All You Need to Know About Headaches

All You Need to Know About Headaches

Try some of these measures to prevent some headaches before they even occur!

Somewhere along the line, headaches have become one of those things we just deal with. But with statistics revealing that one in five people worldwide suffers from headaches on a regular basis (with 12 percent suffering from migraines), it just doesn’t make sense to suffer in silence.

What is a Headache?
A headache is any pain in the head whether it’s a shooting pain lasting one second or the kind of pain that puts you out of action for two days.

Triggers Vs. Causes
You’ve discovered through years of trial and error that every time you eat a chocolate (or drink a glass of really cold water, or are stressed) you end up with a headache, so you come to the conclusion that this is what causes your headaches. You could be wrong, though! There’s a difference between the structure causing the pain and the trigger that pushes that cause over the edge.

Sometimes it could just be dehydration. If you’ve ever taken a few pain relief pills with a full glass of water, the water cures the pain more than the medicine!

Keep a Diary
Keeping a headache diary is a quick way of determining any food or environmental triggers. It also helps your doctor manage your headaches more effectively when you do seek treatment.

For each headache, you should list:

  • The date and time (when it started and finished)
  • The intensity of the headache
  • The type of pain (for example: shooting, throbbing, dull)
  • The preceding symptoms (such as feeling nauseous)
  • Possible triggers (had you just eaten a cheese sandwich, or been for a run?)
  • What painkillers, if any, you used and how many you needed
  • Whether or not the painkillers helped
  • Relief — was it moderate, complete, or was there no relief?

When to See Your Doctor Immediately
While any headache has the potential to be something else, you should definitely seek medical attention if:


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  • If your headache is accompanied by weakness in the limbs, blurred vision or difficulty speaking
  • A seizure or fit of any kind
  • If the headache is the result of a head injury
  • If it’s a sudden-onset headache when you’ve never experienced a headache before
  • If you also have a fever and neck pain
  • If the pain is getting worse steadily
  • Does the location of your pain vary, with a mild to moderate intensity and pressing or tightening pain?

Tension Headaches
Some people have a tendency toward muscle problems, tension headaches. Bad posture, sitting in an incorrectly set-up desk chair and being in the car all day can all be underlying causes of tension headaches.

These types of headaches are usually due to a symptom of dysfunction of the joints (many times the jaw), muscles and nerves of the neck. Common characteristics of these headaches include:

  • Pain triggered by neck movement or positioning
  • Reduced range of movement of the neck
  • Moderate pain and in sometimes associated symptoms like dizziness or nausea
  • A history of head or neck pain
  • A history of trauma, for example whiplash

The Truth About “Sinus Headaches”
The pains we commonly refer to as “sinus headaches” are almost never linked to the sinuses. These are actually tension headaches, but because pain is experienced under the cheekbone they are confused with sinus problems.

A migraine is a headache but not all headaches are migraines. That said, there is plenty of debate about what exactly constitutes a migraine and what causes them.

What is known is that women are more likely to suffer from them than men (suggesting a hormonal link), they last for between four and 72 hours, are usually felt on one side of the head (although they can be experienced all over the head) and are accompanied by light and sound sensitivity, nausea and vomiting.

Regardless of how it might seem, remember to take the best preventative measure and consult your doctor when it comes to headaches, as they could be a serious problem. Even if they aren’t, your physician might have some ideas in addition to these that could help you out!

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