Who Gets Headaches?
At one time or another everyone has or will experience a headache. Epidemiologic studies show that in any year 90% of the population will experience at least one, however; only 1% of those were found to have a serious underlying pathologic cause.
Headaches in children show only a slightly higher incidence in females. After puberty women are three times more likely to complain of headache than men. These gender ratios are consistent worldwide.
The National Library of Medicine defines headache as any pain or discomfort occurring in the neck, scalp or head. The brain itself cannot produce pain as there are no pain receptors within brain tissue. Headache therefore arises from one of the structures surrounding brain tissue.
There are many classification systems for cephalalagia, the technical name for headache. The most commonly used delineation separates these symptoms into primary or secondary headaches.
Primary headaches include:
- Tension headache
- Autonomic including trigeminal headache
- Coital headache
- Headache due to cough and exertion
Secondary headaches include:
- From trauma (whiplash, postsurgical craniotomy, intracranial hematoma)
- Vascular (stroke, TIA, non-traumatic intracranial hemorrhage, A-V malformations)
- Change in intracranial pressure
- Maxillofacial trauma
- Dental infection or trauma
- All other headaches that arise from structures not within the head and neck.
Medical therapy used to treat a headache is specific to the underlying cause of the megrim. Common pharmaceutical categories include narcotic analgesics, muscle relaxers, anti-depressants, and neuroleptic drugs. The most commonly used over the counter treatments are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, aspirin, and Naprosyn or acetaminophen.
A common headache is so prevalent that most sufferers automatically reach for medication without considering alternative treatment options. Here are five natural remedies for a common headache.
Increase the magnesium intake
Magnesium is very important to keep your body healthy and functioning and the deficiency of magnesium can lead to headaches and migraines. If you experience frequent headaches this may be the cause.
600 mg of oral magnesium per day helps reduce the headaches one may be confronted with. Make sure you discuss with your doctor before taking any magnesium supplements as they may have some side effects.
If taking supplements is not an option for you, you can increase the magnesium intake from the food you eat – leafy greens, vegetables, seeds. You can also increase your body overall magnesium dose by taking an Epsom salt bath.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is important and, not enough sleep may cause those terrific headaches you confront with.
Make sure you sleep at least 6 hours per night. Those that get to sleep less than 6 hours per night tend to have more frequent headaches. Sleeping too much is also bad, so make sure you sleep between 7 to 9 hours per night for a healthy lifestyle. The best is to have 8 hours of quality sleep and you will be headache free.
Many of us have essential oils in the house of different kinds and different components. They have high therapeutic benefits.
They are not used internally, but one can apply externally to the temples and massage or even burn some scented oil in the room and try to relax. If you care for a bath, prepping your bath with some drops of lavender and peppermint oil and help your blood flow and relax you. Some of the best essential oils to use in this case are peppermint and lavender. You can also mix some coconut oil with peppermint and lavender, shake well and use it on your temples, forehead and neck, depending on where the pain is located.
If you have a really bad headache and do not know what to do, trying a very cold compress on the neck or head area can help decrease the inflammation and reduce the pain.
You can put a very towel soaked in cold water or an ice pack.
For me, the best is to use some hot compress to relieve the pain.
Hot water usually draws blood to the feet and relaxes you, so one thing you can do is to soak your feet in hot water and you will see how slowly the headache begins to fade away. A heating pad for your forehead or neck is also good to use, as they will relax the muscles and release the tension that a headache creates.