City Acupuncture's Blog

Common Causes of Headaches and Migraines and How To Treat Them

Posted by Rob Benhuri

Feb 9, 2015 4:58:01 PM

guy_with_ice_pack_on_his_headWhether you suffer from chronic migraines or the occasional headache, headache and migraines are no fun for anyone. Fortunately, there are a number of easy treatments that can offer some relief. Knowing what kind  of headache you're suffering from can help you more effectively treat your pain-- and prevent it from returning. Read below to discover some common causes of headaches and their treatments. 


Tension Headaches: Does your head feel dull and achy, or as if there's a tight band around your forehead? You may be suffering from a tension headache. These headaches can be caused by anything from stress, anxiety or depression to skipping meals or lack of sleep, and they may be isolated or recurring (chronic) events. most people find relief with over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen. But once once gone, it's important you prevent future headaches by combatting a common cause-- stress-- through activities like meditation, yoga, massage, or cognitive behavioral therapy. Remember, these kinds of headaches are not a disease - they are your body's way of telling you that something is not working. Respect your body and listen.

Migraines: If you're headache is throbbing and severe, worse on one side of your head than the other, accompanied by nausea or vomiting, or made worse by light or sound, it's likely a migraine. Your migraine may respond well to rest in a dark room, hot or cool compresses on your head or neck, small amounts of caffeine, or light massage. If you notice that your migraine recurs after a specific activity, try to avoid that activity to prevent future migraines.  In acupuncture world, migraines are often seen as the result of poorly managed stress as well.

Cluster Headaches: If your headache is intense, burning, piercing, and focused behind one eye or in the eye region, it may be a cluster headache. Cluster headaches are a rare but extremely painful type of headache more common in men. These may be treated with inhaled oxygen, injected medications such as trepans, octreotide, or local anesthetics. 

Primary headaches may be triggered by a number of lifestyle factors, including alcohol, foods containing nitrates or MSG (monosodium glutamate), lack of sleep, skipping meals, stress, poor posture, exercise, or even sex. Pay close attention to your daily activities, food consumption, and other circumstances in the time directly before your headache started.

Your headaches may also be 'secondary headaches', meaning they are a symptom of an underlying disease, infection, or medical condition. 

I know this was a lot of info in a short space, but we will be exploring this topic i much more deatil in furture posts.

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Topics: Headache

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