Cephalalgias, or headaches, are frequent pains in the cranial region. They strongly affect the quality of life of those affected and are one of the most frequent reasons for consultation.
Different types of headaches
There are primary and secondary cephalalgias, which differ in location, intensity, and duration. Primary disorders are not caused by another disorder, while secondary disorders result from a dysfunction of the brain, eyes, sinuses, teeth, or ears for example.
Primary disorders are the most frequent, among which we find:
- Tension headaches, the most common, cause pain around the head.
- Migraine, which causes pulsating pain on one side of the head, and occurs in recurrent attacks.
- The rarer facial vascular pain, which is characterized by a sharp pain at the temple or around the eye on one side of the head, is accompanied by nasal congestion.
Trigger factors of headaches
Several factors can trigger a primary headache attack:
- Certain medications or overuse of medications
- Hormones (premenstrual syndrome)
- Excessive stimulation of the senses (strong smells, aggressive light…)
Treatments for headaches
In case of headaches, it is imperative to consult a doctor so that he/she can issue a diagnosis. Actually, secondary disorders can be related to benign disorders but also to more serious ones (high blood pressure…) which is important to detect quickly. In the case of very disabling pain, the doctor may also prescribe medical treatment to alleviate it. Note that in some cases, headaches can be accompanied by fever, nausea, blurred vision, depending on their origin.
Non medical treatments for headaches
In case of strong headaches, cold can help! Apply an ice pack to your head. You can also practice massages of the temporal vein. Rest in a quiet place and drink water as dehydration makes the headache worse.
Complementary medicines can also help:
- Acupuncture treats the migraine at the source and can lower the intensity or frequency of attacks.
- Naturopathy helps prevent and relieve headaches with certain plants and essential oils.
- Osteopathy is effective when headaches are of musculoskeletal origin.
- Hypnosis helps to stimulate the production of endorphins that soothe the pain.
- Sophrology eases migraines when they are caused by stress.
This information is not a substitute for medical advice.
You must seek the advice of your doctor or another qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health condition.