What is a headache? Causes, symptoms and treatment

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Headache is a common neurological condition. Frequent headaches can make patients tired and difficult to concentrate, affecting daily activities and work, reducing the patient’s quality of life. So, what causes headaches and how is it treated? Please refer to the article below.

What is a headache?

Headache is a common medical condition that can affect anyone. The pain usually occurs in the face and head of the patient. Sometimes, the patient will feel pain in the upper neck area. The pain may be on one or both sides of the head, it may be in a certain location, or it may spread all over the head.
The person may feel a dull, sharp pain or a sharp pain in the head. The pain can develop gradually or suddenly, lasting from a few minutes to several days.
Headaches are divided into two main categories:
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  • Primary headaches: Account for about 90% of pain. Primary headaches are usually not due to another disease, without structural brain damage.
  • Secondary Headache: A secondary headache is pain associated with another medical condition.

Common signs and symptoms of headaches

Depending on the type of headache that the patient has, the headache symptoms will vary. Currently, there are more than 150 different types of headaches. Symptoms of some common types of headaches are as follows;
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Tension headaches:
  • Mild to moderate headache, feeling of a dull ache in the head.
  • The pain occurs on both sides of the head and is short-lived.
  • The pain is worse with activities such as bending over or walking up stairs.
Migraine headache:
  • The patient has moderate to severe headache.
  • The pain is only present on one side of the head and feels pulsating.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Sensitive to light, noise and smell.
  • Feeling sick or upset.
  • Headaches usually last from a few hours to a few days and are frequent.
Cluster headache:
  • Pain that is severe and begins at the back of one eye or inside the eye area.
  • The pain usually lasts from a few minutes to a few hours.
  • Headaches can be accompanied by symptoms such as swollen eyes, drooping eyelids, watery eyes, runny nose, stuffy nose in the area of ​​the headache.
Sinusitis headache:
  • Feeling an unpleasant taste in the mouth.
  • Constant pain in cheekbones and forehead.
  • Swollen face.
  • Fever.
  • Feeling full of ears.
  • The pain is worse with sudden head movements or straining.
Headaches due to drug abuse:
  • Headaches become more frequent.
  • The pain is usually worse in the morning.

When to see a doctor?

You should contact your doctor immediately for examination and advice if you have any of the following symptoms:
  • Sudden, severe headache.
  • Feeling weak, dizzy.
  • Difficult voice.
  • Loss of balance or sudden fall.
  • Psychosis.
  • Change personality and behavior.
  • Vision changes: Blurred vision, double vision, etc.
  • Convulsion.
  • Headache with fever, difficulty breathing, rash.
  • Headache after injury or accident.
  • Headache accompanied by severe nausea and vomiting.
Early diagnosis and treatment will reduce the risk of disease aggravation and help you recover quickly.

10 ways to relieve headaches quickly, without drugs

Apply hot or cold compress

Cold therapy is an effective home remedy for headaches if the pain comes from sinus disease and is mild. The cold from the ice pack when placed on the forehead for a few minutes will help constrict blood vessels and reduce blood flow, thereby reducing pressure and relieving pain.
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For headaches caused by prolonged tension, place a hot pack on the back of your neck or on your forehead.
How to treat headaches with herbal steam
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To make this remedy for headaches, you can refer to the following way to cook steamed water:
  • Step 1: Use leaves such as grapefruit leaves, lemongrass leaves, lemon leaves, basil leaves, etc., wash them and put them in the steaming pot.
  • Step 2: Fill the leaves with water, cover the pot and boil for about 15 minutes.
  • Step 3: Put the pot on the floor, then cover yourself in a blanket and slowly open the lid to avoid burns.
  • Step 4: Perform smoking until the steam pot evaporates.

Rest, get enough sleep is a simple way to get rid of headaches

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Pressure, stress due to work or lack of sleep are factors that not only adversely affect health but are also considered to be the cause of headaches in some people.
Therefore, if you are looking for a way to cure headaches at home, then taking a break from work and giving your mind a rest, being able to get a deep sleep is extremely necessary. However, sleeping too much is not good, sleeping time should only range from 7-9 hours a day is enough.

Drink enough water

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According to information from the journal Antioxidants, even mild dehydration can change people’s thinking and activities, making them feel more tired, depressed, accompanied by headaches. Therefore, it is best to drink 2 liters of water a day or can provide water with fruits, juices, smoothies or thin foods such as porridge, soup.

Bathe or soak your feet in hot water

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To relieve a headache caused by weather or symptoms of sinus disease, patients can bathe in warm water in the shower or soak in the bath. This headache treatment both brings a feeling of refreshment, helps the spirit to relax and effectively dispels the pain.
If you have a headache due to stress, pressure or high blood pressure, get a bucket or basin and fill it with hot water (at the right temperature). Then, put your hands and feet in the basin and soak for about 10-15 minutes, hot water will help blood circulate faster as well as support blood circulation down the legs and hands so that the head is not stressed and returns to normal blood pressure.

Limit the use of electronic devices

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If the patient regularly uses the computer, phone, tablet or watch TV, the headache can get worse, causing severe pain. Therefore, when your head is aching or you feel pain coming, you should limit or stop using electronic devices immediately, instead, close your eyes, rest and relax for about 30 minutes to let the pain go away, or get better.

How to treat headaches from ginger

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Thanks to the many ingredients with high medicinal properties, ginger root can effectively reduce pain and reduce inflammation. Clinical trials have shown ginger powder to be as effective as prescription migraine medications. Therefore, to improve this condition, you can add a few slices of grated ginger to boiling water when making tea or use any food with ginger.

How to cure persistent headaches with massage, acupressure

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Massage and acupressure are two traditional ways to treat headaches that are applied by most people to relieve discomfort and frustration caused by headaches.
To conduct acupressure, you must first choose a location away from the wind and quiet. After stabilizing, use your index finger to rub the temple in an arc; At the same time acupressure on both temples and then move to the forehead area and end at the eyebrows.
If you do not know acupressure, you can use your hands to massage the head, forehead, neck, and shoulders to temporarily relieve pain.

Keep away from noise and bright light

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  • Limit direct sunlight by covering window blinds.
  • Wear sunglasses when going out, especially when the sun is hot from 10am to 4pm.
  • Use an anti-glare screen or adjust the computer screen light to medium.
  • Install a full spectrum fluorescent light bulb in the room.
  • Rest in a quiet place, soft light and airy.

Treatment of headaches caused by compression of nerves and muscles in the neck by adjusting the spine

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Many experts said that, besides external factors, spinal diseases such as herniated discs in the cervical spine, cervical spondylosis or nerve compression, neck muscle strain can all cause problems. headache with persistent throbbing pain, severely affecting the patient’s quality of life.

In general, there are many different ways to relieve headaches today. Depending on the cause and severity, the patient can apply appropriate headache treatments. If you notice that the headache lasts for a long time, there are no signs of improvement, the patient should immediately go to the nearest medical facility so that the doctor can advise on timely treatment as well as be instructed on additional measures to help prevent pain, prevent pain from recurring.