It’s becoming almost an automatic response, reaching out for the painkillers every time we have a headache. Headaches and migraines are commonly felt by many people of all ages, male or female. Millions of people experience regular headaches making them one of the most commonly felt health complaints. Luckily, most headaches are easily treatable however some pain relief medications can actually make headaches worse, chronic or even recurrent. This article will look at both headaches and migraines, their origins and how pain relief medication can aid or worsen the symptoms of these health complaints.
What is a headache and how are they caused?
Headaches are pains, ranging from a dull throbbing to a persistent shooting pain in the head. They can be split into two different groups which depend on their cause; primary or secondary. A primary headache is caused by some underlying health problem. A secondary headache is a side effect of another cause, such as sickness or illness. Tension headaches can be caused by a number of factors such as stress, depression, eye strain, sleep deprivation or dehydration. These headaches are displayed by a dull pain sensation and feel as though constant pressure is being applied to the front of the head.
What is a migraine and how are they caused?
In contrast to a headache, migraines are more uncommon and experienced by a smaller range of people. Migraines are severe and continuous headaches that can recur on a regular basis and bring about enough pain to leave people bedbound. Migraines may feel like throbbing and pounding pains that occur in multiple regions of the head, rather than one localized source such as is felt during a headache. Migraines can be caused in women undergoing menopause or during their menstrual cycle. The precise causes of migraines are currently unknown; however, they may be linked to changes in blood vessels or temporary chemical imbalances in the brain.
How can pain relief increase headaches?
Medication will have a slightly different effect on everybody due to the different ways in which each human body copes and the rate at which it functions. As a consequence, the effects and dose of medication that is needed for effective treatment will also differ from person to person. Pain relief medication such as aspirin is commonly used during the treatment of headaches, as they relieve the symptoms and allow the person to continue functioning without as much discomfort. However, the overuse and frequent use of pain relief can, in fact, result in recurrent and severe headaches themselves as they cause chemical imbalances within the brain and disrupt the natural level of chemicals in the body. Therefore, pain relief medication should only be used when necessary; otherwise the symptoms of a headache should be dealt with using natural means. Camomile tea is a commonly known and used remedy for headaches, as is lavender.