Headaches are an extremely common complaint, afflicting one person in three at least once a year, though some people do tend to suffer more than others. In fact, although we tend to use the word headache to describe any pain in the head, there are probably more than 100 different types of headache and they vary in intensity and location. Some develop gradually and clear up after an hour or two or a walk in the fresh air. Others can be extremely severe and can last more than 24 hours.
With migraine, the pain is usually one sided and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting. In a tension headache, the whole head throbs and feels as though there’s a weight on top of it or a tight band around it. The pain is usually dull and persistent, originating in the muscles of the scalp. The tension headache is the most common symptom presented to a general practitioner and no one knows the cause, or why some people get a headache when they are emotionally upset and some don’t.
Different sorts of headaches can also be brought on by other factors – drinking too much alcohol, sinusitis , anxiety or being in an overheated room or smoky atmosphere are all common triggers. They may be the result of muscle strain in your neck, especially if the headache comes on after you have been reading or doing close work like sewing – you can become tense from concentrating for too long or from sitting in an awkward position.
For most minor headaches, it is worth trying the following self-help measures. Take the recommended dose of a mild painkiller such as aspirin or paracetamol – for best results, take the painkiller as soon as you feel the headache coming on. Drink plenty of water or other non-alcoholic, clear drinks. Rest in a quiet, darkened room may also be soothing and a warm bath will sometimes relieve tension.
Fortunately, most headaches are not a sign of serious disease, but if your headache is particularly severe; if it’s accompanied by misty or blurred vision, nausea or vomiting; if there’s no satisfactory explanation for a headache that is continuous or getting worse after three days, or comes back several times in the course of a week; or if you have injured your head during the past few days, you should consult your doctor for advice.
Belladonna, Ignatia, Nat. Mur.