Headaches: Causes, Types, Prevention and Treatment
June 07th, 2018
Everyone experiences headaches from time to time. Such reaction of the body is an indicator of problems. Painful sensations are not a disease but can be perhaps the only symptom that allows diagnosing a number of dangerous diseases in time.
Causes of headaches
Depending on the type, pain sensations indicate different problems in the body.
Important! Frequent headaches can be caused by a number of factors: stress, overexertion, various infectious diseases and inflammatory processes, food intolerance and many others. Regular pain sensations indicate that the problems in the body are chronic and require diagnosis and treatment.
- A headache in the temples can be caused by a variety of reasons - from sudden changes in blood pressure to intoxication or infection. For some diseases, temporal pain is a symptom that makes it possible to diagnose it at an early stage;
- Causes of a headache in the nape of the neck are most often such diseases as cervical osteochondrosis, cervical spondylosis, tightening (increasing the tone) of the muscles of the cervical region, hypertension;
- A headache in the forehead may indicate inflammatory diseases, such as an increased intracranial pressure, a pinching of the occipital nerve. This kind of pain is accompanied by such serious illnesses as meningitis, pneumonia, malaria, typhoid;
- Pain in the eye area can be a symptom of autonomic dysfunction, migraine, as well as glaucoma and a number of other eye diseases. Untimely treatment can lead to serious vision problems;
- Prolonged headaches are especially dangerous since they are symptoms of such serious diseases as meningitis, nervous system damage (arachnoiditis, encephalitis), tuberculosis, syphilitic nervous system damage, parasitic diseases. Long-lasting pain can also indicate a brain tumor;
- The cause of a pulsating headache is most often a migraine. But this does not exclude other possible diseases: otitis, eye diseases (for example, glaucoma), sinusitis, problems with cerebral vessels (cerebral vascular lesions, the outflow of liquor, violation of venous outflow), various infections. The danger of this type of pain depends on its location, strength, and duration.
Types of headaches
- Migraine is usually characterized by a strong headache accompanied by intolerance to bright light and strong odors, a general weakness. Pain, as a rule, has a one-sided nature. The attack can last from a few hours to three days. Women aged 25 to 35 at highest risk;
- Tension headache is usually not strong, but it can be repeated regularly and lasts up to a week. The nature of pain is pressing or compressing and can spread both on the entire head, and on its part - the back of the head, the forehead, the crown. This type of pain arises in those who often experience prolonged muscle tension (forced pose while working at the computer, driving the car, uncomfortable position during sleep) and constantly undergoes psychoemotional stresses;
- Cluster headache is one of the most severe type of pain. The person experiences prolonged attacks of very strong painful sensations of a pulsating character. Usually pain is one-sided, in the forehead or eye area, sometimes accompanied by redness, swelling, tears. Attacks, as a rule, last from 20 minutes to 1.5 hours but in severe cases can be repeated several times a day for several weeks. Most often this type of pain affects middle-aged men;
- Headaches caused by infections are usually accompanied by fever, chills. With ARVI and flu, the pain is not too strong. Patients have typical symptoms of catarrhal diseases: a cough, runny nose, weakness. After taking antipyretic drugs, pain sensations usually decrease or disappear. With meningitis, the headache is acute, pulsating, an additional symptom is vomiting. In this case, the patient needs urgent hospitalization. In other infectious and bacterial diseases, the nature of a headache may be different but usually, it is accompanied by other neurological symptoms;
- Post-traumatic headache occurs with a bruise or concussion of the brain, damage to the skull or cervical spine. The nature and localization of pain directly depends on the type of injury. Pain sensations can appear immediately or after a lapse of time;
- Sinus headache arises from inflammation in the nasal sinuses and is usually accompanied by swelling of the mucous membrane, lining the sinuses and nasal cavity, nasal congestion and runny nose. This type is characterized by painful sensations in the frontal and paranasal parts of the face, which can last until the complete cure of the underlying disease;
- Headaches associated with increased intracranial pressure are very strong and can be accompanied by nausea, intolerance to bright light. Painful sensations are "pressing" or "bursting". Most often this type of pain is observed in patients who have ever suffered craniocerebral trauma, as well as after birth injuries;
- Headaches associated with the defeat of the trigeminal nerve usually last only a few seconds, but they are very painful. Pain occurs in any area of the face during eating or talking. According to most doctors, the most common cause of trigeminal nerve damage and related headaches are caries, stomatitis, malocclusion, and also sinusitis. The risk group includes people who have problems with the dental cavity.
Treatment of headaches
The need for treatment is determined by a doctor. Most often, this is a neurologist, but different reasons for a headache can lead you to a specialist in another profile who also prescribes the necessary procedures. The development of pain syndrome can lead to aggravation of problems, leading to muscle spasms, lymphostasis, brain hypoxia.
The main types of treatment used for headaches:
- Drug treatment. The patient is prescribed taking drugs in tablets or injecting anti-inflammatory drugs that also have analgesic action or local anesthetic action. Sometimes you may just take OTC medicines, and in some difficult cases, it is necessary to undergo a whole course of drug blockade with the use of hormonal drugs. The most popular headache medications available without a prescription are Anacin, Imitrex, Cafergot, Maxalt, Voveran and others;
- Manual therapy. A manual therapist will identify the source of pain and help you get rid of it. However, often manual therapy is only an additional method of treatment;
- Massage. It's not an independent treatment method but its important part. Neurologists often prescribe a massage for headaches after trauma, chronic migraines, etc.;
- Acupuncture. It is usually prescribed together with manual therapy and supplements it. Certain points are affected by short-term acupuncture, which activates the work of the organs associated with the nerve endings located at these points. Often patients feel better after 1-2 treatment sessions;
- Osteopathy. It's another kind of manual effect: the osteopath eliminates the causes of a headache, working with pathological changes in muscles, joints, organs. It's used in conjunction with other methods;
- Physiotherapy. It's a treatment with ultrasound. The effectiveness of physiotherapy surpasses many other methods, so this method is often prescribed for the treatment of headaches of various types. Carefully selected and calculated loads help to cope with the pain syndrome caused by trauma or overexertion;
- Botox injections. They are used for treating headaches and migraines. The drug is injected into the areas of spasmodic muscles, which allows you to remove the spasm and thereby stop the headache;
- Methods of extracorporeal hemocorrection (EH). They are prescribed for such diseases as atherosclerosis of cerebral vessels. Therapy is based on the "cleansing" of blood from excess cholesterol and other substances forming atherosclerotic plaques that disrupt the blood supply of the organ. Also, EH significantly increases the effectiveness of treatment for multiple sclerosis and other diseases of the immune system;
- Natural remedies. Of course, there are many natural ways to get rid of a headache. These are various lotions, aroma, phytotherapy. Their effectiveness is not always confirmed. Remembered that natural "miraculous" recipes will not replace a medical consultation and can only be an additional method of treatment.
Prevention of headaches
The best prevention is to find out the causes of pain and eliminate them completely. But later the pain syndrome can occur because of other factors: overstrain, depression and many others. To reduce the risk of discomfort, you should simply avoid situations in which it can occur: try to get enough sleep, avoid fatigue, do not abuse caffeine. Regular exercise, healthy diet, and fresh air are the main factors in maintaining the body in good condition.
In most cases, headaches quickly disappear without causing complications. However, if the pain lasts for a long time or returns again and again, do not delay the visit to the doctor.
Headache treatment: where to start?
If you are suffering from headaches, it's important to start treatment in time. To do this, you need to relieve pain and contact a medical institution.
You should always have pain medications at you first aid kit. Pharmacy Mall will be an excellent place to buy them from. For a long time, this company has established itself as a medical institution that provides a wide range of top quality and cheap drugs for various health conditions. So you can place an order at any time and at any place and a courier will deliver the medications at the specified time. The online pharmacy combines a high level of both medical assistance and services with low prices. In addition, regular discounts and special offers can help you save money.
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