I have a migraine headache
I’ve been around several people that use the word Migraine, when they talk about having a headeache.
Do these people actually have migraines? What is a migraine, and are there ways to relieve them? These are some of the questions I will answer.
The word “migraine” comes from the Greek word “hemikranion” which translates to “pain affectin one side of the head”.
A Migraine is a headache in a form, that is usually very strong and can almost be disabling, when intense. Unlike commong headache’s which everyone is prone to, migraines are a neurologic disease, and the most common type of vascular headache.
Although everyone individual affected by migraines will characterize the symptoms differently, the book says: severe pain on one or more sides of the head, an upset stomach, and at times disturbed vision.
The difference between a headache and migraine is summed up in the word “Aura”, which refers to the migraine features that are non-headache like.
Migraines have been present throughout history, and it is known that family history and genetic factors are important in the likelyhood of migraines.
Many doctors deal with migraines, and will have several recommended treatment for migraines. It is in my experience that over the counter pain killers, and other drugs have their part in reducing the pain migraines cause, but are never actually able to cure them.
Along with these drugs come several unfriendly side-effects, which are not enjoyable to say the least. Of course these side effects and effectiveness of the drugs are different on an invidual basis.
The treatment that I have seen to be the most effective is the use of Chinese medicine, in particular accupuncture.
Accupuncture is a natural medicine in that you are not injecting any drugs or anything inside of your body. You are simply just working with what is already there. Talk to your physician, and others that have experienced migraines, to find out what steps might be right for you.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Migraines
Some migraineurs are fortunate enough to experience prodromal symptoms that let them know a migraine is coming.
It isn’t much, but it allows them to plan for the down time they know they are about to enter into. A migraineur who has learned cognitive behavioral therapy can utilize the same prodromal symptoms to short circuit their migraine headache.
Cognitive behavioral therapy for migraineurs is aimed at recognizing at consciously manipulating the role that a patient’s behaviors play in the development of their headaches.
Together the patient and therapist will determine how the patient behaves when they feel a headache coming, or when the pain starts for those who do not experience prodromal symptoms.
They then develop alternative behaviors to try in the same situation in hopes that changing the behavior will change the migraine.
In cognitive behavioral therapy, the doctor or therapist works with the migraineur to:
* Identify the problem behavior to be modified. This is often done by having the patient maintain a headache diary.
* Establish a treatment goal. This is usually not the total elimination of the migraine, but a step along the way, such as learning to relax around potential migraine triggers.
* Create a new behavioral pattern to try to affect change.
* Monitor the patient’s reaction to the new behavior and check for environmental factors that may be influencing the behavior.
Common behavioral therapy techniques include:
* Positive Thinking
* Role-Playing and
Cognitive behavioral therapy can be helpful by itself, but is especially helpful to patients who are also on preventive drug therapies.
A 1989 study found that clinic-based and minimal-therapist contact behavioral therapy had roughly equal success rates, both initially and upon follow-up six month later. Minimal contact therapy is therefore an effective, affordable treatment alternative for migraineurs.
You Can Use Pressure Points To Relieve Headaches
If you don’t have access to some kind of headache medicine, can’t wait for them to work, or are tired of constantly having to take medicine to treat a headache then you will probably be interested in finding ways that you can use pressure points to relieve headaches.
There are some points that are pretty obvious, but others that may surprise you. Not all headaches or migraines can be helped by using pressure points, but most of the time you can get some kind of relief from using them.
There are several places on the head that can bring about relief.
The first place to try is your temples. This is one area that you aren’t going to be able to apply much pressure.
Simply take a finger on each hand and place them on your temples and then massage gently, moving in a circular motion. Doing this for half a minute to a minute may help bring about some comfort.
Another place on your head to try putting pressure is on the inside of your eyebrow lines close to the nose. Here you can feel free to apply a good bit of pressure.
If you can have someone else do it for you, have them start from that point and move their thumbs back across the forehead towards the ears.
There are also a couple points you can apply pressure to that is where your hairline is supposed to be. They will be right in line with the outside corners of your eyes. Moving your fingers inwards towards the middle there is another point that you can use.
Moving down your to your shoulders there are a couple more points that you can use. About half way between the outside of your shoulders and your head there are places and muscles that can be massaged.
This area is usually pretty tense and the goal is to get this area loose again. It may take a little time and a bit of discomfort at first, but when it loosens up, your headache should some as well.
At your elbow, there are a couple more spots that applying pressure to can help take away the pain of a headache. One spot is near the top of your forearm close to the bend of your elbow.
It won’t take you long to find it. There is another spot that is diagonally down from that at around the bottom of your bicep muscle. Either one of these spots can bring some headache relief. Just go back and forth between these spots and you will likely see your pain dissipating.
One spot that can bring some relief is in that meaty part in between your thumb and index finger. Pinch that area putting pressure on the front and back and you will feel a very sharp pain, but the pain in your head will be lessened.
If you were to do a further study on acupressure and reflexology (dealing with points on the feet) you will be able to find several more pressure points to relieve headaches. Some aspirin might help, but try using these pressure points before you put anymore chemicals into your body.
Knowing the Different Types of Headaches
One of the most frustrating and excruciating experiences any person has to go through is headache. Aside from the painful sensations felt in the several areas of the head like temples,
scalp and the forehead, headache may bring pain to the different parts of the face, throat, and mouth because of the series of nerves that extends one another.
Before taking in any medication or undergoing any treatment to bring relief to your aching head, make sure that you know first what are the different types of headache and possible causes of the common illness.
HOW ARE HEADACHES CATEGORIZED
Studies show that 90 percent of all types of headaches are classified as tension and muscle contraction. However, there most experts would agree that headache could be further classified into two broad categories: the primary and the secondary.
“Primary headache” includes migraine, cluster, and tension headache.
Migraine headache are usually characterized by throbbing pain on one side of the head, queasiness, over sensitivity to light and sound especially to bright lights and loud noises.
Statistics say that 18 to 28 million Americans suffer from migraines and majority of which is women.
Aside from throbbing or pulsing pain, migraine is also characterized by visual disturbances, numbness of the face, nausea, and heavy vomiting.
Usually triggered by food, stress, heat or cold temperature, strong smells, emotions, fatigue, or hormonal fluctuations, experts say that people who are anxious and depressed are more prone to migraine.
Tension headache, on the other hand, is considered as the common type of headache people suffer from. Characterized by a tight band of pressure around a person’s head, heavy throbbing of temples, light and sound sensitivity, vomiting, general muscle aches,
difficulty in falling asleep and staying asleep, chronic fatigue, irritability and disturbed concentration, tension headache is said is traced from physical or emotional stress.
Major lifestyle adjustments like having a regular physical activity or exercise, proper and balanced diet, proper stress management and maintaining good posture can help a person a lot to avoid tension headache.
If tension headache is the most common type of headache, cluster headache is the least common of all types. Greatly affecting men instead of women,
cluster headaches are characterized by severe pain usually centered in one eye that leads to swelling and watering of the affected area and severe and unbearable pain in the head.
Triggered by alcohol and cigarettes, experts say that there is no concrete cause of this type yet. Treatment may include taking in medications similar to those used for migraine like sumatriptan, triptans, and the like.
The other classification of headache is called “secondary headaches.” Usually triggered by an underlying or existing disorder like infection, injury, or tumor, secondary headaches are known to be results major illnesses.
Secondary headaches are also considered as side effects of various disorders like a recent head injury, meningitis, sinus infection, brain tumor, eye diseases, spinal injury, arthritis, and the inflammation of the arteries or temporal arteritis.
In order to treat any types of headaches, make sure you get your physician’s advice first.
Relieving Tension Headaches
What causes tension headaches is not known, however the common assumption is that they are caused by muscle tension in the head and neck.
Although muscle tension may be a related cause, there are many forms of tension headaches and recent thinking is that there is more than one cause for this type of headache.
One theory is a malfunctioning pain filter that is found in the brain stem may cause the pain. The thought is that the brain misinterprets information, from muscles, and interprets that signal as pain.
Serotonin is thought to be one of main molecules involved. This is evidenced by the fact that tension headaches can be successfully treated with some antidepressants.
Teeth clenching is another theory as a cause for tension type headaches and migraine as it causes chronic contraction of the temporalis muscle.
Nonprescription painkillers such as aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen commonly relieve tension headaches. When severe muscle contraction occurs, stronger prescription drugs may be needed.
However, there are side effects associated with these stronger drugs, namely drowsiness and slower reflexes.
Therefore, most physicians will only recommend using strong medications for short periods of time and usually not for more than a few days.
Stress management can be very effective. Some people find exercises or meditation to be very relaxing. Biofeedback may improve relaxation exercises and can prove helpful for chronic tension headaches.
Other preventive measures you can try include keeping warm if your headache is associated with the cold. Try using a different pillow or changing your sleeping position.
Adopt correct posture when reading, working or doing other activities that may cause headache. Exercise your neck and shoulder muscles when doing prolonged typing, computer work and when doing any close-up work.
Getting enough sleep and massaging sore muscles can help reduce a headache occurring. Hot or cold showers or baths may relieve headaches too, so it’s worth experimenting to see if either help you.
Over-the-counter medication such as aspirin, ibruprofen, or acetominophen may relieve pain if the above-mentioned preemptive measures are ineffective. Sometimes antidepressant medication may be advised for the relief of chronic headaches.
Keeping a diary of your headaches can help identify the source of chronic headaches. When you suffer with a headache write down the date and time the headache began.
Also write down what you ate and how much sleep you got over the previous 24 hours. If you noticed any unusual symptoms or felt under stress, make a note of it too. Also, keep a record of how long the headache lasted and what made it stop.
Having a headache diary available can act as a tracking device and you may find patterns that you should do more to avoid.
Some lifestyle changes may be necessary to reduce tension headaches. This may include getting enough rest and exercise and possibly a change in job or free time activities.
If you are suffering with headaches or migraines, you should first consult your primary care physician before taking other steps.
What are Headaches
Statistics say that headache is one of the most common illnesses experienced by people not only in the United States but also of those who are living in different parts of the world.
In fact, studies also show that a large percent of people from different places are also large consumers of different painkillers—the first aid in relieving headache.
Experts say that there are different types of headache that are traced to different causes.
The most popular triggers for headache are usually lifestyle-related like poor and unbalanced diet, unmanaged stress, recurrent muscle tension, and lack of regular physical activity or exercise. Aside from these, headache can also be a result of more serious disorders like brain tumor.
If you are one of those who experiences headaches often, maybe it’s now time to extend your knowledge about the common illness and discover what you can do to totally eliminate headache in your life.
As defined, headache refers to the pain in any part of a person’s head. Headaches are experienced when fatigue and stress, muscular tensions, dilated blood vessels, and others stimulate the delicate nerve fibers found in the head.
Experts agree that headaches can be classified to migraine headaches which refer to the type of severe and recurrent headache that comes
with painful throbbing on the temples, nausea and impaired vision; cluster headaches which are said to bear similarities to migraines only they are experienced in short
durations and occur daily over weeks or months; and tension headaches that refers to the type of headache that can strike consistent location and result to contractions of the face, scalp, or neck muscles.
Headaches are also diagnosed as vascular, muscle contraction or tension, traction and inflammatory.
Experts say that vascular headache refers to the involved abnormal function of the person’s vascular system or brain’s blood vessels while muscle contraction headache involve the tightening or tensing of the muscles in the person’s face and neck.
Traction and inflammatory headaches, on the other hand, are considered as symptoms of other related disorders such as infection, stroke and other serious neurological disorders.
Experts say that the treatment of headache depends largely on its cause. The most common headache treatment out there is taking over the counter medicines such as analgesics like aspirin and acetaminophen.
Others suggest common headache remedies like using hot or cold compresses, exercise, enough sleep, proper die, and regular exercise to avoid recurrent headaches.
But, if your headache still doesn’t subside after doing these simple treatments, ask your healthcare provider or physician to examine you thoroughly so proper medication is given in case your headache is a result of a more complicated disorder.
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