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Headache: Causes, Symptoms And Ayurvedic Treatment

By Dr. Kirti Malviya | Diseases | Posted on :   05-Jan-2021

One of the chief complaint experience almost in every human being due to various reasons. If any painful sensation occurs in any part of the head, ranging from sharp to dull, that may occur with any other symptoms, then it is generally categorized as headache.

Common types of headaches include

  • Tension Headache
  • Migraine Headache
  • Cluster Headache
  • Chronic daily Headache
  • Sinus Headache
  • Post-traumatic Headache
  • Hormone Headache
  • New Daily Persistent Headaches
  • Rebound Headaches

Headache: Symptoms 

  • Stiff neck/ rash/ worst headaches
  • Vomiting/ confusion/ slurred speech
  • High fever
  • Irritation
  • Flashing lights/ shimmering lights/ zigzag lines
  • Common cold
  • Exertion
  • Hypertension
  • Intense pain, etc.

When To See Your Doctor For Headache Disease?

When headache continue for weeks and more no. Of days and affects your daily activities with the above mentioned signs and symptoms, then you should consult your doctor to know about type of headache you are facing.

Headache: Causes And Risk Factors

Most common types of headaches are sinus/ tension /migraine. 
Sinus Headaches- it usually occurs when there is infection/pressure in the sinuses.
Tension Headaches- It mainly strike when the muscles in the head and neck tighten.
Migraine Headches- It occurs when super sensitive nerve endings in the brain create pain.

Headache Trigger Causes & Risk Factors 

  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Hunger
  • Caffeine withdrawal
  • Changes in weather
  • Processed food and monosodium glutamate food/ alcohol
  • Being around smoke/ certain smells
  • Flashing lights
  • Estrogen level changes in female
  • Otc (over the counter) drugs
  • High grade fever/ infections
  • Tumor/cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Excessive bleeding,etc.

Headache: Prevention 

  • Eat small and frequent meals
  • Forehead cold compress with ice-bag
  • Get a massage 
  • Drink enough fluids
  • Maintain your weight
  • Try to keep stress level low
  • Not too much caffeine
  • Don’t spent too much time on tv, laptop, mobile, computers.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid food that triggers your headache.
  • Avoid loud noise/ strong perfumes/ watching movies in a dark theater
  • Keep a regular schedule and follow up.
  • Eat vitamins rich food

Headache: Diagnosis 

Full medical history is required to know the proper cause of headache. It’s the first and most important part of the diagnosis.
It includes some questions regarding frequency, severity and location.
To diagnose the headache properly, it is more important to take patient’s history which helps to differentiate between primary headaches and secondary headaches.

Primary Headaches

Most common type of headaches, are painful, but not all dangerous. For this kind of headaches, headache trigger trackers and headache diaries can be effective tools to know the diagnosis in brief and causes.

Secondary Headaches

Generally characterized by excruciating pain, usually caused by another more serious conditions.

For Advanced Diagnosis Techniques, some tests and techniques used like-

  • ESR(Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate)
  • MRI, CT Scan
  • Digital Subtraction Angiography
  • Spinal tap

Headache: General Tips

  • Drink Water time to time to avoid inadequate hydration.
  • Breathing exercises and yoga
  • Massage of headache
  • Hot/ cold applications
  • Aromatherapy
  • Some acupuncture techniques and procedures
  • Proper sleep
  • Avoid food that contain monosodium glutamate, nitrate, Tyramine.
  • Herbal Tea
  • Panchkarma therapy in Ayurveda

What To Avoid?

  • Avoid dehydration
  • Smoked fish/ smoked chicken
  • Food preservatives
  • Excessive wine/alcohol
  • Excessive tea/coffee
  • Junk foods 
  • Continuous use of mobile/laptop/ led screen
  • Insufficient sleep

What To Eat? 

  • Drink adequate amount of water and fluids daily to maintain electrolyte balance.
  • Try to eat leafy green vegetables
  • Bananas/cherries
  • Cucumber
  • Vitamin b2 riboflavin containing foods
  • Oatmeal/brown rice/sesame seeds
  • Small amount of coffee/tea.
  • Herbal tea
  • Cooked foods
  • Summer squash/ sweet potatoes/ carrots/ spinach
  • Eat small amount of dessert.

Headache: Questions And Answers (FAQs)

Q.1) What makes headache differ from migraine?
Ans.- Migraine is basically most common form of headache, but not all headaches are migraines. Migraine is usually occur one side of the head and it’s associated with aura/nausea/ vomiting/sensitivity to light/ sound,etc. A throbbing pain also occur. On the other hand, headache is simply painful sensations that occur in head, ranges from simple to more intense depending upon signs and symptoms.
Q.2) What are Cluster Headaches?
Ans.- It is a type of headache which is relatively short lived, usually lasts between 20 mins and 2 hrs. It is mostly one-sided and associated with symptoms such as stuffy nose,tearing, enlarged pupil, droopy lid. It tend to occur several to many times in a day for a period of days to weeks, and then it disappear for a variable amount of time, usually weeks to months.
Q.3) What are Tension Headaches?
Ans.- Tension type headaches are the most common type after migraine. Typically they are found around the back of the head, the temples and forehead. Onset is somewhat pressure like and can last from hours to days. It can co-exist with migraine,and one can transform/trigger the other.
Q.4) What is a Hypnic Headache?
Ans.- A hypnic headache is a rare headache that usually occurs in people between the ages of 40 and 80. Its a unique headache that occurs exclusively at night, typically lasting between 15 and 60 minutes.
Q.5) How headache feels when u have sinus?
Ans.- Build up of a pressure in your sinuses causes pain that feels like a headache. You will feel a deep and constant pain in your cheekbones, forehead, or the bridge of your nose, pain usually gets much stronger when you move your head suddenly or strain.
Q.6) What are Sinus Headaches?
Ans.- The lining of the ducts/tubes that connect the sinuses to the back of the nose when become inflamed then the sinuses are unable to drain normally which makes sinuses to build up pressure within the blocked sinus. Also, occurs swelling and inflammation in sinuses which results in increased mucus and fluid secretion. Fluid combined with the inability to drain make pressure within the sinus cavity, causing the pain of a sinus headache.
Q.7) What causes Sinus Headaches?
Ans.- These kind of headache may be caused by a viral/bacterial infection which causes inflammation and swelling in the nose. It can also be cause by an allergic reaction such as hay fever. Fluid in sinuses increases due to inflammation which decreases the ability of the sinuses to drain.
Q.8) What causes headache pain behind eyes ?
Ans.- There are many causes that leads to pain behind eyes. Some common causes are tension headaches,sinusitis, potential triggers, cluster headache, migraine, eyestrain from staring at a TV, computer screen , undiagnosed nearsightedness. Due to the above mentioned over-activities, stimulation in brain occurs which makes vision impairment, often resulting in a headache.
Q.9) How to get rid of a Headache quickly?
Ans.- Some general tips are :-
  • Try a cold pack/use a heating pad/ hot compress.
  • Ease pressure on scalp/head.
  • Dim the lights.
  • Try not to chew something like gum.
  • Drink plenty of liquids.
  • Get some caffeine like tea/coffee/ something 
  • With a little caffeine in it.
  • Practice some relaxation techniques like 
  • Yoga/meditation/ muscle relaxation.
  • Try head massage
  • Ginger tea.

Q.10) Why gastric problems lead to headaches?
Ans.- The main reasons for gastric problems are Indigestion, acidity, GERD, constipation, infection in intestine, etc. Our body is connected to various nerves and circulatory pathways. When gastric problems occur in our body, then it stimulate the nerves which is connected to spinal and brain. And when the pain becomes more intense, then at the same time it trigger our brain which directly lead to headaches. 
Disclaimer - The aim of the article is just to convey information to you. Use any medicine, therapy, herb or fruit please do it under the guidance of a qualified Ayurveda doctor.