How To Prevent Headaches
Headache is, “pain in the head, caused by stimulation or pressure to any structures of the head, such as tissue covering the head, cranial nerves or blood vessel. It can be a primary disorder of the head like tension type headache, migraine headache or cluster headache, or a symptom associated with injury to any cranial structure or disease like acute infection, brain tumor, brain abscess, disease of eye, dental diseases and hypertension etc.”
Around 47% of the adult population suffers from acute and chronic headache and most of them are not diagnosed properly by health service providers. (http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs277/en/)
There are mainly 4 types of primary headache-
- Tension type headache
- Migraine headache
- Cluster headache
- Mixed headache syndrome
And according to arising and persistence of symptoms it may be considered a chronic headache, cough headache, sex headache or exercise headache. Some other factors like alcohol, processed meat, lack of sleep, poor posture etc. can induce headaches. Diseases may also cause headaches, but 80-90 % of all headaches are tension type headache. Some precautions and habits may reduce the occurrence and symptoms of tension type as well as other types of primary headache, like-
A. Drinking habit:
- Drink profuse water. Water is responsible for maintaining good flow of cerebro-spinal fluid. Dehydration is the cause of spinal headache.
- Drink caffeine containing drinks like coffee or tea also helpful to reduce headache. Taking 2-3 cup of coffee and tea may reduce headache. But drinking large amount of caffeine may cause rebound headache.
- Try to avoid alcohol. Large amount of alcohol intake causes headache. Even some people may suffer from headache by taking a very small amount of alcohol.
B. Food habit:
- Though there is no strong evidence, but it is thought that fish oil helps to reduce headache by removing cholesterols from blood and increasing HDL (or high density lipid, a good body lipid).
- Add more ginger during cocking of your food. It contains strong antioxidants and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. It significantly reduces tension type headache.
- Avoid high intake of fatty food. It causes atherosclerosis in your blood vessels and may cause headache. But you should take the minimum amount of fat about 15-30% of your calorie requirements should be meet from fat and fatty foods.
- Engage in regular exercise. Be physically active. It will reduce your obesity as well as unwanted types of fat in your body and prevents headache episodes.
- Do some stress relieving activities like meditation and yoga. Anxiety and stress may trigger your tension type headache.
- If you are a chronic sufferer, avoid crowds as much as possible. Stay in calm and quiet places. Try to decorate your space in the office and rooms of your house avoiding irritating substances and colors to you. It may trigger your headache.
- Sleep properly. Adequate amount of sleep reduces your stress and helps to be sound minded and inhibit headache recurrence. Sleeping during headache also helps to relieve head pain.
D. Take some remedies during headache:
- Butterbur extract, an herb, has proved itself very effective for migraine headache relief.
- Apply peppermint oil to your hairline in your head. It creates a cooling feeling that relaxes the muscles in your head and neck and reduces your headache.
- Using capsaicin cream little inside of your nostril will help you to reduce cluster headache by blocking the nerve pain signals.
- Using Thyme and Rosemary oil for a head rub for a few minutes may reduce your headache.
- You may use a moderately tight band around your head during a headache episode.
- Cold or hot compression around the head may also be helpful to reduce headache.
E. Take some supplements:
- Take vitamin B-12 containing foods more. You can take supplements of vitamin B-12 too. Some study shows Vitamin B-12 reduces the attack rate of migraine headache more than 50%. You can also take a De-stress complex supplement made up of B vitamins. This may be the best way to lower stress and prevent headaches.
- Take magnesium supplement, which is an important mineral for our body and brain. Low level of magnesium may cause headache. Pumpkin seeds, mackerel, dried figs, and dark chocolate etc. are rich source of magnesium. You can also take magnesium supplements to prevent headache episodes. But magnesium may cause diarrhea.
- Take CoEnzymeQ10 as an additive to your food to reduce your headache attack. It also reduces headache during an episode.
F. Over the counter drugs:
- There are few over the counter drugs found in the market for headache. Among them Naproxen and Ibuprofen, Aspirin etc. are popular. Acetaminophen, Fenoprofen, Ketorolac etc. are also used to relieve headache as an over the counter medication.
These are some home remedies for preventing and treating headache. But if your pain persists more than 2 weeks you should consult with your physician.