Get Relief for Headache Pain.
Causes of Headaches, Natural Cures and Medicine
Headaches, like the common cold, are a familiar medical problem. No one is perfectly sure what causes them, and there is no single, sure-fire cure. Science has identified many causes and triggers for headaches, both foods you eat and activities. Both folklore and medical professionals offer ways to soothe and alleviate the symptoms. Perhaps you, too, are looking for the natural cure or medicine for your headache pain. Please consult your medical professional for specific help. Here you’ll find 25 known causes of headaches and 19 foods you eat that can trigger headaches. You’ll get relief from some of the 25 natural cures for headaches.
Headache pain is almost never located in the brain. The brain itself does not feel pain, because it lacks pain-sensing nerve fibers. However, headache is a true biological disorder, and not a psychosomatic one. Headache is usually located in the muscles of the head and the network of nerves in the scalp. The pain also originates in the nerve endings in the shoulders, neck and scalp muscles, and in the muscles which surround blood vessels in these areas. Certain nerves in the face, mouth and throat can also be affected. When headache strikes, the membranes are stretched, while blood vessels, nerves and muscles are tightened and depleted of oxygen.
Most headaches are temporary and respond to home treatments. However, sudden severe headaches may be a sign of an aneurysm, stoke or other potentially fatal condition. Be watchful for headaches accompanied by vision problems, difficulty speaking, numbness, or loss of coordination. Seek emergency medical evaluation and treatment for any unusually severe headache.
25 Causes of Headache Pain
Many headaches are brought on by some trigger. The most likely cause of a headache is tension and emotional stress. Other common causes of headaches are allergy, eyestrain, high blood pressure, a hangover, infection, low blood sugar, nutritional deficiency, and the presence of poisons and toxins in the body. Headaches are often nature’s warning that something is wrong somewhere else in the body. The headache accompanies many medical conditions as well as flu and colds. Here are other causes of headaches.
- In women, headaches accompany menses, ovulation, or pregnancy
- Birth control and hormone replacement (progesterone) therapy
- Intense or strenuous activity or exercise
- Sleeping too much or too little, as in jet lag
- Fasting or missing meals
- Bright or flickering lights
- Excessive or repetitive noises
- Odors and fragrances such as tobacco smoke
- Weather and seasonal changes
- High altitudes
- Most medications list headaches as a possible side effect
- Too much of sun can also give you a headache. Try wearing a hat and avoiding bright sun.
- Dehydration also leads to a bad headache. Keep yourself hydrated at all times by having plenty of water and fluids, especially when you are outdoors.
- Tight hairstyles can cause headache. Hairstyles like a tight ponytail can lead to a tension-type headache.
19 Foods You Eat Can Cause Headaches
If you have headaches, you may have food allergies or food sensitivities, which are often the unsuspected cause of headaches. The foods to which some people are allergic can trigger headache pain. Sneezing and diarrhea are also indications of an allergy. Almost every prepared food product on the store shelves contains chemical additives and preservatives that can trigger headache pain. The first action to cure or relieve headache is to eliminate these items from the diet. Eating an organic diet may also cure and relieve headaches. Here are foods that often cause headaches.
- Sour cream, milk and other milk products.
- Ripened cheeses like cheddar, Stilton, Brie, and Camembert
- Sausage, bologna, salami, pepperoni, summer sausage, hot dogs
- Chicken and chicken liver, pate
- Herring, either pickled or dried
- Any pickled, fermented, or marinated food
- Monosodium glutamate, MSG, which is found in soy sauce, meat tenderizers and seasoned salt
- Freshly baked yeast products, sourdough bread
- Nuts or nut butters
- Broad beans, lima beans, fava beans, snow peas
- Figs, raisins, papayas, avocados, red plums
- Citrus foods
- Caffeinated beverages (tea, coffee, cola, etc.)
- Alcoholic beverages (wine, beer, whiskey, etc.)
- Aspartame or phenylalanine which is contained in many foods or beverages
Medicine to Relieve Headaches
Drugs do not cure the causes of a headache, but they can offer dependable relief. Over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium are effective for treating occasional headaches. Over time, medicine may lose its effectiveness, so it is important to identify the stressors that cause your headaches. It’s a curious fact that, if you actually believe a headache product will work, you may get some benefit from it. This is called the placebo effect. There’s a frequent placebo response to headache treatment.
Be careful not to overdo the use of painkillers. If you take too much of them over time, you may experience rebound headaches. As the body develops a tolerance to the medicine, headaches worsen and become more frequent. Increasing use of these drugs will no longer provide relief.
These Over The Counter medicines are usually safe, but they do have potential side effects. And they increase the risk of sometimes serious or life-threatening side effects. Aspirin can increase the risk of Reyes Syndrome, a potentially fatal disorder which occurs in children, sometimes after just one dose. Others side effects, such as liver damage from acetaminophen, may develop over long periods of time.
25 Natural Cures for Headache Relief
If you think you know what triggered your headache or what’s aggravating it, avoid that thing. Remove yourself from the trigger. If the cause of your headache is stress, for example, remove yourself from the stressful situation and try to relax. If the sun’s bright light is aggravating your headache, go inside or put on some sunglasses. You can’t get away from some triggers, such as a food that you already ate, but you can avoid them in the future.
- You can prevent headaches and relieve the pain with regular exercise, because exercise relieves stress and relaxes your muscles. Many suggestions for headache relief are relaxation techniques. Relaxation releases the tension built up over time in your muscles. There are many ways to relax and to get more oxygen into your lungs.
- Chronic tension headaches can often be treated with lifestyle changes such as stress management, regular exercise, and dietary changes. If these regimens don’t work, your doctor may prescribe preventive medication to deal with these headaches.
- For natural relief without painkillers, consult a chiropractor. Frequent headaches can be caused by a sublimation of the upper cervical vertebrae in your neck. This is especially true if your headaches are recurring or lasting longer than a day.
- Relax. Even if your headache pain isn’t necessarily caused by stress, relaxing can help speed up your recovery. Meditate, do some yoga or other relaxation techniques.
- Take a nap. If you can manage to get to sleep, your headache will often be gone when you wake up, and you at least won’t have to deal with the pain while you’re sleeping. Even just lying down and resting your eyes may be helpful.
- Drink some water. Dehydration is a common cause of headaches, and even if you don’t feel thirsty, you can benefit from a glass or two of water.
- Drink a cup of coffee. High doses of caffeine can trigger headaches, but lower doses of caffeine can help relieve them. If taken in conjunction with a painkiller, caffeine can also speed up the medicine’s effect, and as a result some painkillers include caffeine. If you’re a heavy caffeine or soda drinker, you may experience headaches as part of caffeine withdrawal. A jolt of caffeine will usually help, but in the long run, it’s best to break your addiction.
- To get relief from headache pain, massage your temples, neck, and face. Massage will relax muscle tension and improve circulation in the area.
- Do you clench your teeth? This may be the cause of your headache. Be observant and never let your rows of teeth meet each other unless you are chewing something. Open your mouth wide and rotate the jaws from time to time. Snapping, crackling and clicking sounds from the jaws are usually nothing to worry about. They will cease in time.
- Are your shoulders held high and tense in level with your ears? Relieve the tension by dropping your shoulders and rotating them.
- Are you always knitting your brows? Stop that habit.
- Tip your head slowly to the sides and stretch out the muscles of the neck.
- Many relaxation therapies can help reduce stress. You can practice deep breathing, yoga, gentle stretches, meditation and muscle relaxation on your own at home.
- For chronic headache pain, cognitive behavior therapy, which includes talking with a counselor, can help you cope and live more positively.
- Antidepressants are sometimes prescribed to relieve headache.
- Try some simple reflexology. Reflexology is suggested as a treatment for many different illnesses. Clinical studies seem to confirm its effectiveness for headaches. Use the thumb and index finger of one hand to apply pressure to the fleshy area between the thumb and index finger of the other hand. Hold this for a minute or two. For some people, this provides immediate relief.
- Acupuncture provides reliable headache relief for some people. If your headaches are severe, you may benefit from biofeedback training. In biofeedback training, you are connected to devices that monitor your muscle tension, heart rate and blood pressure. You learn how to enter a relaxed state to better cope with pain.
- A shiatsu recommendation is to apply force along the hairline. Using a massage stone or your knuckle, press with some force on the center of your hairline for six seconds. Then press about two inches behind that point, and repeat every two inches all the way back to the base of the skull. Finish with a light massage at the base of the skull. The theory behind this is that headaches are blood pressure related and blood pressure becomes normal by applying pressure.
- The practice of Selective Attention can cure a headache. If you get a bad headache, eat a little food and watch television. Do something to forget about it for awhile. It won’t be as noticeable when you remember it again.
- Use some ice or heat. Icing the affected area is known to help many migraine sufferers, and some people find it effective for tension headaches, though the pain in tension headaches is usually spread out more than it is in migraines. Applying an ice pack to the back of your neck may also help. Conversely, some people swear by a hot pad placed on one of these areas, and others find a hot shower works wonders. A heat pillow is sometimes helpful.
- Smiling can work wonders if it’s just a minor headache. Smiling takes fewer muscles than frowning, so even if your impulse is to frown, smile it off.
- Sometimes it helps to relieve a headache if you get some sleep in a dark, quiet room.
- Another technique is the conscious observation of the headache. Visualize the headache as a cloud of pain. Describe the pain to yourself. Concentrate on the kind of pain is it, the location of the pain, how it moves and changes. Sheer concentration rather than external stimulation improves the blood circulation.
- Natural suggestions for relief advise you to drink the juice of lemon in a cup of tea for relief. Also apply the peel of a lemon to your forehead. Eating an apple every day for about a week can reduce headache. Raw apple cider vinegar applied to the forehead is also suggested.