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TOP 9 reasons for HEADACHES

Headache is a nagging problem
Headache is a nagging problem

There is nobody spared of a headache in their lifetime. Rising work pressure, strained relationships, performance pressures, and diseases are some of the many reasons for this problem. As per the American Journal of Medicine, US $ 1 billion is spent annually on imaging diagnosis like CT / MRI / X- Rays, for headaches.

Headaches are classified as Primary & Secondary headaches.

A primary headache means that there are no systemic problems leading to the headache. The bodily functions are fine but there might be some emotional/psychological issues that lead to this problem.

Secondary Headaches are due to some underlying physiological/pathological reasons. This needs a thorough investigation and at times needs urgent medical/ surgical interventions. In a report in the journal of headache and pain in U. K, approximately 86 million workdays are lost to migraine each year, and migraine costs 8.8 billion per year in lost productivity.

Here, we tried to list some of the main reasons irrespective of the primary & secondary nature of it.

Tension, Tension, Tension....

1. Stress / Tensional Headaches: rising pressures/stress lead to this type. The exact reason is still not understood clearly. The pain in the head feels like a tight band around the head and can be really nagging. Tight sensation around the head, and sides, and often stiffness in the neck and shoulder are some of the common signs & symptoms.

Migraine melancholy

2. Migraine: Migraine is a headache that is moderate to severe in nature, throbbing, or pounding pain, causes nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, odour or sound (aura), etc. They can be usually one-sided as well.


3. Sinus Congestion: A sinus means a blind sac. In order to make the skull lighter and humidify the inhaling air, there are hollow spaces around the frontal, cheekbones, and deeper space inside the nose. Any blockage due to mucous, common cold, infection, polyps, deviated nasal septum, tumor, etc, can block the normal sinus ventilation. This leads to sinusitis. Usually, a sinus headache is present in the front of the head. There might be mild to moderate fever, and bad taste in the mouth with watering in the eyes. The front of the head and cheekbones might pain, on mere touch or tapping. Pain often increases with sudden movement/strain.

High B.P can be alarming

4. High Blood Pressure: People with high BP can often complain of headaches. The sudden increase of blood pressure (>180/130 mm Hg) can send pain signals to the head and the pain usually will be felt a pounding, throbbing, pain in the head. This has to be attended immediately with medical attention as there might be a chance of an impending stroke. The increased pressure of the fluid in the eye (glaucoma) also results in a sharp, throbbing, and severe headache.

Protect your head

5. Head injury / Trauma: Any injury to the brain and skull can cause headaches. There might be other associated symptoms like bleeding from the nose, ears, and clots in the eyes. These are severe and need emergency surgery at times.

Say NO to alcohol & Drugs

6. Drug / Alcohol abuse: Substance abuse with withdrawal symptoms is often combined with headaches. A hangover is a brilliant example of one. Certain people are also allergic to some common medicines like painkillers, food additives like MSG, etc, and can often complain about headaches.

CT of brain

7. Diseases of the blood vessels like aneurysms of the cerebral/meningeal arteries lead to deep throbbing pain in the head. There can also be episodes of migraine attacks as mentioned above.

Infections of brain

8. Brain infections: Infection of the brain and spinal cord due to bacteria, virus, fungus, worms (tapeworm), Lyme’s disease, etc., can lead to headaches. They are also associated with fever, stiffness in the neck, vomiting, coma, etc. Immediate medical intervention is the key to saving the patient’s life.

9. Tumor/cancer: The mere utterance of the word cancer chills the spine. Tumors and cancer of the brain and spinal cord can also lead to headaches. Besides aching head, other signs and symptoms are also to be investigated properly.

There are other types of headaches as well, but alarms should sound when one faces the following symptoms. As per the Cleveland clinic, the best information as to when to see a medical doctor is as follows:

a) Three or more headache episodes per week.

b) Headaches that keep getting worse and won’t go away easily.

c) Need to take painkillers every day or almost every day for headaches.

d) Need more than 2 to 3 doses of over-the-counter medications per week to relieve headache symptoms.

e) Headaches that are triggered by exertion, coughing, bending, or strenuous activity.

f) A history of headaches, but have noticed a recent change in your headache symptoms.

So, in a nutshell, all headaches need not be worried about but they can be worrisome as mentioned above. Timely diagnosis with regular medical checkups, a quick check of the site of the pain, periodicity, intensity, aggravating –relieving factors, imaging techniques like X-rays, CT, MRI, etc, and blood parameters can largely rule out many confusing types of headaches.


The treatment part of the headache depends upon the cause and usually needs better understanding. Natural therapies like Ayurveda Panchakarma, relaxation techniques, hot and cold fomentation techniques, breathing exercises, diet and lifestyle modifications can greatly improve primary headaches.

Secondary headaches can be controlled by proper medications (western / ayurveda / naturopathy, etc). All set and done, self medications to be avoided and its better to seek prompt medical advice and interventions.

For ayurvedic advice, please feel free to click on the link below :

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