Headache or pain in any part of the head is one of the most common reasons for people to seek medical help. The causes of headaches range from serious ones like meningitis, brain tumor, intracerebral bleeding to benign not so serious causes like tension headache, migraine, sinusitis, eyestrain etc. Serious causes of headaches are rare. Any new onset, persistent or severe headache should be medically investigated to rule out anything serious. The most common type of headaches that I tend to see in general practice are discussed below:
Migraine: Is a chronic, recurrent headache of moderate to severe intensity. It commonly begins in adolescence or early adulthood. The pain often begins in one side and may spread to the other areas of the head. There can be sensitivity to light, noise and smell or nausea during the attacks. Some patients may have aura’s (symptoms indicating you are going to have a headache soon). The aura may differ with each case, some may have visual disturbances, other’s ringing in ears, hand numbness, dizziness etc. Common migraine triggering factors have been identified like lack of sleep, stress, alcohol, skipping meals, certain foods like red wine, chocolate etc. The triggers vary with each individual. Symptoms can last for 2-3 days.
Cluster Headache: It causes severe pain, on one side of the head, usually around one eye and the temple. The pain tends to subside on its own within an hour. Attacks come on at the same time each day. The pains are often accompanied by nasal congestion and watery eye on the same side of the face.
Tension Headache: Usually caused by tension/tightness in the neck, scalp and shoulder muscles. This tightness of muscles could be from anxiety, stress or depression. There is a generalized pain all over the head, or a feeling of a tight band squeezing the head. Usually tension headaches don’t get as serious as migraines and mostly there is no associated nausea or vomiting.
Sinus Headache: Felt in the forehead or cheek bones caused by sinus infections or allergies. The headache is worse on bending down and usually begins in the morning and gets better later in the day.
Rebound Headache: Overusing painkillers for headaches ironically leads to more headaches. This happens when pain medications like Motrin, Aspirin, Tylenol, are abused and not used as directed. Rebound headaches are a result of withdrawal, as the blood levels of the pain medication drops, it results in headache which encourages one to take more pain meds until it becomes a cycle and results in chronic headaches.
Headache is one of the leading causes for absenteeism from school and work. A lot of people suffer frequently with chronic headaches, often having to put their life on hold during the attacks. Many try different conventional treatments and learn to manage the headaches, without being able to eliminate it. Homeopathy when practiced in the Classical method, helps to alleviate headache symptoms significantly, when we are able to identify what is unique about you as an individual, and what is unique about your headache symptoms. We try to understand the triggers- what are the conditions which make your headache worse (or reduce it), the nature of the pain, associated symptoms etc before a constitutional remedy is decided for you. Many times headaches are caused due to stresses in life and anxiety. In Homeopathy we consider all these aspects also in choosing a unique treatment for you. Homeopathy is a safe and natural treatment.
There are more than 800 remedies available in Homeopathy to treat headaches! A Classical Homeopath always tries to find the ‘one remedy’ of the lot which could be most suitable to treat your headache. Some of the commonly used Homeopathic remedies for headaches and migraines are:
- Belladonna- Severe pulsating, throbbing headaches, mostly right sided with great redness and congestion of the face. The pains are worse by the slightest noise, jar, light, movement. There is usually dilatation of the pupils which cause the sensitivity to light.
- Bryonia- Head pain usually starts over the left eye and extends to the whole head. Worse by the slightest movement, even coughing or moving the eyelids hurt! There is generally a thirst for large quantities of water.
- Glonoinum- Headaches due to irregularities of the circulation. Pulsating pains, feels like the head will explode, worse by the sun, warmth, better by cold and open air. Headaches coming on due to hypertension.
- Lachesis- Intense left sided headaches, which are aggravated after sleep, coming on before menses. Frequently indicated in women approaching menopause.
- Natrium muriaticum- Complaints coming on after some grief. Headache like little hammers beating, worse around 10 AM, from the sun and better by lying quietly in a dark room.
These are just a few examples of remedies being used for head pains. Your Homeopath should be able to prescribe for you accordingly and help alleviate your suffering.