What is Headache?
A headache or head pain is a common condition that causes pain, discomfort or clenching in the head, scalp, or neck. About 7 out of 10 people currently experience a headache once every year. Headaches are usually mild, but sometimes they can cause severe pain rendering it difficult for a person to concentrate on work, or perform routine activities.
There are over 150 types of headache depending upon different causes. Some of the most common types include:
- Tension or Stress Headaches
- Migraine Headaches
- Cluster Headaches
- Chronic Daily Headaches
- Sinus Headaches
- Post-Traumatic Headaches
- Medicinal Headaches
- Rebound Headaches
- Thunderclap Headaches
- Hemicrania Continua
- Hormone Headaches
The headache symptoms vary from person to person depending upon their causes, age, lifestyle, habits, underlying health conditions, etc. The symptoms and intensity of Headaches are unique for every individual. It is possible for people to get two or multiple types of Headaches at once too. Some of the common symptoms across different types have been listed for your understanding:
- Mild or severe pain on one or both sides of the head
- Sharp throbbing in the head
- Scalp tenderness
- Tightness or Pressure on the forehead
- Neck stiffness
- Slurred speech and facial numbness
Who is at risk?
Headache risk factors differ from individual to individual as it is unique to everyone and age, health, lifestyle, etc has a role to play. Certain red flags that can prove to be reasons for headaches are:
- Anyone with an unhealthy lifestyle or unregularized diet
- Anyone who smokes cigarettes drinks alcohol or does substance abuse
- Anyone with an underlying medical condition like Sinus, Diabetes, high blood pressure, neurological diseases, etc
- Anyone experiencing allergies or infections
- People with problems of the immune system
- Anyone experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, etc.
These are just a few red flags, one should look out for more triggers of Headaches depending on what affects them.
Headache causes differ depending on which type of Headache you have been affected by. However, here are a few possible causes for you to know:
- A busy or stressful life can create pressure on the head and tighten the muscles making one experience a Headache
- Poor Body Posture, tightening of muscles, or too much pressure in neck or scalp
- Starting or stopping of medications for people with a health issue, disease, ailment or condition
- Strong impact of sound or light on the brain
- Disturbed sleep cycle
- Common conditions like Vomiting, Nausea, restlessness, irritability, etc
How is Headache Diagnosed?
A Headache can be a symptom of a disease of a medical condition, lifestyle change, health condition, etc. If a person is experiencing headaches too frequently, the Headache doctor can conduct a series of tests for Headache diagnosis and determine the cause or type of Headaches. These Headache test might include:
- Complete Blood Count: Blood Test shows allergies and infections
- Skull X-rays: Imaging test of the bones of the skull
- Sinus X-rays: Imaging test suspecting sinusitis
- CT or MRI Scan: Imaging test for the determining of a possible blood clot, trauma, stroke, etc.
How is Headache Treated?
Headache treatment depends on the cause and type of Headaches experienced. If it is because of an underlying medical condition, the headache will go away once the condition is treated. Here are some treatments were undertaken:
- Prescribed oral or therapeutic medicines for headache from consultant doctor
- Physical therapies like massage, exercises, etc.
- Applying a heating pad or Ice Pack to your head for 5 to 10 minutes multiple times a day
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to understand Headache triggers and minimize them
- Acupuncture therapy to reduce stress, anxiety, tension, etc. by applying needles to specific areas of the body
- Stress Management Therapies to cope with stress, relax the muscles and regulate sleep cycles
- Hot Bath or Shower to relax tensed muscles
Care.fit is your personal doctor! Track your food, exercising, and sleeping habits through Care.fit App and take preventive care from Headaches. You can also take on-time consultations with neurologists, digital records, free follow-ups, and quality care for utmost cure of Headache.
How can headache be prevented?
Headaches prevention can be done through a number of natural and easy measures:
- Avoiding consumption of food-items that trigger headaches i.e. aged cheese, wine, cashews, onions, chocolate, processed food, packeted food, fizzy drinks, dairy, wheat, etc.
- Avoiding excessive caffeine intake
- Regulation sleep cycle i.e. sleeping on time and for at least 8-10 hours a day
- Mind-Body practices like deep breathing, yoga, pranayama, etc for headache cure
- Maintaining Healthy and Stress-Free lifestyle
- Eating light, and nutritious food
- Exercising daily to keep the body active, healthy and fit