Headaches and migraines are among the most commonly encountered conditions that many busy parents and professionals experience today. Millions of people seek medical help for this problem every single year and millions of dollars are spent on headache medications annually.
Most headaches are caused by fatigue, emotional disorders, and allergies. Sporadic tension headaches are caused by stress and anxiety, worry, limited ventilation and working long hours.
The most prevalent type of headache is persistent tension headache, which is triggered by depression associated with being overworked and being exposed to long term, intense stress.
How do Headaches Develop?
The pain of headaches and migraines result from the stimulation of the meninges, which is the pain-sensitive membranous lining of the brain as well as the nerves of the cranium and upper neck. This stimulation is produced by the dilation of the arteries and veins of the head, inflammation, or by spasms in the head or neck muscles. The two main types of headaches include:
- Headaches caused by muscle tensions, which are known as tension headaches
- Headaches brought on by dilation of blood vessels, which are known as vascular headaches
Over 80% of people that are prone to suffering from headaches experience tension headaches. Tension headaches are characterized by a diffuse ache that either spreads over the entire head or otherwise it feels like a tight head band. They are often associated with inadequate, disturbed sleep and frequent tension in the shoulders, forehead and neck muscles. These muscles have to relax before the pain eases.
Migraine tends to be the most prevalent type of vascular headache. Over 65% of all migraine sufferers are women. Most sufferers typically develop the symptoms between the age of 20 to 30.In about 40% of all cases migraine attacks are preceded by a warning sign, such as zig-zag flashing lights, blind spots, numbness in parts of the body, and perhaps distorted visual image.
Migrain pain in most cases occurs only on one side of the head and there are many things that can potentially trigger an attack in sufferers. These include:
- changes in weather
- menstruation (in women)
- certain medications
There are certain foods, including chocolate and cheese that contain substances that affect the blood vessels. Also, there are many people who have a family history of migraines.
There are many alternative therapies, including meditation, relaxation, massage, acupuncture or aromatherapy are available for the treatment of headaches and migraines. However, if you suffer from chronic headaches or migraines it may be a sign that you suffer from an underlying health issue, such as depression. In this case it is best to visit your health care provider to determine the exact cause of your chronic headaches or migraines.
About the author: Andrea S. Khan writes for Holistic Hubs about natural therapies, holistic healing and home remedies.
Photo credit: Eunice