Headache is a common complaint that occurs frequently in some. It can be easily countered by simple medications.
'Every head has its own headache'
- Arab proverb
A headache literally means ‘pain in the head’
. In many cases, it does not stop with the head and may extend on to the neck and upper back. It is a very common complaint that may occur frequently in some people.
The brain is itself pain-free as it lacks nociceptors;however, the surrounding membrane, dura, and the associated blood vessels have pain receptors and are highly prone to pain. Any irritation to these membranes and blood vessels result in aches. Irritations to the head muscles too can result in a painful experience.
The common causes
for a headache include stress/tensions, dehydration, eye stain, migraine, sinusitis and low levels of blood sugar. Headaches may also occur due to life-threatening conditions like brain tumors, encephalitis, meningitis, increased BP, cerebral aneurysms and brain tumors. Head injuries are other causes of headaches. In women, headaches can be caused by the fluctuating levels of hormones, such as estrogen.
Headaches are often harmless
and they tend to go away by themselves. In some rare cases, migraines can be associated with stroke.
In the vast majority of the cases, the pain is relieved by simple, over- the- counter, pain-relieving pills such as aspirin, ibuprofen or paracetamol. Certain headaches do not go away by themselves and may require more specific treatment accompanied by lifestyle changes.