Thursday, 28 January 2016



Headaches are defined as pain arising from the head or upper neck of the body. Headache is a common symptom and almost everyone at some point in time would have experienced one form of headaches or another depending on its severity.

The pain of a headache may be described as being a dull ache, sharp pain, throbbing, constant, intermittent, mild or intense.

A headache may be a primary disease disorder as seen in migraines, cluster headaches and tension headaches. Headaches may also be a secondary symptom of an underlying problem in the head and neck region. Examples of headaches with secondary origin include headaches due to dental pain, headaches due to injury or infection to the brain, headaches caused by diseases of the eye, nose and cervical vertebrae.


Managing persistent headaches depends a lot on the type and cause of the headache.


These are like the normal type of headaches most people feel everyday. It feels like a constant ache that affects both sides of the head as though there is a tight band stretched around it. Tension headaches last between 30 minutes to a few hours. Sometimes it can last for several days. It is mild to moderate in severity without any other symptoms or ailment in particular.

Tension headaches can be caused by poor sleep, skipping meals, dehydration, stress and even poor body posture.

Lifestyle changes such as getting regular sleep, drinking lots of water and reducing stress level are very helpful in reducing a tension headache.

If the tension headache is more severe, simple analgesics such as paracetamol and ibuprofen should prove sufficient.


Migraines, although being less common than tension headaches, is a common health condition seen in men and women. It is a severe headache felt as a throbbing pain at the front or side of the head. Migraine headaches is associated with nausea and vomiting as well as sensitivity to light, sound and smell. Physical exertion can make a migraine worse.

There are several types of migraines, but the three major types are:
  • Migraines with aura: there are warning signs before the migraine begins. Usual warning sign is seeing flashes of light just before the start of the migraine.
  • Migraines without aura: migraines occur without warning
  • Migraine aura without headache: this is the silent migraine where aura and other migraine symptoms are experienced but the headache does not develop.  
Migraines cannot be cured but it can be managed quite effectively with a lot of emphasis placed more on preventing migraine attacks in the first place.The following lifestyle tips and migraine remedies will prove very helpful in preventing migraine attacks and managing them better when they do occur.

Manage your migraine triggers!

If you have very frequent migraines it is almost certain that certain stimuli trigger them. Use the calendar to track down what days of the week you experience them, how often and what things you do or body changes you experience just before a migraine attack. 
If you experience migraines after menstruation, it is most likely due to the steep declines of estrogen levels seen during menstruation.
If you get a hangover after taking one drink of alcohol, you just might be experiencing a migraine. Avoid alcohol that gives headaches after 8 hours of consumption.

Avoid consuming caffeine in large quantity.  You can experience withdrawal headaches which in turn can stimulate the migraine centers in the brain. If you must take coffee take nothing more than 1 teacup of coffee in a day.

Do not miss meals. Fluctuations in blood sugar levels can set off series of increasing pain that
can trigger your migraine center in the brain. Do not go for 3 to 4 hours without food.

Do not deprive your body of sleep. Go to bed early, have your rest and get up when sleep is sufficient. Be consistent about doing this.

Migraine non drug treatments
The following non drug migraine treatment therapies will prove useful. Apply ice packs to the head. Ice packs have a numbing effect on the pain of migraines. It is also good in reversing blood vessel inflammation that causes migraines.

Take a daily dose of 400mg riboflavin (Vitamin B2). Riboflavin has been shown to reduce
migraine attacks significantly after 3 months use. Co-enzyme Q10 supplement at a dosage of 150mg daily is also very useful in suppressing migraine attacks. 
Have you ever heard of the herbs FEVERFEW and BUTTERBUR plants? They are superb for preventing and treating a migraine. Daily supplementation with either of these 2 herbs would reduce migraine attack frequency. They can also be used in treating and providing relief for current migraine attacks.



Migraine drug treatment therapy
Drug treatments for migraines follow 2 main goals namely; Abortive therapy and Preventive therapy.

Abortive therapy focuses on stopping a migraine when it starts. These form of migraine medication are very useful for people who have nausea and vomiting related to migraine and they sure do work quickly. Abortive anti migraine medication can be taken by self injections, mouth skin patch or nasal spray.

Examples of potent abortive migraine medications are Tryptans (e.g sumatriptans), Naproxen, Ibuprofen and Ergotamine.

Preventive therapy focuses on preventing and lessening the frequency and severity of migraine attacks in people with migraines occurring more than once per week. These type of migraine treatment medication are most often taken once daily, every day. 

Examples of preventive therapy medication includes Botox, anti-hypertensive medicines such as propranolol, anti-depressants like amitryptilline and anti-seizure drugs such as gabapentine.


No comments:

Post a Comment