What's a headache?

Very often when we experience headache, our first instinct is to reach for the head. Interestingly, its not our brains being the source of the pain, in fact the brain cannot feel pain. Medical researchers believe that often times headache is cause by chemical imbalance in our body effecting the nervous system and the vessels in our head.

There are over 200 types of headaches, but it can be classified into two major categories.

1. Primary headaches: 90% of all headaches are primary headaches. They are stand-alone illnesses caused directly by the over-activity effecting the blood vessels, muscles, and nerves in out head and neck.
2. Secondary headaches: These symptoms occur as a side-effect of other illnesses.

Headache and Mood

Have you experienced a mood swing when you have a headache or migraine? Dr. David Dodick confirms that about 75% of people will experience a range of cognitive, emotional and physical symptoms including stiff neck, dizziness and depression. 

Surprisingly, it can be the other way around. Studies show that people who experience unhappiness, nervousness, and of course stress have a higher chance to develop headache and migraine.   

Why you should not use self-medication for headache  

There is an article explaining the risk of over-counter medication such as pain killers, and how they may cause more damage than its healing affect. Not only do many of drugs have this side effect, but also after frequent administration of drug, your body may become dependent on the drug and lead to addiction. 

How to manage headache:

When experiencing headache, the first step is to remove yourself from any highly stressful environment. In addition, here are some of the things you can do at home to effectively manage headache without medication.

1. Applying ice pack on head and neck area
2. Cognitive behavior therapy
3. Hypnosis
4. Meditation (Many meditation methods can be found online)

Although, headache may seem normal in overall population. You should not over look it; especially if you are constantly in a highly stressful environment, or you are older than age 40. It is highly recommended to seek medical care just to be safe.