Different Types Of Headaches & Their Treatments
A headache can be defined as any pain that is experienced by individuals in different areas of their head such as near the eyes, above the ears, and on the back side of the head. In addition to that, a headache can also create discomfort at the back of the upper neck.
Headaches, which can be caused by several reasons are one of the most common problems which are faced by the people of all ages including children. Some of the most common causes of headaches include stress, fatigue, sleep deprivation, and a common cold. In addition to that, headaches can also be caused by harmful effects of drugs and medications, excessive intake of recreational drugs, dental problems and sinus and head injuries etc.
No matter what is causing a headache, it’s always better to find a reliable way of treating it.
Before we start discussing important treatment options for headaches, it’s important to classify them into different categories. The treatment that you choose to heal your problem, depends largely on its underlying causes.
Headaches can be divided into two main categories which include primary headaches and secondary headaches.
A Brief Description of Primary Headaches
Primary headaches which include migraines, tension headaches, and cluster headaches are the most common types of headaches which are faced by a wide range of people across the world. Though primary headaches can create a lot of pain and discomfort, the good thing is that do not have any sort of life threatening consequences. Primary headaches are nowhere related to structural problems and any type of harmful disease.
Different types of primary headaches have different symptoms such as migraines are characterized by nausea, vomiting, phonophobia, eye pain and severe head pain or pulsing sensation. On the other hand, tension-type headaches are characterized by pain on both sides of the head.
Apart from migraines, tension headaches, and cluster headaches, other forms of primary headaches include hemicrania continua, hypnic headache, primary sex headache, and occipital neuralgia.
If you talk particularly about cluster headaches, they can be explained as the short episodes of extreme pain that last somewhere between 15-minutes to 180-minutes. Cluster headaches follow a pattern, for example, individuals experience them usually at the same time each day. Usually, doctors prescribe drugs like triptans to deal with the pain caused by cluster headaches.
However, when it comes to staying away from such types of head pain, you can use drugs like ergotamine and prednisone.
A Short Account of Secondary Headaches
When compared to primary headaches, secondary headaches are more dangerous for your health, and hence, whenever you get to know that you have one, you need to deal with it effectively. Secondary headaches are basically caused by medical conditions such as tumors, temporal arteritis, meningitis, subarachnoid hemorrhage and vascular disorders.
In addition to that, such headaches can also be caused by a severe head injury or due to an infection, and your failure to treat them at the right time can have fatal consequences. In order to treat secondary headaches, it’s important for you to deal with their underlying causes effectively.
Headaches can be treated with different types of medications and drugs, physical therapy, and complementary therapies.
Here are different types of complementary therapies which can prove to be really helpful for recovering from headaches.
Over the years, it has been proved that different types of complementary therapies such as yoga, acupuncture, manual therapy, and biofeedback etc.., play a crucial role in getting relief from primary headaches such as tension headaches and migraines.
Acupuncture helps in treating Migraines
Acupuncture which is an important part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TMC), is has been used by Chinese people to treat headaches for centuries now. Since it provides effective results the medical industry in the western world has also adopted this technique to treat different headaches.
According to an ancient Chinese philosophy, for maintaining a healthy life, the free flow of “Qi” (a form of energy) within the human body is absolutely crucial. The ancient Chinese people always believed that Qi flows throughout the body with the help of specific pathways known as meridians. Till the time this energy flows swiftly within the body, everything remains in a perfect balance, however, if something stops or prevents its circulation, your body experiences pain and discomfort.
And acupuncture is the technique which helps in stimulating the free-flow of Qi within the human body. When it comes to treating a patient with acupuncture therapy, experts use sharp sterile needles which are effectively injected into the body to stimulate acupoints. Once acupoints are effectively stimulated, it becomes easier for the Qi to circulate effectively your body which helps in reducing the pain and discomfort caused the headaches.
Acupuncture is generally used for treating migraines.
Manual therapy is also used by massage therapists and osteopathists when it comes to reducing the pain the pain and discomfort caused by medical conditions such as headaches, injuries and musculoskeletal conditions.
Apart from massage therapists and osteopathists, manual therapy is also practiced by health care professionals like physical therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and chiropractors etc., when it comes to comes to healing the pain caused by musculoskeletal conditions and other types of underlying medical conditions.
Traditional activities like Yoga and Tai Chi
It is believed that regular practice of yoga and Tai Chi – a traditional form of Chinese martial arts help in improving a person’s physical and mental well-being. Both yoga and Tai Chi are also very important for dealing with the pain caused by different types of headaches.
Apart from them, other important complementary therapies which are used for treating headaches and other medical conditions include hydrotherapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and Mind-body therapies.
In addition to that, physical therapy is also very helpful when it comes to dealing with headaches and improving your overall physical fitness. Nowadays, physical therapy is prescribed by the doctors to heal a wide range of medical conditions such as headaches, mental illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder, and other types of problems such as the neck, back, and shoulder pain.