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Headache Treatments in India

Headache, also known as cephalalgia, is the symptom of pain anywhere in the region of the head or neck. It occurs in migraines, tension-type headaches, and cluster headaches. Frequent headaches can affect relationships and employment. There is also an increased risk of depression in those with severe headaches. Headaches can also occur as the results of many other condition which can be either serious or not serious. Problem of headache has multiple causes and have many severities.

Types of Headache

Headaches are broadly classified as “primary” or “secondary”.[3]

Primary Headache

Primary headaches are benign, recurrent headaches not caused by underlying disease or structural problems. For example, migraine is a type of primary headache. While primary headaches may cause significant daily pain and disability, they are not dangerous. 90% of all headaches are primary headaches. The most common types of primary headaches are migraines and tension-type headache.

Migrane : Migraines are pulsating headaches, often on one side of the head. Physical activity may intensify the pain, but symptoms can vary from person to person and from one attack to the next. A migraine is usually a severe headache felt as a throbbing pain at the front or side of the head.

  • Some people also have other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and increased sensitivity to light or sound.
  • Migraine is a common health condition, affecting around one. They usually begin in early adulthood.

There are several types of migraine, including:

  • migraine with aura – where there are warning signs before the migraine begins, such as seeing flashing lights
  • migraine without aura – where the migraine occurs without warning signs
  • migraine aura without headache, also known as silent migraine – where an aura or other migraine symptoms are experienced, but a headache does not develop
  • Acephalgic Migraine, Ocular Migraine, Hemiplegic Migraine, Opthalmic Migraine and Basilar Migraine are the some common types of migraine.

Sinus Headache: Sinuses are air-filled cavities (spaces) located in your forehead, cheekbones, and behind the bridge of your nose. The sinuses drain through channels in the nose. When a sinus becomes inflamed, usually as the result of an allergic reaction, a tumor, or an infection, the inflammation causes swelling and increased mucus production and the channels can become blocked. The increased pressure in the sinuses causes a pain similar to that of a headache. Sinus headaches are associated with a deep and constant pain in the cheekbones, forehead, or bridge of the nose. The pain usually intensifies with sudden head movement or straining. The pain is usually accompanied by other sinus symptoms, such as nasal discharge, feeling of fullness in the ears, fever, and facial swelling.

Tension Headache : Tension headache, also known as tension-type headache, is the most common type of primary headache. The pain can radiate from the lower back of the head, the neck, eyes, or other muscle groups in the body typically affecting both sides of the head. Tension-type headaches account for nearly 90% of all headaches. It causes mild, moderate, or intense pain in your head, neck, and behind your eyes. Sometimes tension headache feels like a tight band around their forehead. ension headaches are caused by muscle contractions in the head and neck regions. A variety of foods, activities, and stressors can cause these types of contractions. Some people develop tension headaches after staring at a computer screen for a long time or after driving for long periods. Cold temperatures may also trigger a tension headache.

Cluster headaches: short episodes (15–180 minutes) of severe pain, usually around one eye, with autonomic symptoms (tearing, red eye, nasal congestion) which occur at the same time every day. Cluster headaches can be treated with triptans and prevented with prednisone, ergotamine or lithium.

Trigeminal neuralgia: shooting face pain

Hemicrania continua: continuous unilateral pain with episodes of severe pain. Hemicrania continua can be relieved by the medication indomethacin

Secondary Headache

Headaches may be caused by problems elsewhere in the head or neck. serious causes of secondary headaches include:[4]Meningitis: inflammation of the meninges which presents with fever and meningismus, or stiff neck bleeding inside the brain (intracranial hemorrhage) subarachnoid hemorrhage (acute, severe headache, stiff neck WITHOUT fever) ruptured aneurysm, arteriovenous malformation, intraparenchymal hemorrhage (headache only)

Brain tumor: dull headache, worse with exertion and change in position, accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Often, the person will have nausea and vomiting for weeks before the headache starts.

Temporal arteritis: inflammatory disease of arteries common in the elderly (average age 70) with fever, headache, weight loss, jaw claudication, tender vessels by the temples, polymyalgia rheumatica

Acute closed angle glaucoma (increased pressure in the eyeball): headache that starts with eye pain, blurry vision, associated with nausea and vomiting. On physical exam, the person will have a red eye and a fixed, mid dilated pupil.

Causes of Headaches

  • Anxiety
  • Glare
  • Noise
  • Eating + Sleeping Patterns
  • Medication
  • Lack of Physical Activity
  • Posture
  • Hormones
  • Food Sensitivities
  • Eye problems
  • Jaw problems
  • Ear, nose and throat disorder
  • Infection, hemorrhage and nerve damage in the nervous system
  • Extreme temperatures of heat and cold
  • Dehydration
  • Hangover

Symptoms of Different Type of Headaches

Symptoms of Cluster Headache

  • Intense one-sided pain described as having a burning or piercing quality that is throbbing or constant
  • Pain is located behind one eye or in the eye region, without changing sides
  • Pain lasts a short time, generally 30 to 90 minutes. But, it can last from 15 minutes to three hours. The headache will disappear only to recur later that day (most sufferers get one to three headaches per day during a cluster period).
  • Headaches occur very regularly, generally at the same time each day, and they often awaken the person at the same time during the night.

Symptoms of Migraine with Aura Headache

  • May be accompanied by sensitivity to light, nausea and vomiting
  • Aura starts 5-30 minutes before the headache pain
  • Involves pulsating or throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head
  • The pain lasts for 4-72 hours
  • It may range from mild to excruciating

Symptoms of Hormone Related Migraine Headache

  • Headaches worsen after or before menstrual period
  • Use of estrogen-replacement therapy or use of oral contraceptives that can provoke headaches
  • Decrease in headache after menopause
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Pain in one or both sides of the head

Symptoms of Rebound Headache

  • Continuous or daily use of pain medication
  • Symptoms worsen over time
  • Mild to moderate pain in front and back of the head

Symptoms of Tension-type Headache

  • Dull head pain
  • Pressure around the forehead
  • Tenderness around the forehead and scalp

Treatment Options for Headaches

Preventive medications, physical therapy, acute headache medications, avoidance of headache triggers and bio-behavioral treatments like relaxation therapy and biofeedback. In case of acute problems, symptomatic medicines are different types of treatment that can decrease the pain and disability due to headaches and migraine.

Benefits of Headache Treatment

The Major benefit of Treatments for headache  is to help in eliminating pain and also relax the mind of a patient.