What your headache is trying to tell you

What your headache is trying to tell you

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  • Having a headache is a right pain, but it’s time to think of them as body messengers…

    Headaches can cause major disruption to your daily routine. Whether it’s a dull ache or a sharp pain, headaches can make you feel uncomfortable, distressed and in some cases physically ill. But, if you learn how to tame the beast, you may be able to ward them off quickly. The key? To know what your headache means and what it’s trying to tell you.

    We’ve broken down each headache, so you know exactly why you’re getting them and what you can do to relieve them.

    What is a tension headache?

    This is by far the most common headache. It’s mainly caused by tightness in the muscles of the scalp and back of the neck. You’re likely to feel a dull pressure or tightness around your head, especially your forehead.

    Most people would describe this pain as mild to moderate and may feel tired when they have this type of headache. What your headache means? You’re stressed.

    What it wants: To de-stress. Try doing some yoga poses to release tension and focus on deep breathing. Ginger tea is also a known remedy to aid relaxation and meditation. If that doesn’t work, have a nap or take some ibuprofen. But think twice before you take asprin, it’s not for everyone.

    What is a sinus headache?

    If you’ve ever experienced one of these headaches, you are one of very few. People commonly mitsake a tension headache for a sinus headache. But, sinus headaches are quite rare, as they are normally triggered by an acute sinus infection. You may also experience this type of headache when taking off and landing during a flight.

    What it wants: Sinus relievers.

    What is a migraine?

    Technically, this type of headache is a neurological condition caused by an overreactive switch in the brain stem. When you experience a migraine, you might be sensitive to light, smells and sounds. You’re also likely to experience a throbbing pain, which may lead to nausea or vomiting. This type of headache is normally triggered from some foods, stress and/or hormonal changes. Remember, it’s important to know what your headache means.

    What it wants: Medication and rest. Unlike other headaches that can be cured while awake, this one requires deep rest and relaxation for it to pass.

    What is a cluster headache

    This is one of the rarest headaches of all. In fact, only 0.1 per cent of people will ever experience one. And because it happens at the same time every day, doctors suspect the hypothalamus (the part of the brain that controls your body clock) is involved.

    Symptoms include intense pain behind one eye shortly after you fall asleep and can last an hour or two. But the reason they have their name is because it’s common for them to come in clusters of one or two headaches a day over several weeks.

    What it wants: Triggers include alcohol and cigarettes. So, it’s best to steer clear of these if you’re experiencing cluster headaches. Triptans and other medications are used to treat an attack once it’s started.

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