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Headache mucus: Sinus headache Information | Mount Sinai

Sinus headache Information | Mount Sinai

Headache – sinus

Signs and Symptoms

Sinus headaches typically have the following symptoms:

  • Pressure-like pain in one specific area of your face or head (for example, behind your eyes)
  • Face is tender to the touch
  • Pain is worse with sudden movements of the head and bending forward
  • Pain is worse in the morning because mucus collects and drains through the night
  • Sudden temperature changes, like going out into the cold from a warm room, worsen the pain
  • Headache often starts when you have a bad cold or just after
  • Congested or runny nose

Other symptoms may be related to sinus inflammation (sinusitis):

  • Fever
  • Postnasal drip with sore throat (pharyngitis)
  • Yellow or green discharge from your nose
  • Red and swollen nasal passages (nasal congestion)
  • Mild-to-moderate fever
  • A sense of not feeling well
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in upper teeth

Migraines may feel worse when you bend forward and can be accompanied by nasal congestion. But a migraine is more likely to be made worse by noise or light, and to be accompanied by nausea.


Sinus headaches can be caused by sinus congestion and inflammation, called sinusitis. Sinusitis, in turn, is caused by either a respiratory infection, such as a cold or flu, or allergies, like hay fever.

Healthy sinuses allow mucus to drain and air to circulate throughout the nasal passages. When sinuses become inflamed, these areas get blocked and mucus cannot drain. When sinuses are blocked, they provide a place for bacteria, viruses, and fungus to live and grow rapidly. Although a cold is the most common culprit, sinusitis can be caused by anything that prevents the sinuses from draining.

Risk Factors

  • History of allergies, especially hay fever, or asthma
  • Nasal polyps or swellings in the nasal passage, nasal bone spurs, nasal or facial tumor, deviated septum, or cleft palate
  • Climbing or flying to high altitudes
  • Frequent swimming or diving


Your doctor will ask questions to distinguish sinus headaches from migraines or tension headaches. If you have had a recent cold, allergy flare up, or symptoms of sinusitis, it will help your doctor make a diagnosis.

Your doctor will look in your nose to check for congestion and nasal discharge. Your doctor will also press on areas of your face to check for tenderness. Your doctor may shine a light through the sinuses to look for sinus inflammation; if the light does not shine through, your sinuses may be congested.

If your doctor suspects chronic sinusitis, you may need imaging tests, including an x-ray, computed tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). If your doctor suspects allergies may be causing your sinusitis, you may need an allergy test. Your doctor may also refer you to a specialist, known as an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor, or an otolaryngologist. This specialist may perform a nasal endoscopy using a fiber optic scope to look at your sinuses.

Treatment Approach

The best way to avoid or get rid of a sinus headache is to treat the underlying sinus inflammation. Sinus pain caused by allergies may be helped by allergy medications and medicated nasal sprays. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or corticosteroids. Lifestyle changes, such as using a humidifier or irrigating your nasal passages with salt water, may also help. Several dietary supplements and herbs may help prevent colds and flu, shorten their duration, or work together with antibiotics to treat your infection and support your immune system. Flushing the nose and sinuses with saline solution may also help.


Doing the following things can help reduce congestion in your sinuses:

  • Using a humidifier
  • Using a saline nasal spray
  • Breathing in steam 2 to 4 times per day (for example, sitting in the bathroom with the shower running)
  • Quickly treating allergic and asthma attacks

Other techniques that might help include:

  • Stretches for the head and neck
  • Relaxation techniques (see Mind-Body Medicine section)


Antibiotics. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if they suspects you have a bacterial infection. To treat acute sinusitis, you may take from 10 to 14 days of antibiotics. Treating chronic sinusitis may take longer, usually 3 to 4 weeks.

Nasal corticosteroids. These prescription sprays reduce inflammation of the nose and help relieve sneezing, itching, and runny nose. They are most effective at reducing symptoms, although it can take anywhere from a few days to a week after you start using them to see improvement.

  • Beclomethasone (Beconase)
  • Fluticasone (Flonase)
  • Mometasone (Nasonex)
  • Triamcinolone (Nasacort)

Antihistamines. Antihistamines are available in both oral and nasal spray forms, and as prescription drugs and over-the-counter remedies, to treat allergies. Over-the-counter antihistamines are short acting and can relieve mild-to-moderate symptoms. All work by blocking the release of histamine in your body.

  • Over-the-counter antihistamines: Include diphenhydramine (Benadryl), chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton), and clemastine (Tavist). These older antihistamines can cause sleepiness. Fexofenadine (Allegra), cetinzine (Zyrtec), and loratadine (Claritin) are newer antihistamines that do not cause as much drowsiness.

Decongestants. Many over-the-counter and prescription decongestants are available in tablet or nasal spray form. They are often used in combination with antihistamines.

  • Oral and nasal decongestants: Include Sudafed, Actifed, Afrin, and Neo-Synephrine. Some decongestants may contain pseudoephedrine, which can raise blood pressure. People with high blood pressure or enlarged prostate should not take drugs containing pseudoephedrine. Avoid using nasal decongestants for more than 3 days in a row, unless specifically instructed by your doctor, because they can cause rebound congestion. Do not use them if you have emphysema or chronic bronchitis.

Triptans. In one study, 82% of people with sinus headaches had a significant response to triptans, a medication commonly used for migraines.

Surgery and Other Procedures

For chronic sinusitis that does not respond to medication, your doctor may recommend endoscopic sinus surgery, which may be done to remove polyps or bone spurs. Some doctors also recommend enlarging the sinus opening. A newer procedure called balloon rhinoplasty involves inserting a balloon inside the sinus cavity and then inflating it.

Sinus surgeries are done by an ENT specialist.

Nutrition and Dietary Supplements

Several supplements may help prevent or treat sinus headaches, either by reducing sinus inflammation, or by helping to ward off colds. (See Sinusitis for more details.) Because supplements may have side effects, or interact with medications, you should take them only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.

  • Bromelain. Several studies suggest that bromelain, an enzyme derived from pineapples, may help reduce inflammation and swelling and relieve symptoms of sinusitis. However, not all studies agree. Bromelain is often combined with quercetin, a flavonoid or plant pigment responsible for the colors found in fruits and vegetables, which may act as an antihistamine. Bromelain may increase the risk of bleeding, so people who take blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin) or clopidogrel (Plavix) should not take bromelain without talking to their doctor first. Taking bromelain with ACE inhibitors may cause a drop in blood pressure, called hypotension. Bromelain may interact with certain antibiotics as well. Speak with your doctor.
  • Quercetin. In test tubes, quercetin stops the production and release of histamine, which causes allergy symptoms, such as a runny nose and watery eyes. It is often combined with bromelain. However, there is not yet much evidence that quercetin would work the same way in humans. More studies are needed. Some people may prefer water-soluble forms of quercetin, such as hesperidin methyl chalcone (HMC) or quercetin chalcone. Quercetin may interact with certain medications, so ask your doctor before taking it.
  • Probiotics (Lactobacillus). Probiotics, or “friendly” bacteria, may help if you are taking antibiotics for sinusitis. They may also reduce your chances of developing allergies. People who have very weakened immune systems or who take drugs to suppress the immune system should ask their doctor before taking probiotics.


The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care practitioner.

As with supplements, there are many herbs that may help reduce your chances of getting a sinus headache by preventing or treating a cold, boosting your immune system, or reducing sinus inflammation.

Sinupret, a proprietary formulation containing European elder (Sambucus nigra), common sorrel (Rumex acetosa), cowslip (Primula veris), European vervain (Verbena officinalis), and gentian (Gentiana lutea). In two studies, Sinupret was found to work better than placebo in relieving symptoms of sinusitis. The herbs it contains may work by thinning mucus and helping the sinuses drain, and they may also help strengthen the immune system.

Although research is lacking, other herbs have been used traditionally to treat headaches:

  • Chinese skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis)
  • Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)
  • Willow bark (Salix spp.)

People who take blood thinners, or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, should not take these herbs. People who are allergic to aspirin should not take willow bark. Feverfew can interact with several medications. If you are allergic to ragweed you may also be allergic to feverfew.


One of the most common reasons people seek homeopathic care is to relieve chronic headaches. Few studies have examined the effectiveness of specific homeopathic remedies. Professional homeopaths, however, may recommend treatments for sinus headaches based on their knowledge and clinical experience. In one study of homeopathy for sinusitis, more than 80% of the participants had significant improvement in their symptoms after taking the homeopathic remedy for 2 weeks.

Before prescribing a remedy, homeopaths take into account a person’s constitutional type. In homeopathic terms, a person’s constitution is his or her physical, emotional, and intellectual makeup. An experienced homeopath assesses all of these factors when determining the most appropriate remedy for a particular individual.

The following are remedies commonly prescribed for sinus congestion and headache:

  • Arsenicum album. For throbbing, burning sinus pain that is relieved by lying upright in a cool room with open windows.
  • Belladonna. For throbbing headaches that come on suddenly and feel worse with motion and light; pain is partially relieved by pressure, standing, sitting, or leaning backwards.
  • Bryonia. For headaches with a steady, sharp pain that occurs most often in the forehead but may radiate to the back of the head; symptoms tend to worsen with movement and light touch, but firm pressure alleviates the pain; the person for whom this remedy is most appropriate is usually irritable and may experience nausea, vomiting, and constipation.
  • Hepar sulphuricum. For headaches described as “a nail being driven between the eyes,” these types of headaches are often accompanied by thick, yellow nasal discharge; symptoms tend to worsen with movement and light touch of the scalp and improve with pressure.
  • Iris versicolor. For throbbing headaches that occur on one side of the head, especially after eating sweets; visual disturbances may also occur; these headaches are worse in the early morning, during spring and fall, and symptoms tend to worsen with vomiting.
  • Kali bichromicum. For sinus headaches and congestion; pain often occurs between and behind the eyes; symptoms typically progress throughout the morning, worsen with cold and motion, and improve with warmth and pressure.
  • Mercurius. For raw, swollen nostrils; this remedy is most appropriate for individuals whose pain feels as though the head has been placed in a vise; pain may also extend to the teeth; symptoms tend to worsen at night and the individual may alternate between sweating and having the chills; nasal discharge may be bloody.
  • Natrum muriaticum. For headaches and congestion associated with allergies.
  • Pulsatilla. For headaches triggered by eating rich, fatty foods, particularly ice cream; pain may move around the head but tends to be concentrated in the forehead or on one side of the head and may be accompanied by digestive problems or occur around the time of menstruation; symptoms tend to worsen at night and with coughing and blowing the nose; children often develop these symptoms while at school.
  • Silicea. For sinus pain that improves with pressure, head wraps, and warm compresses.
  • Spigelia. For stinging, burning, or throbbing sinus pain that often occurs on the left side of the head; symptoms tend to worsen with cold weather and motion but may be temporarily relieved by cold compresses and lying on the right side with the head propped up.


Although studies are few and have found conflicting results, some people may find that acupuncture helps relieve symptoms of sinusitis. An acupuncturist diagnosis headaches not as migraine, tension, or sinus, but rather as conditions deriving from “energetic” imbalances. Acupuncturists usually describe sinusitis as “dampness” which creates inflammation and congestion in the mucus membranes. This dampness is cleared by strengthening the spleen meridian and by working with the stomach meridian. Practitioners often perform needling therapy and/or moxibustion, a technique in which the herb mugwort is burned over specific acupuncture points, for this condition.


Although there are no studies on using chiropractic to treat sinus headaches, some practitioners suggest that it may decrease pain and improve sinus drainage for some people.

Mind-Body Medicine

For headaches in general, relaxation techniques can be helpful. This is especially true for frequent headaches, such as sinus headaches. You may want to try these techniques:

  • Biofeedback to control muscle tension
  • Learn to meditate, breathe deeply, or try other relaxation exercises, such as yoga or hypnotherapy
  • Try guided imagery techniques

Other Considerations

If you are not better in a few weeks, your primary care physician may send you to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist for tests to find the cause of your sinus congestion.


Sinus congestion often acts up during pregnancy. There are many herbs and medications that pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use. Check with your doctor before using any herbs or supplements if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Warnings and Precautions

You should go to the emergency room or call 911 if you experience the following:

  • Sudden and severe headache that persists or increases in intensity over 24 hours
  • A sudden, severe headache that you describe as “your worst ever,” even if you are prone to headaches
  • Chronic or severe headaches that begin after age 50
  • Headaches accompanied by memory loss, confusion, loss of balance, change in speech or vision, or loss of strength in, or numbness or tingling, in any one of your limbs
  • Headaches accompanied by fever, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting (may indicate meningitis)
  • Severe headache in one eye accompanied by redness of the eye (may indicate acute glaucoma)

Supporting Research

Annequin D, Tourniaire B, Massiou H. Migraine and headache in childhood and adolescence. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2000;47(3):617-31.

Aring AM, Chan MM. Acute rhinosinusitis in adults. Am Fam Physician. 2011 May 1;83(9):1057-63.

Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000:240-3.

Cady RK, Schreiber CP. Sinus headache or migraine? Considerations in making a differential diagnosis. Neurology. 2002;58(9 Suppl 6):S10-S14.

Foroughipour M, Sharifian SM, Shoeibi A, Ehdali Barabad N, Bakhshaee M. Causes of headache in patients with a primary diagnosis of sinus headache. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2011;268(11):1593-6.

Friese KH, Zabalotnyi DI. Homeopathy in acute rhinosinusitis: a double-blind, placebo controlled study shows the efficiency and tolerability of a homeopathic combination remedy. HNO. 2007;55(4):271-7.

Guo R, Canter PH, Ernst E. Herbal medicines for the treatment of rhinosinusitis: a systematic review. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2006;135(4):496-506.

Harvey R, Hannan SA, Badia L, Scadding G. Nasal saline irrigations for the symptoms of chronic rhinosinusitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007;(3):CD006394.

Helms S, Miller A. Natural treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis. Altern Med Rev. 2006;11(3):196-207.

Kaya A, Caliskan H. Does wet hair in cold weather cause sinus headache and posterior eye pain? A possible mechanism through selective brain cooling system. Med Hypotheses. 2012;79(6):744-5.

Kari E, DelGaudio JM. Treatment of sinus headache as migraine: the diagnostic utility of triptans. Laryngoscope. 2008;118(12):2235-9.

Karkos PD, Leong SC, Arya AK, Papouliakos SM, Apostolidou MT, Issing WJ. ‘Complementary ENT’: a systematic review of commonly used supplements. J Laryngol Otol. 2007;121(8):779-82.

Marmura MJ, Silverstein SD. Headaches caused by nasal and paranasal sinus disease. Neurol Clin. 2014; 32(2):507-23.

Mauskop A. Alternative therapies in headache. Is there a role? Med Clin North Am. 2001;85(4):1077-84.

Mehle ME, Kremer PS. Sinus CT scan findings in “sinus headache” migraineurs. Headache. 2008;48(1):67-71.

Melzer J, Saller R, Schapowal A, Brignoli R. Systematic review of clinical data with BNO-101 (Sinupret) in the treatment of sinusitis. Forsch Komplement Med. 2006;13(2):78-87.

Sinus headaches – Symptoms & causes


Sinus headaches are headaches that may feel like an infection in the sinuses (sinusitis). You may feel pressure around the eyes, cheeks and forehead. Perhaps your head throbs.

But, this pain might actually be caused by a migraine.

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Signs and symptoms of sinus headaches may include:

  • Pain, pressure and fullness in the cheeks, brow or forehead
  • Worsening pain if you bend forward or lie down
  • Stuffy nose
  • Fatigue
  • Achy feeling in the upper teeth

Sinusitis or migraine?

Migraines and headaches from sinusitis are easy to confuse because the signs and symptoms of the two types of headaches may overlap.

Both migraine and sinusitis headache pain often get worse when you bend forward. Migraine can also be accompanied by various nasal signs and symptoms — including congestion, facial pressure and a clear, watery nasal discharge. These are due to involvement of the autonomic nervous system in a migraine attack. In fact, studies have shown that most people who see a health care provider for sinus headaches are found to have migraines instead.

Sinusitis, however, usually isn’t associated with nausea or vomiting or aggravated by noise or bright light — all common features of migraines.

Sinusitis usually:

  • Occurs after a viral upper respiratory infection or cold
  • Includes thick, discolored nasal mucus
  • Is associated with a decreased sense of smell
  • Causes pain in one cheek or upper teeth

Headaches due to sinus disease often last days or longer, and migraines most commonly last hours to a day or two.

When to see a doctor

Consult your provider if:

  • Your headache symptoms occur more than 15 days a month or require frequent pain medicine available without a prescription
  • You have a severe headache, and pain medicine available without a prescription doesn’t help
  • You miss school or work because of frequent headaches or the headaches interfere with your daily life


Sinus headaches are usually associated with migraines or other forms of headaches.

Sinus headaches are associated with pain and pressure in the face and sinuses and can cause nasal symptoms. Most of these headaches are not caused by sinus infections and generally should not be treated with antibiotics.

Risk factors

Sinus headaches can affect anyone but may be more likely if you have:

  • A previous history of migraines or headaches
  • A family history of migraines or headaches
  • Hormonal changes associated with headaches


Whether or not you take preventive medications, you may benefit from lifestyle changes that can help reduce the number and severity of headaches. One or more of these suggestions may be helpful for you:

  • Avoid triggers. If certain foods or odors seem to have triggered your headaches in the past, avoid them. Your provider may recommend you reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake and avoid tobacco.

    In general, establish a daily routine with regular sleep patterns and regular meals. In addition, try to control stress.

  • Exercise regularly. Regular aerobic exercise reduces tension and can help prevent headaches. If your provider agrees, choose any aerobic exercise you enjoy, including walking, swimming and cycling.

    Warm up slowly, however, because sudden, intense exercise can cause headaches.

    Obesity is also thought to be a factor in headaches, and regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight or lose weight.

  • Reduce the effects of estrogen. If estrogen seems to trigger or make your headaches worse, you may want to avoid or reduce the medications you take that contain estrogen.

    These medications include birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy. Talk with your provider about the appropriate alternatives or dosages for you.

Frontal pains of the brain: how to distinguish migraine from hypertension | Articles

Headache is perhaps the most common type of pain that spares almost no one. It is believed that two-thirds of the world’s population suffer from cephalalgia. Izvestia figured out how to determine by the localization of pain sensations whether a person is worried about serious illnesses, why uncontrolled medication is dangerous, and why women have the right to refer to a headache in family relationships.

What’s on the forehead, what’s on the forehead

Forehead, back of the head or temples – the localization of the headache may indicate the presence of a certain pathology of the body. However, experts complain that it is not so simple.

Of course, there are generally accepted areas of cephalalgia that may indicate certain problems. For example, pain in the frontal lobe is associated with diseases of the ENT organs. If a person has sinusitis and rhinitis, then mucus and pus can accumulate in the maxillary and frontal sinuses and cause frontal sinusitis (inflammatory disease). One of the leading symptoms in this diagnosis is just a headache in the frontal lobe , – explains the general practitioner, holder of the status of “Moscow doctor” Denis Prokofiev.

In such cases, people should not self-medicate in the hope that if they get rid of cephalalgia, then the problems will go away. Timely access to a doctor can save health.

The appearance of an additional symptom “headache” in diseases of the ENT organs is a rather bad sign. It is worth remembering that the meninges are located next to the sinuses. And if the bacterial infection goes to the meninges, then there will be meningitis. And this disease is associated with resuscitation and severe treatment , continues Denis Prokofiev.

Doctors advise against underestimating headache as a diagnostic criterion. With increased pressure, a person may experience pain in the forehead, temples, but most often it is still localized in the back of the head.

Photo: Global Look Press/imageBROKER/uwe umstätter

In 80% of cases, pain in the back of the head indicates high blood pressure. The remaining 20% ​​is a spasm of the neck muscles with spasm of the brachiocephalic vessels – the main vessels of the brain responsible for its saturation with blood , – comments Prokofiev.

Treating attacks of high blood pressure is not recommended because self-medication can lead to stroke.

Sometimes people literally give themselves a headache. A sedentary lifestyle, heavy lifting, trauma, sleeping in an uncomfortable position, and other similar reasons can cause a vascular headache.

It occurs when problems with the spine affect the vertebral artery passing through the bone canal at the level of the cervical region, and the blood supply changes. And the squeezing of blood vessels causes chronic ischemia – a slowly progressive dysfunction of the brain. In the case when there is compression of the veins, the venous outflow of blood is hampered , – explains the associate professor of the Department of Osteopathy of the North-Western State Medical University. I.I. Mechnikov, osteopath, neurologist Vladimir Belash.

All these conditions, according to the expert, can be manifested by headache, but in this case it is secondary. Treatment should be directed at addressing the underlying causes.

Headache with arterial hypertension also belongs to vascular. And sometimes a person does not even suspect that he has problems with pressure. In such cases, the patient is advised to keep a blood pressure diary for two weeks to determine the cause of the headache. Complaints go away when the pressure normalizes, the neurologist emphasizes.

Where it hurts

It is important to observe yourself and accurately describe the problem at the doctor’s appointment so that specialists issue the necessary referrals for examinations and choose the right treatment. Pulsating pain in the temples of the doctor is most often associated with psycho-emotional stress.

Photo: Global Look Press/imageBROKER/Jochen Tack

— This pulsation is usually neurological. And here we can certainly recommend the use of sedatives, essential oils or heat or cold compresses, says Denis Prokofiev.

However, not every pain can be harmless. It makes no sense to pin hopes on folk methods, so as not to miss something important.

Probably one of the most dangerous – bursting pain of a long nature. It is necessary to differentiate – the pain is single, attack or chronic. The feeling of fullness is a definite signal to examine the brain. Perhaps there is hydrocephalus (accumulation of excess cerebrospinal fluid in the hollow spaces of the brain). Or we are talking about a neoplasm that presses on a certain area. Here, of course, diagnostics is needed , continues Denis Prokofiev.

Neurologist Vladimir Belash notes that the symptoms of vascular anomalies (aneurysms), some types of stroke, as well as brain tumors can also manifest as headaches. That is, in some cases, cephalalgia is a “mask” of a serious illness, a secondary manifestation of some underlying pathology.

According to the therapist, doctor of the highest category Irina Eskova, patients often experience so-called secondary headaches, which are caused by the presence of chronic diseases, for example, problems with blood vessels and atherosclerosis. They happen with traumatic brain injuries and cerebral hemorrhage. Secondary headaches can also be the result of any infection. They are also accompanied by diseases of the ear, throat, nose and oral cavity.

— We usually look at the nature of the pain. If this is an ache in the frontal part or paranasal sinuses and it is accompanied by fever and nasal congestion, then, of course, it is necessary to check whether there is damage to the maxillary sinuses or frontal sinuses. Pulsating pain in the temple area – pronounced, shooting, may be associated with temporal arteritis, – says Irina Eskova.

Photo: RIA Novosti/Evgeny Odinokov

The therapist explains that temporal arteritis affects the arteries that supply blood to the brain, eyes, and optic nerves. This disease is dangerous because it can lead to loss of vision.

Irina Eskova advises to take seriously the pain that occurs as a result of sharp rises in blood pressure and can provoke the development of a stroke, as well as cerebral hemorrhage. In such cases, cephalgia is sometimes accompanied by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, unsteadiness and other symptoms. You can’t do without medical help. Such unpleasant symptoms accompanying cephalalgia as prolonged fever, flashing flies before the eyes, pain in the retrosternal region should also serve as a reason to turn to specialists.

We keep our finger on the pulse

Denis Prokofiev, a general practitioner, recommends that people who experience headache attacks measure their blood pressure and pulse. If they are in normal reference values, then you can take an anesthetic drug. However, this medicine should be chosen carefully. So, it should not contain components that change pressure, the doctor emphasizes.

The biggest mistake of people suffering from cephalalgia is thoughtlessly taking various pills in the hope that some remedy will definitely work. Sometimes at work, employees turn to colleagues for help, and those, out of the kindness of their hearts, share their drugs with them. Moreover, no one reads the instructions with contraindications in such cases, what can we say about seeking advice from a doctor. Chaotic attempts at anesthesia can backfire. The person runs the risk of getting even bigger problems.

Photo: Global Look Press/Russian Look/Nikolay Gyngazov

Abusive headache (one of the forms of chronic daily headache) occurs as a result of regular or frequent use of analgesics, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, drugs containing ergotamine, codeine, aspirin, barbiturates, which the patient has previously taken for a long time from any pain, in including the head , – Irina Eskova comments.

Such patients, according to the therapist, complain of increased fatigue, sleep disturbance, decreased attention and memory. They often suffer from depression and anxiety. How to distinguish an abuse headache from other types of cephalalgia?

If a patient has taken analgesics daily for three months or more (sometimes for several years) and despite taking painkillers, pain persists for 15 days or longer, abuse headaches should be suspected. Usually, after the abolition of drugs, the pain disappears in a month , – explains Irina Eskova.

It would be nice not to have a migraine

Doctors and patients consider migraine to be the most painful form of headache. Recently, according to neurologist Belash, the view of both migraine itself and its causes has changed. It turns out that most often this disease is hereditary.

Vessels that supply blood to the brain and through which it flows from the cranial cavity, for various reasons, respond inadequately to provoking factors. For example, in response to a change in weather, strong emotional arousal, visual loads, irritation of the trigeminal nerve fibers occurs. The vessels overflow with blood, a lot of blood accumulates in the so-called venous collectors. They irritate the membranes and structures of the brain, and a headache appears , explains Belash.

Migraine is difficult to treat. Each person needs an individual plan to reach a state of remission – a temporary respite from the disease.

Photo: Global Look Press/Russian Look/Nikolay Gyngazov

— Patients are prescribed anti-migraine drugs to treat attacks. When an attack has already developed, such a drug helps to cope with pain. And as a prophylaxis, vitamins and drugs are used that act on blood vessels and are required to prevent an attack, improve the blood supply to the nervous system, continues the osteopath.

People with migraines have to learn to live with the problem. To minimize suffering, they build an optimal regimen for themselves. Someone tries to get enough sleep, others avoid unnecessary stress on the eyes, for example, they refuse to watch 3D films. It happens that it is enough for a person to reduce the intervals between meals to reduce the frequency of attacks.

— With each such patient, specialists conduct a conversation, identify all the factors that provoke pain. A person observes himself, fills out a questionnaire. Then all regime moments are discussed, non-drug methods are selected – massage, options for physiotherapy, reflexology, physiotherapy exercises, manual methods, – says the doctor.

All these measures have an auxiliary effect, since they cannot completely get rid of a hereditary disease. But a person manages to achieve a stable remission, when attacks become less frequent or occur once a year.

Identifying a migraine by the location of the pain is not easy, but an experienced doctor can do it.

The classic version – when the pain affects one half of the head. It is characteristic that with a migraine there is a feeling of pain behind the eye. Nevertheless, complaints can be different. Sometimes the pain covers the entire head, and sometimes patients point to one local area of ​​the parietal region , says the neurologist.

Photo: Global Look Press/imageBROKER/Jochen Tack

Luckily for mankind, migraine is not the most common cause of cephalalgia.

Without tension

The expression “do everything so that your head does not hurt” can be substantiated from a scientific point of view. Problems and experiences can also provoke a headache.

In neurology and psychiatry there is such a diagnosis – tension headache, when unpleasant sensations, pain syndrome are directly related to overexertion – stress or negative emotions that affect well-being , – says psychiatrist, psychotherapist, sexologist Alexei Vilkov.

This pain, according to the expert, has certain signs. For example, cephalgia is diffuse in nature, that is, it covers either the entire forehead or the entire back of the head. That is, it does not have a clear localization. The second sign is that it does not increase with physical exertion, which is usually characteristic of migraine.

This pain is directly related to negative emotions, either to fatigue and overwork, or to the direct effects of stress. Most often, it passes after rest and relaxation, as well as solving those urgent problems that caused a negative reaction. She is treated with psychotherapy techniques , the psychiatrist explains.

Tension headache is the most common type of headache in the world. Up to 80% of people who go to doctors with such a complaint suffer from it. Her appearance may be associated with some stressful situations. When a person constantly experiences psycho-emotional arousal and tension, this affects muscle tone. They tense up, as a result, pain sensations gradually form, – says neurologist Vladimir Belash.

Photo: Global Look Press/imageBROKER/Moritz Wolf

The doctor considers stress and overload associated with static stress to be the second factor in tension headache. For example, when a person sits in an uncomfortable position or works in one position for a long time, and all muscles are constantly tense. Since the muscles and ligaments of the cervical spine are functionally attached to the head, pain occurs from constant tension and overstrain.

– With disorders of the cervical spine, blood flow sometimes changes. There is irritation of the arteries, difficulty in the venous outflow of blood, which affects the blood supply to the structures of the head, including the brain. One of the manifestations of this problem can be a headache, continues Vladimir Belash.

With a tension headache, a person most often experiences pain first in the neck, then it goes to the back of the head, and then to the parietal region.

A type of tension headache — muscular-tonic syndrome on the background of changes in the spine. It appears from improper load, asymmetry in the body, which occurs, for example, when carrying a bag or other weights incorrectly. Painkillers will help relieve pain, but will not remove its cause. Emphasis should be placed on non-drug loading – this is massage, manual therapy, options for physiotherapy exercises, visiting a fitness room to relieve muscle tension , explains Vladimir Belash.

Defensive reaction

The anecdotal excuse about a sore head, due to which women avoid marital duties, is also nothing but a tension headache. However, the reasons for the defensive reaction, which is customary to laugh at, are far from fun.

Photo: Global Look Press/CTK/Josef Horazny, Martin Sterba

From the point of view of sexology, a headache can indeed occur in women before intercourse, when they have no desire to have sex, and also if the attraction directly to a partner is reduced, or in general the overall level of libido is reduced. Cephalgia may also indicate signs of sexual aversion to a partner , – comments sexologist Alexei Vilkov.

Accumulated conflicts and problems in a couple can also cause a headache at the wrong time. Partner cephalgia can also be provoked by bad habits of a man who do not like or are disgusted by his partner.

If at the very beginning of a relationship a woman can enter into intimacy as if suppressing her unwillingness, then gradually the body begins to react. At first, there is a lack of excitation, unpleasant pain, discomfort during intimacy. And then a real headache can arise, which a woman sometimes does not directly associate with her unwillingness to have sex. She is looking for any other reasons – neurological, somatic. Being examined by related specialists who may not pay attention to the root of the problem for a long time , — the expert comments.

According to the sexologist, pressure fluctuations occur during sexual intercourse, but they are not so critical as to attribute the causes of pain, for example, to hypertension. This is the case when you need to bring harmony into personal relationships, and the pain will recede.

Why does the head hurt – causes, what to do, treatment of headache

Headache is not an independent disease, but very often serves as a symptom of various pathological processes occurring in the body.


  • Causes of headaches
  • Treatment of headaches
  • Tibetan medical advice for headaches
  • Prevention

Causes of headaches

900 02 A huge number of a wide variety of external and internal causes can cause a headache: stressful situations, poor sleep, uncomfortable posture during sleep or while sitting, the presence of gas smoke or strong odors of volatile substances (varnishes, gasoline, perfumes) in the surrounding air, exposure to bright sun or wind, smoking, drinking strong coffee, a wide variety of noises (including conversation, monotonous sounds, crying), the use of unusual foods (chocolate, citrus fruits, smoked meats), as well as metabolic disorders, lymph stagnation, the formation of gases in the digestive tract.

Headache may be associated with osteochondrosis, bruises and head injuries, disorders of the nervous system, disorders of the liver, kidneys, diseases of the organs of vision and hearing, etc.

Tibetan medicine associates the presence of a headache with three types of human constitution: Wind, Bile and Mucus. The type of constitution will determine the nature of the headache and the measures to get rid of it.

Headache treatment

At the Naran clinic, headache treatment is carried out after finding out the causes of its occurrence and taking into account the patient’s constitution.

All procedures are prescribed strictly individually. The complex of therapeutic measures may include phytotherapy and sessions:

  • energy point massage,
  • acupuncture,
  • soft manual therapy,
  • vacuum therapy,
  • moxibustion etc.

These procedures eliminate pathological changes in the spine, relax the muscles of the neck, have a general strengthening, healing, relaxing effect on the human body, fight the causes of headaches.

For each patient, the doctor gives recommendations on lifestyle, nutrition correction, introduces a set of health-improving exercises. The implementation of all the doctor’s advice will allow the patient to maintain his health for many years of life and forget about the problem of headache.

Tibetan medicine advice for headaches

People of constitution Wind

Relief for headaches Wind brings sleep. Drinking hot helps – it replenishes the Yang energy, which is lacking in people of this type, spicy and sweet tastes are especially useful, for example, tea or coffee with sugar and lemon.

Rubbing warm vegetable oil on the body also has a positive effect. You can use sunflower oil, but sesame oil is better. Be sure to lubricate the top of the head, then – a drop of oil in each ear to massage the pointed protrusion in front of the ear – the tragus. And after that they rub the hands and legs with oil.

For the ever-chilling Wind, it is good to add ground ginger root to food – it has a warming and tonic effect, replenishes Yang vital energy and helps relieve chronic headaches. You can prepare ginger sauce, which perfectly complements rice, potato, porridge, vegetable, meat and fish dishes. To do this, 1 teaspoon of ground or chopped ginger root and 1 tablespoon of flour are fried with 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, a glass of water, salt and pepper are added to taste. A warming drink is also prepared from ginger with ginger root, a slice of lemon and 1 teaspoon of honey per 1 cup of boiling water. Cold drinks with ice are contraindicated in the wind, and it is better to refuse chewing gum, which unnecessarily loads the jaw muscles.

People of the constitution Bile

People of the Bile type should take only freshly prepared food, and never eat yesterday’s dishes, and even more so 2-3 days old. Standing salads, sour stale fruits are contraindicated, as well as hot, fatty and spicy foods, strong alcoholic drinks. Only sometimes you can make an exception and drink cool wine.

For headaches, a cold compress on the head, for example, in the form of a terry towel soaked in cold water, is very helpful. A flat sea stone can be applied to painful areas.

People of the constitution Mucus

People of the Bile and Mucus type are united by the fact that in both cases, prolonged headaches are accompanied by damage to the hair roots, leading to baldness and early graying.

Mucus helps to remove an attack by rubbing the head with warm vegetable oil with a small amount (on the tip of a knife) of red pepper. Such a composition is easily absorbed into the skin and causes the outflow of blood from the head. In addition, red pepper strengthens the hair roots. For the same purpose, you can use ghee, a small amount of which is applied to the fingertips and massaged with rubbing movements on the head in the direction from the eyebrows to the back of the head. Another recipe for rubbing is a mixture prepared from an equal amount of grated radish and honey.

During a headache, people of the Mucus type can be helped by a short fast – from 8 to 12 hours, during which you should drink only a hot ginger drink.