety, and photophobia.
- Abuse headache – Progresses in people who abuse pain relievers to combat migraines and other ailments. If you don’t self-medicate with over-the-counter medications, this ailment can be avoided. The systematic (more than 9 days in a row) use of triptans, narcotic analgesics and combined drugs can provoke an abusal-type headache.
To prescribe the correct treatment, you need to identify the root cause of a certain type of chronic headache, for this, you may need a detailed diagnosis of the work of all body systems.
Causes of chronic headache
Systematic cephalalgia can be caused by constant overwork, depression, severe stress. Other factors can also provoke the development of malaise: heredity and predisposition, excessive consumption of alcohol or energy drinks, excess weight, and even snoring. In addition, pain signals may not be suppressed due to malfunctions in some parts of the brain.
Sometimes chronic headaches are the body’s reaction to serious diseases: vasculitis, stroke, high intracranial pressure, traumatic brain injury and others.Improperly selected treatment can provoke the development of abusus cephalalgia.
Diagnosis and treatment of chronic headache
A correct diagnosis guarantees fast and successful treatment of chronic cephalalgia. A highly qualified specialist will perform a physical examination and if no concomitant diseases that give headache are detected, he will refer the patient to undergo diagnostic procedures and take tests.
In some cases, you need to do an MRI, computed tomography or EEG.Electroencephalography can help detect inflammation and brain injury. Only in this way, after an accurate diagnosis has been established, an effective and safe treatment can be selected.
Self-medication with over-the-counter medicines and folk remedies does not cure the problem of chronic headache. Unconventional methods only mask the symptoms, bringing short-term relief.
For diagnosis and treatment of chronic headaches, contact the medical centers “President-Med”
Artist: Mamunts Tsovinar Alekseevna
Chief Physician President-Med g.Vidnoe
Higher Medical, Perm State Medical Institute, Faculty of General Medicine, specialty-general medicine
Make an appointment with a doctor
Roman Evgenievich is a good, competent specialist. I understand medicine and can completely trust the doctor. Thank you. […]
I express my gratitude to Roman Evgenievich Bachurin.The doctor performed an ultrasound of the abdominal cavity at the highest level, consulted on all issues of concern to me, showed problem areas on the monitor and recommended further actions. I was very pleased with the attitude of the doctor and his work. If necessary, I will contact him again. […]
How to get rid of a headache without pills at home
What are the ways to get rid of a headache without pills? We have collected the most popular options to help yourself at home or where there is no way to take medicine.
Aromatherapy against headaches
The aromas of essential oils of various plants have been used in ancient times, they were used to treat many diseases. The scent of lavender helps with headaches – it relaxes, relieves tension and soothes, helps to fall asleep.
If you don’t like lavender, mint will help – it also absorbs stress and soothes the nerves that sometimes cause headaches. It is recommended to rub peppermint oil into the scalp for ten minutes.If there is no peppermint oil, you can use fresh mint leaves: grind them into a gruel and apply, rubbing gently, on the area of the temples, nape and crown.
You can drink mint tea with honey . Put a bottle of peppermint or lavender oil in your purse, and at the first sign of pain, open it and breathe in for about a minute with each nasal passage.
For headaches due to overexertion, allergies, cramps or colds, cold helps. Wrap the ice with a towel or soak a linen napkin in cold water, apply to your forehead and temples.If your whole head hurts, you can also apply cold to your neck and shoulders.
Warning: Do not use ice without wrapping it in a towel. This will cause vasospasm and, with a little relief, increase the pain.
If the headache is associated with circulatory disorders due to cervical osteochondrosis or muscle spasm, the blood supply to the head is impaired. It is necessary to expand the vessels by applying a hot water bottle to the neck area or taking a hot shower on the neck area.
By the way, the shower itself perfectly relieves headache attacks, especially contrasting ones. If there is no heating pad or shower nearby, rotating your head around to knead the muscles and lightly rubbing the back of the neck or wrapping the neck with a woolen shawl helps.
Fresh air for headaches
90,000 causes and signs of various types of headaches, dangerous symptoms, drug treatment and physiotherapy in Moscow
Headache (migraine is a type of headache) is one of the most common complaints for which over 70 percent of the population see a doctor.For headaches, see your doctor if it is especially severe, especially persistent, or especially frequent and does not respond to periodic use of pain relievers.
Long-term experience and modern diagnostic equipment allow neurologists of the Miracle Doctor headache treatment center to establish the true origin of headache and propose modern therapeutic methods that will help reduce the frequency and severity of attacks, prevent episodic headache from becoming chronic.
The medical term for headache is cephalalgia. There are over 200 different types of headaches. They can affect different parts of the head, come on in paroxysms, or be felt all the time. The intensity of pain can be very different and depends on the individual pain sensations of a person. Patients describe various forms of headache as dull, stitching, pressing, stabbing, or piercing.
The frequency of headaches can vary from a few attacks per year to several attacks per month.On average, once or twice a month. If no pain relief is applied, the attack lasts four to 72 hours. Physical activity usually aggravates headache symptoms.
Primary and secondary headaches
Headaches without a specific cause are called primary headaches. If the headache is the result of an underlying disease or injury, it is called a secondary headache. The most common types of primary headaches are tension headaches, migraines, cluster headaches, trigeminal neuralgia
Primary headache symptoms
Tension headache – bilateral pressing headache from mild to moderate intensity; rarely, sensitivity to light or noise.The origin of tension headaches, although common, has not yet been clarified. The currently most common idea is based on a combination of stress and increased tension in the muscles of the neck and head, which leads to an increased sensitivity of pain centers in the brain. Persistent psychosocial stress is a risk factor for chronicity
Migraine is not as common as tension headache. However, many adults and children suffer from this condition.In women, migraines occur slightly more often than in men, often before or during menstruation. Migraine often manifests itself as a severe headache that significantly limits the usual human activities.
- Moderate to severe pain felt as throbbing, thumping or throbbing, mainly in the front of the head, one-sided pain in which the side may change, but sometimes there are bilateral attacks,
- attacks of pain lasting from four hours to three days (at least two hours in children),
- Sensitivity to light, noise and / or odor,
- often nausea, sometimes with vomiting,
- complaints of increased pain during physical activity.
Migraines can also be accompanied by blurred vision, flashes of light, abnormal skin sensations (such as tingling) or dizziness in some people, and sensations of unpleasant odors – this is known as an aura. An aura can occur before or during a migraine attack. The aura begins in a matter of minutes and usually subsides within an hour.
People who have a migraine attack often have to go to a quiet, darkened room and lie down because light, noise, and movement aggravate the symptoms.
Cluster headache :
- severely unilateral, severe to very severe, throbbing headache in one eye;
- redness of the conjunctiva or lacrimation on the painful side;
- runny nose or congestion on the painful side;
- swelling of the eyelid on the painful side;
- sweating on the painful side;
- Unilateral constriction of the pupil on the painful side;
- physical disturbance.
Cluster headaches accumulate in episodes that last for several weeks. The attacks usually happen every day. Only one side of the head hurts in the temple area and around the eye. Usually in subsequent episodes, the same side is always affected. Since complaints accumulate over a certain period of time, one speaks of cluster headaches (Cluster = group, accumulation).
Cluster headaches are much less common than tension and migraine headaches. This is the only primary headache that men are more likely to suffer than women.
Trigeminal neuralgia – strictly one-sided, severe, sharp, superficial stabbing pain for several seconds in the forehead, upper or lower jaw, caused by chewing, drinking, cold or heat. Autonomic trigeminal headache disorders are characterized by unilateral headaches with maximal pain around the eyes, accompanied by drooping eyelids, lacrimation, runny nose, or congestion.
Symptoms of a secondary headache
- in case of accidental injuries: fractures, concussions;
- for vascular disorders: unilateral paralysis, speech disorders, swallowing disorders, double vision, tingling in the arms and legs, loss of consciousness, epileptic seizures;
- for tumors: unilateral paralysis, speech disorders, personality changes, confusion, memory impairment, loss of consciousness, epileptic seizures;
- for infections: fever, drop in blood pressure, confusion, fatigue, loss of consciousness, epileptic seizures;
- for internal diseases: heart palpitations, palpitations, tremors, diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue;
- for diseases of the eyes, ears, nose, teeth and jaw: visual impairment, hearing impairment, tinnitus, bad breath, sensitivity to cold and heat.
An experienced neurologist can diagnose more than 2/3 of headache disorders by taking a detailed history and a thorough physical examination.
Additional hardware examination is usually necessary when a secondary form of headache is suspected or to exclude other causes due to similar clinical manifestations.
Anamnesis collection includes determining:
- the nature of the pain (for example: pressing, pulsating / pulsating, stitching, tearing, exciting),
- duration of pain attacks (seconds, minutes, hours, days),
- pain locations (for example: whole head, one side, behind the eye, upper jaw),
- strengthening or weakening factors (for example: change of position, intake of substances, time of day, female cycle),
- pain intensity,
- associated symptoms such as blurred vision, nausea, vomiting or dizziness /
- lack of fluid,
- low level of oxygen in the inspired air
- weather change,
- Hormone imbalances can cause headaches, especially migraines.If the level of serotonin in the brain is too high, the blood vessels constrict, which is believed to be the cause of migraines.
- Neck muscle tension from lack of exercise, prolonged sitting, improper mattress, uncomfortable shoes, or stress. Spasms in the back and neck often pinch the nerves ending in the head and cause tension headaches.
- pain relievers can also cause headaches. Abuse headaches can occur if consumed too often.They often result in dull, pressing, or stabbing headaches that last all day. Symptoms usually develop on both halves of the head for at least two weeks.
- Lifestyle: Stress, smoking or alcohol can trigger migraines. Prolonged sitting in front of a screen, lack of sleep, or irregular sleep can also trigger migraines and other primary forms of headache.
- severe respiratory or viral diseases,
- withdrawal symptoms,
- ophthalmic pathologies without treatment,
- acute disturbance of the blood supply to the brain,
- arterial hypotension and hypertension,
- taking oral contraceptives,
- when, such as chronic bronchitis or bronchial asthma, headaches may occur due to reduced oxygen consumption,
- monosodium glutamate (food supplement E621) in food with individual intolerance,
frequent use of aspartame.The artificial sweetener aspartame is found in light and diet foods, soft drinks, and chewing gum.
- high blood pressure and hypoglycemia in diabetes, etc.
- Physiotherapy of the cervical spine and shoulder muscles
- Stretching and Massage
- Multimodal therapy
Computed tomography (CT)
Computed tomography of the head produces layered images of the brain, bones, and blood vessels. A radiologist can use this technique, for example, to detect a circulatory disorder or cerebral hemorrhage.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
MRI can provide more detailed sections of the brain and blood vessels. The created images allow you to visualize even the smallest changes, such as inflammation, small tumors or blood clots.
Causes of headaches
The following reasons can become possible triggers for the main types of headache:
The causes of secondary headaches are:
Therapy is aimed primarily at the rapid and sustained elimination of pain and associated symptoms. Prophylaxis, which can be achieved with non-pharmacological and medicinal measures, should ensure that headaches are less frequent and less intense.
If headache is the primary condition, treatment will focus on treating acute attacks and, if they occur frequently, on prophylactic treatment.
In the treatment of headache, the treatment of acute headache attacks is different from prophylactic. Both seizure therapy and prophylactic treatment must be tailored specifically to the headache diagnosis.
Prophylactic agents are selected after a headache diagnosis is made, taking into account the existing comorbidities.
Pain relievers are often used to treat tension headaches and mild migraines, among other things. Medicines differ, for example for severe migraine attacks and cluster headaches.
Drug-induced headaches can usually only be stopped by withdrawing the substance.
Tension headaches are treated with conservative therapy.The purpose of the action is to relieve pain, improve the mobility of the musculoskeletal system, relieve tension and distortions, especially of the cervical spine.
For severely impaired patients, the most effective approach is multimodal therapy, which combines medication, non-medication, relaxation, physiotherapy, and behavioral interventions.Such therapeutic concepts are sometimes offered on an outpatient basis, sometimes in a day hospital, as well as in an inpatient setting.
What the headache will “tell” about
Headache, without exaggeration, is the most common health problem. Almost 100% of the population suffers from it in one form or another, but only a few pay due “medical” attention to it.
Headaches of any nature can be the first and only sign of serious diseases, the effectiveness of treatment of which depends on the stage of detection.
Headache can occur with the following conditions:
- sinus inflammation – frontal sinusitis, sinusitis, ethmoiditis;
- infectious diseases – meningitis, encephalitis, tuberculosis, parasitic brain lesions;
- diseases of the eyes (eg glaucoma) and ears (otitis media),
- vascular pathologies.
Acute headache is typical for stroke, and intense paroxysmal – for migraine.
The causes of the head can be so many that differentiation of specific signs is required to choose a diagnostic path.
Sinusitis, in most cases, are infectious in nature, accompanied by inflammation, edema of the mucous membrane and low-grade fever (up to 38 ° C). Abundant secretions of a mucous or mucopurulent nature accumulate in a limited volume of the sinuses and “press” on the bones of the skull. This leads to characteristic “bursting” pain in the forehead, cheekbones, temples, eyes and upper teeth, aggravated by tilting the head.
Such headache characteristics require the consultation of an otolaryngologist (ENT), and the diagnosis is based on radiation methods (X-ray, CT) and identification of the pathogen (nasal and pharyngeal swab culture with determination of antibiotic sensitivity).
Infectious diseases of the brain
Here we can talk about the defeat of both the substance of the brain itself (encephalitis) and its meningeal membranes (meningitis). But anyway, the pain is different:
- spread over the whole head,
- motion, noise and bright light amplification,
- may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting that does not bring relief,
- cramps and
- and mental disorders (up to hallucinations).
Depending on the pathogen and the characteristics of the immune system, the incubation period can last from several hours to several days, and the headache becomes the first marker of a threatening disease.
The presence of such symptoms is a serious reason to consult an infectious disease doctor, and confirmation of the diagnosis is based on the results of blood tests by ELISA (antibodies), PCR (pathogen DNA) and / or assessment of cerebrospinal fluid.
Headache in “oncology” can be manifested by a gradual increase and bursting character.
Depending on the affected area, it may be accompanied by:
- mental disorders,
- impaired vision,
- deterioration of motor functions, bouts of vomiting, sudden dizziness,
- movement coordination disorder.
The growth of a tumor can last for years, so the appearance, frequency and intensification of headache is a reason to immediately consult a neurologist.
Acute sharp (up to loss of consciousness) pain is a marker of a vascular “catastrophe” and damage to a large area of the brain, when:
- blood flow completely stops as a result of blockage by a thrombus or large atherosclerotic plaque;
- hemorrhage occurs as a result of thinning and rupture of the vascular wall
From the area of the lesion, in this case, the outcome of the “catastrophe” depends – from mild neurological symptoms to death.
Treatment and diagnosis of this kind of headache is the specificity of a neurologist. And the examination plan necessarily includes a blood test for:
1.revealing the risk or degree of atherosclerosis
- total cholesterol,
- coefficient of atherogenicity;
2.revealing the risk of thrombus formation
- antithrombin III,
- antibodies to phospholipids (cardiolipin, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylinositol, phosphatidylic acid).