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Got headache?

First Posted 08:51:00 02/21/2011

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YOU?VE got a headache and you don?t know why? Let?s see what could it have been. You are hunched over your desk all day crunching numbers. You cared for your screaming kids, your ailing patients, your sullen junior high school students. You fought with your spouse because she got your wallet and left you with only P20. You went home very upset because your boss scolded after you failed to meet your sales target.

Major or minor, headaches are a national past time more prevalent than basketball, football and boxing combined. Headache relief is a big business. Some researchers have named dozens of headache types from migraine to stress and muscle tension headaches. But there are really only two major types of headache: Tension headache, caused by contraction of scalp, neck and shoulder muscles, and vascular (the familiar migraine) caused by dilation of blood vessels in the brain; and mixed headache that combines tension and migraine tension.

What cures or prevents one type of headache may or may not work on another type and the results also vary from person to person. Here?s what you can do about headaches:


The pain in your brain is caused mainly by the strain. Tension headache, also known as muscular contraction headache is estimated to account for 90 percent of all headaches. It?s a constant, dull, viselike or bandlike ache, often with throbbing in the shoulders and neck. The culprit is mental, emotional or physical stress disguised as deadlines, discard, discomfort, depression. Scalp, neck and shoulder muscles tense up and ache, putting pressure on blood vessels and nerves in the brain. There are ways to treat and ways to prevent tension headache pain. Here are pointers:

Warmth works wonder. You may not have to rely on drugs to get over your headache. Having someone massage your head, neck and shoulders helps relax taut muscles. Heat a warm shower, a heating pad, a hot towel, hot water bottle, whatever works the same way when you applied directly to the head, neck and shoulders.

Ice is nice. Ice packs place on your head produce a numbing and cooling sensation.

Adjust yourself. It?s tension prevention. Be aware of the way you hold your head while at work or driving or reading. Periodically change your position, stretch your neck and arms. Bend your head from side to side and front to back a few times.

Find peace and relaxation. Find your self a quiet place for a few minutes or even half an hour. Sit in a comfortable chair or lie on the floor and begin to breathe deeply and regularly. Beginning with your feet, tense and then relax each muscle group in your body, working up your body until you end at your hands. Imagine the tenseness flowing out of your body through your fingertips while also imagining yourself in your favorite surroundings whether on the seashore or on a mountain top surrounded with greens.


An inherited trait, the migraine is one of the most troublesome types of headache. Most people who think they have sinus headaches actually have migraines. Pain can be mild to severe usually on one side of the head, and is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, tender skin and sensitivity to light. A migraine is caused by dilation of brain blood vessel and thus is called a vascular headache. The expanded vessels press against nerve endings which then release chemicals that cause pain. Nearly everything under and including the sun can trigger migraines therapy is to constrict blood vessels usually simpler non-drug methods are used first. I usually treat my clients by manipulating their nerves and muscles of the upper back and neck area. Then I applied either hot compress using a medium size towel. Dip it in hot water and wring it. Don?t apply it when it?s too hot. Or you can use ice. Wrap it in a small towel then apply it on your neck and upper back area. When you apply ice see to it that the application will last only for 10 minutes. The reason is to avoid nerve damage.


There are certain foods that you must eat in moderation or avoid altogether. These foods can trigger your migraine: alcohol, avocado, bacon, bananas, beans, cheese, chicken livers, chocolate, citrus fruits, monosodium glutamate, hotdogs, nuts, onions, sausage, tea and yogurt. One or some or all of these could be your trigger or it could be something not on the list. Discovering your trigger takes a little detective work. Eat or consume one of the suspects frequently maybe for a month or two. If you don?t get a migraine, move on down the line until you hit the right one, then eliminate it from your diet.


Cluster headaches are like guerilla forces in a jungle war. They strike hard, fade and return when you east expect them. Most cluster headaches last anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours and occur two or three times a day everyday for a month or two and disappear. The pain say people who experience them, feels like someone is plunging a dagger or a poker through your eye.

Cluster headaches are a bit choosy about who they victimize. They most frequently hit hard-driven macho men between the ages of 30 and 50. These men, doctors say usually smoke heavily, drink hard and push themselves to achieve impossible goals. What can you do about them.

Here are a few tips:

Cool it. This advice applies to both your head and you fast-paced lifestyle. An ice pack on the head can help relieve the wracking pain of a headache.

Breathe deeply. Sucking in fresh lungfuls of 100 percent oxygen for 5 to 8 minutes will frequently relieve a cluster headache. The oxygen is available in tanks from a medical supply house but it should never be used for more than 12 minutes at a time. More than that can damage your lungs. You can use it for short periods then turn it off and use it again later if your headache returns. But don?t forget not to smoke around or warn the people around you not to smoke around the oxygen. Otherwise, you may not have a head to ache.

Since cluster headaches are not only painful but

debilitating. You may want to ask your doctor to prescribe a drug that can prevent them.


There are times when a headache needs a doctor? attention. The warning signs you should watch for which may or may not indicate physical disease include:

?Daily or almost daily occurrence of headaches.

?A change in the nature of your headache.

?An increase in intensity of headaches.

?Neurological symptoms such as weakness, numbness, dizziness, accompanying your headaches.

?The need to take pain relieving drugs everyday or almost everyday.

?Lost workdays because of headaches.

?The occurrence of headache whenever you physically exert yourself, whether during exercise or in the bathroom.

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