Headache: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Home Remedies
One of the common pains that everyone faces in their lives is headache. Headaches are one of the major causes of leaves from school and work. For some people, it can take a toll on their social and professional life.
The medical term for a headache is cephalgia. A headache can be sharp, dull, constant, or throbbing. You can experience this pain anywhere in the head. It can be on top of the head, behind the head, just above the neck, around the temples, between the eyes, or behind the ears.
Other than pain in the head, some minor symptoms of headache include nausea, vomiting, vertigo, and a tightening feeling in the head. In this article, we are going to discuss everything related to headache including its symptoms, causes, treatment, and home remedies. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
What causes headaches everyday?
Basically, signal interaction between the blood vessels and surrounding nerves in the brain causes headache. These nerve muscles send pain signals to the brain. The specific cause of a headache also depends on its type. There are two main types of headache: primary and secondary.
Primary headaches are not related to any medical condition; examples are cluster headaches, migraines, and tension headaches. Meanwhile, secondary headaches are caused by some medical issues like trauma, tumor, head injury, sinus congestion, etc.
What is your headache telling you?
Whenever you get a medical problem, there is something that your body is trying to tell you. In the same way, headaches also have a specific language. What your headache is telling you depends on its location. Pain in the forehead, back of your head, and top of your head is a sign of tension headache. Cluster headaches are usually behind one of the two eyes. Meanwhile, pain in the cheeks, behind the ears, and in either half of the head is a sign of a migraine.
Migraine is a health condition in which you experience moderate to severe pain in the head along with nausea and vomiting. The pain is usually focused on one side of the head. A person suffering from migraine may also feel some sensory changes like increased sensitivity to light, smell, and sound before the headache.
The symptoms and severity of migraine headache can vary from person to person. Some patients may experience an episode of symptoms. Meanwhile, the symptoms may occur occasionally in other patients. According to a recent medical survey, the migraine condition affects 1 in every 15 men and 1 in every 5 women is US; hence it is more common among women.
Symptoms of Migraine Headache – How does it feel like:
Symptoms of migraines are different in every patient. In many patients, symptoms occur in stages. These stages are:
Almost 60% of people may experience prodromal symptoms that occur hours or days before a migraine headache. Prodromal symptoms include:
- Lack of appetite
- Increased thirst
- Changes in mood
- Increased sensory sensitivity
- Diarrhea or constipation
Aura is a part of pre-migraine symptoms. You may experience tingling or heaviness in the limbs, ringing in the ears, flashes of light, or black dots in your vision. Some rare auras are loss of vision and the ability to speak.
A migraine headache usually starts as mild pain and grows into severe throbbing pain. Sometimes, the pain can move from one side of the head to the other side. Some of the most prominent symptoms of migraine attack headache include:
This phase is also known as “migraine hangover.” Postdrome symptoms may last up to 1-2 days after a migraine headache. It includes symptoms like:
- Muscle pain or weakness
- Lack of appetite
What is the main cause of migraine headaches?
Doctors don’t know what exactly causes the migraine headache. Although, it is believed that some changes in our brain and genes are responsible for this condition. Medical researchers believe that the most prominent cause of migraine headache is the change in the brainstem. Basically, brainstem triggers the trigeminal nerve. As a result, our body releases chemicals such as Calcitonin, gene-related peptides, and Serotonin, which causes pain and inflammation.
What’s the best treatment option to get rid of Migraine Headache?
There is no proper treatment for migraine headache. But you can take medications to prevent or manage the symptoms of migraine.
- Your doctor can prescribe over-the-counter drugs because they work well in pain relief. It includes Acetaminophen, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Naproxen. Be careful while taking OTC medication because their overuse may cause medication headache. And you may become dependent on them.
- For the treatment of chemical imbalance in your brain, your doctor may prescribe triptans (serotonin receptor agonists) such as Sumatriptan or Almotriptan.
- Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of migraine. You Doctor may suggest anti-emetics to manage these symptoms.
- Regenerative medicine is a promising method for the treatment of migraines. Medical researchers are still studying the true effectiveness of stem therapy and prolotherapy for migraines. However, the initial results show a lot of potential.
To find out more, you can read our detailed articles on “What is Regenerative Medicines” and “Prolotherapy: Common Questions Answered”. If you have a question like, “Is there any regenerative medicine clinic near me in Indianapolis?” the answer is: Yes! You can call us to ask any questions. We will help you in any way we can.
When your sinuses get inflamed due to an infection or an allergic reaction, the pressure may build up around your cheekbones, forehead and behind the nose. This increased pressure causes pain and leads to headache. You may experience sinusitis due to upper respiratory tract infection which causes pain and pressure in your cheekbones along with some other symptoms like thickness of your nasal mucus and dull sense of smell.
Sinus headaches may be confused with migraine or tension headaches. It is important to find out that which type of headache is causing the symptoms so that you can get the proper treatment according to the condition.
Symptoms of Sinus Headache – How does it feel like:
Some of the most prominent symptoms of sinus headache include:
- Pain and pressure in your forehead, cheeks and behind your nose
- Rhinorrhea (runny nose)
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Worsening pain due to physical activity
Doctors may sometimes confuse sinus headaches with migraine headache because both have almost same symptoms. The physical activity may worsen the pain in both types of headache. Patients with migraine headache may also experience some nasal signs and symptoms.
However, nausea and vomiting are not usually the symptoms of sinus headache. The signs and symptoms of sinus headache last longer for days or weeks. Meanwhile, the symptoms of migraine headache usually last up to 1-2 days.
What is the main cause of Sinus Headaches?
The spaces behind the face are called sinus, there are tissues lining along the wall that can get inflamed. This inflammation leads to swelling and production of secretions that block the normal drainage of the sinuses. The build-up of fluids and secretions in the sinus area increases pressure and results the sinus headaches. The inflammation is commonly known as sinusitis.
Common causes of sinusitis are hay fever, allergic reaction, infection, or irritation. In very rare cases, tumors can also block the sinus area and cause a sinus headache.
What’s the best treatment option to get rid of Sinus Headache?
Doctors may prescribe some over-the-counter painkillers like Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, or Naproxen to alleviate the pain. They are effective pain relievers. Meanwhile, your doctor may prescribe Decongestants to treat the blocked sinuses. Also, some doctors recommend nasal decongestant spray to manage symptoms like pain and congestion.
Headache specialists may recommend anti-histamines for allergic reactions. There are also some effective home remedies that can help with the congestion. These remedies are increased water intake, a salt-water nasal spray, or a humidifier.
PRP therapy which is a method of regenerative medicine, is quickly gaining acclaim for curing sinus congestion. You can read more about this treatment method in our article on “PRP Therapy: Commonly Asked questions”. If you have any other questions, you can call our clinic to have them answered.
Home Remedies For Headache:
There are many over-the-counter medications available for relieving headaches. However, going natural is the best way to deal with a lot of medical problems. Following are some of the natural home remedies that can help you get rid of your headache.
Remedy # 1: Use of Essential Oils
Essential oils are liquid essence from a variety of plants. They have numerous therapeutic benefits. Strong perfumes can trigger headaches, but certain aromas can help relieve the pain as well. Some of the best essential oils effective in treatment of headache include: peppermint, lavender, chamomile, rosemary, and eucalyptus.
Put a few drops of the essential oil in the diffuser and let yourself rest in a soothing environment for 20-30 minutes. During this time take deep, calming breaths to take in the oils. Rubbing peppermint oil around the temples is especially helpful for relieving tension headaches.
Remedy # 2: Stress Management Strategy
Stress is a general trigger for headache and migraine. It can also create a cycle whereby stress causes migraine, which then causes further stress and another attack of migraine. In this case, it is important to have a stress management strategy. This strategy can be anything that helps you relax.
For example, listening to music, taking a warm bath, meditation, or a simple stroll in the park can significantly reduce the chances of headache. Stress management groups and classes are also available that help control stress and relax. By using positive actions, we can take control of our body’s response to stress and other things in life.
Remedy # 3: Acupressure
Acupressure is a technique in which pressure is applied to certain parts of the body. This method sends signals to the body to activate the self-healing mechanisms. One headache pressure point is the LI-4 point. This is the space between the pointer finger and base of the thumb on the left hand. Applying pressure at the LI-4 point for 5 minutes, using your right hand may help relieve the headache. The applied pressure must be firm but not painful.
Similarly, the PC6 point has been proven to be helpful in relieving migraine pains and nausea. The PC6 point is located on the inside of the arm, three fingers up from the base of the wrist.
Remedy # 4: Yoga
Yoga is a form of mind and body workout. It is a great way to improve the quality of your life, increase flexibility, and reduce stress. Yoga has also proven to help in the reducing the severity as well as frequency of headaches.
Various studies have been conducted to test the effects of yoga on headache conditions. In one study, 60 patients of chronic migraine practiced yoga in their daily lives. A significant frequency and intensity reduction was observed in those who practiced yoga and conventional medicine as compared to those who were using only conventional medicine.
Remedy # 5: Eating Habits
Our eating habits affect our body’s reaction. There are certain foods that can trigger a migraine or a headache. Some of these food can be caffeinated drinks, alcohol, red wine, chocolate, and processed foods. There also some others trigger foods that are more specific to each person. It is important to understand what your body says about the food you eat. You can also keep a food diary to keep track of all the foods you ate before the onset of a migraine.
When should you go to the doctor for a headache?
If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of headache consistently, or if there is any history of attacks or even if it suddenly feels different, then you must speak with a doctor or headache specialist right away. You should go for an emergency treatment if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- A sudden severe headache
- Headache which becomes worse due to physical activity
- Headache after an injury
- Headache with uncontrollable vomiting
- Headache with stiff neck, weakness, fever or visual problem
Who’s the Best Headache Doctor Near Me in Indianapolis?
Do you want a treatment? Are you wondering “Is there any headache specialist near me in Indianapolis?” The answer is yes. We are near you. You can visit our clinic in Indianapolis anytime to get the best possible headache treatment with Dr. Daniel Williams. Dr. Dan is one of the most experienced doctors in regenerative medicine.
We can help you understand the cause of your consistent headache and devise a treatment plan suited to your needs. We know our body has the natural ability to heal itself. Dr. Dan harnesses this ability using regenerative therapy for the treat headache. We will effectively solve your health problems in the most comfortable environment. So, call our clinic to book your appointment.
A headache is one of the most commons problem that every person faces at some point in their life. In this article, we talked about different types of headache along with their their symptoms, causes, and the best treatment options. We also talked about some home remedies that can help you manage your headache episodes.
It is important to understand if your persistent headache is because of an underlying medical condition. Therefore, you need to visit a headache specialist in case of severe symptoms like unbearable pain. If you have a question in mind like, “Is there an expert near me who can help diagnose the cause of my hammering head?”, the answer is very simple. Dr. William is near you in Indianapolis. Our friendly staff can help you book an appointment today.