A Headache is defined as a pain in the head or upper neck. It is  one of the most common locations of pain in the body and has  many causes

Headache by itself is not a disease. It is only a symptom of disease or a functional disturbance, just a warning that something is going wrong. Any one irrespective of age and sex might have suffered from headache several times in life.

Fortunately majority of the headache is due to trivial causes; some of them need medical care with drug or non-drug treatment. A tiny minority is due to serious causes. Headache due to brain diseases is very rare and most of the headaches are due to causes not related to brain at all! For example, the commonest causes of headache in the aged is cervical Spondylitis (age related degenerative process of the bones of the neck), of the elderly high blood pressure, in the young eye problems, in all age groups infection of the sinuses (sinusitis), and that due to psychogenic causes; all unrelated to brain problems. However, it should be admitted that some of the very prevalent causes of headaches are due to brain related conditions like for example migraine headache. However, this can be controlled with medication

Headache associated with brain diseases are characterized by the following:

– Severe headache with no previous history of headache.

– Sudden and marked change in the character of a chronic headache.

– Worsening of headache on straining at stool or exertion.

– Chronic highly localized pain.

– Headache lasting more than one day.

– Headache that awakens patient from sleep.

– Headache associated with convulsion.

– Memory disturbances or personality change.

– Progressive worsening of the symptoms.


Tension Headache:Tension headaches are the most common variety of headache. This often involves the whole of head; the pain is dull and aching. The pain is often associated with other sensations like fullness, tightness, or pressure as if a band or the feeling that the head is swollen and may burst surrounds the head. The onset of the pain is more gradual than the other common headache, migraine. The headache once established may persist with only mild fluctuations for weeks, months or even years.

In fact, this is the only type of headache that exhibits the peculiarity of being present throughout the day, day after day for long periods. The pain however is mild to moderate in severity. Although the sleep is often undisturbed, the headache is present when the patient awakens or develops soon afterward and the common pain relieving drugs have little or no beneficial effect.

Tension headache is more common in women than men. Unlike migraine, they infrequently begin in childhood or adolescence but are more likely to occur in middle age and to coincide with anxiety and depression in the trying times of life. People who are worried, anxious, or frightened are the prime candidates for tension headaches. In such patients, chronic anxiety, and depression of varying degrees of severity is usually present.

Migraine:This is the second most common type of headache. Such types of headache often come back, is very severe affecting usually only one side of the head. The headache often is preceded by certain obvious warning signals. Migraine headaches themselves are of different types like classical migraine and complicated migraine. Migraine is typically described as a sick headache, since the patient apart from headache feels very sick.

Cluster Headache:In contrast to the other forms of headache cluster headache is seen mainly in the males. The patients are frequently from their thirties to their fifties. The pains come in a cluster which comes suddenly lasts for some time disappears only to appear later, otherwise the patient doesn’t have a headache at all.

The pain is very excruciating in cluster headache.  The painful attacks are as if having been struck by a hatchet in the forehead, the temple and behind the eye, and they practically never change the side. They often occur every day or preferably at night at the same time. On the side of the headache frequently, the eye becomes red and tears flow from the eyes the nose becomes congested and there may be running nose, the sweating on forehead (as can be the whole head or the upper part of the body) and may become red. The pain is so strong that the patient cannot tolerate lying in the bed but has to get up and run about, banging his head.

It often strikes at night, awakening the victims from their sleep. Pain lasts for 20 to 90 minutes, and then depart suddenly as it comes. However, the most terrible thing about cluster headache is the fact that these attacks are repeated as many as a dozen times or more in a 24 hour period

The causes cluster headache is not yet known.  Alcohol and red wine are powerful triggers for the pain (as are sometimes nuts, cheese and seafood) or other substances, which dilate blood vessels. As said earlier cluster headache appears to be a man’s disease. Victims of cluster headaches generally are hard working, ambitious people who are perfectionists. They may bury their feelings of anger, guilt and inadequacy and often are troubled by underlying depression. Many suffer from peptic ulcer and heart disease.  The headache may be triggered by smoking, drinking or even change in sleeping patterns.

Sinus Headache: This again is one of the commonest causes of headache seen in patients suffering from allergies, or nasal defects like deflected nasal septum. The headache occurs in conjunction with nasal discomfort, running nose and sneezing. These are recurrent headache caused by inflammation of the mucosa liming the sinuses (air filled spaces) in and around skull; the sinusitis. Pain in such cases is often felt in the front of the face and head and may range from mild to moderate. It may be more annoying than agonizing. The ENT Specialist often manages such a headache.

Headache caused by neuralgia (pain along nerves) such as trigeminal neuralgia, which produced violent stabbing pains over the face on one side, due the involvement of a nerve arising straight from the brain (Cranial Nerve), the trigeminal nerve or the fifth cranial nerve.

Headache resulting from infections, the serious one is meningitis due to infection of the covering of the brain, less serious like sinusitis described above, infection of a defective tooth, ears or eyes.

Headache due to pulling (traction) exerted on tissues inside the head. These are the most serious causes of headache that require the attention from a neurospecialist. The causes include, brain tumors, brain abscess (collection of pus inside the brain) hydrocephalus (blockage of circulating fluid in the cavities of the brain), collection of blood in side the head (the haematomas), leaking of blood from an abnormal blood vessel like an aneurysm. These headaches are often associated with other symptoms like convulsions, weakness of limbs, deteriorating level of consciousness, difficulty in speech, changes in behavior etc.

Headache due to general health problems likes high blood pressure and Spondylitic changes in the bones of the neck. These types of headaches may be missed unless the patient gets treatment from a general physician than a neurospecialist. A neuroscientist often tries to exclude headache related to brain disorders and hence such caused may be over looked.

Headache caused by Eye problems: A number disorders of the eye can cause headache. This is often overlooked since patients and relatives often focus their attention on head alone as the cause of the pain. When there is an obvious eye disorder, there is no problem. However, errors of refraction one of the commonest of cause of headache especially in the young and children are often missed. In this disorder because of the error of refraction the optical system of one or both eyes because the image being viewed to fall off the target in the retina. This may be because of hyperopia or astigmatism in which light rays failing to focus properly on the retina. This defect cause squinting in an effort to compensate and squinting causes muscular contraction which can trigger a headache? A second eye disorder which can cause headache is glaucoma, a condition in which pressure of fluid within the eyeball rises to harmful levels as the result of impairment in the circulation. This is a serious condition, which if not corrected is likely to cause blindness. Simple treatment with eye drops or occasionally with oral medication can lower the pressure within the eye, correct the problem, and end the headaches as well.

Headache caused by dental disorders: Dental problems that induce headache are most often accompanied by symptoms that point to the teeth or gum as the cause of the head pain. The commonest dental problem that causes headache is a tooth abscess. Another dental related problem, temporomandibular joint pain, which affects the jaw hinge located in the front of the ear, can cause headache. Malocclusion due to ill fitting dentures or loss of molar teeth on one side with alteration of the normal chewing movements may lead to distortion of ultimately degenerative changes in the joint and to pain in front of the ear, with radiation to the temple and over the face.

Headaches due to toxin: A number of toxins produced within the body or those that enter the body from outside can cause headache. Most of the viral and bacterial infection that produce endogenous toxins can lead to fever and headache. Exogenous toxins (that originate outside the body) that can cause headache includes such toxins as auto emissions, industrial fumes and wastes, polluted waters, pesticides in foods, preservatives in prepared foods, foul air in poorly ventilated places and smog. Many common household items that may induce headache because they are inhaled or absorbed through the skin. This group includes such substances as cleaning fluids, fuels, and insecticides. The lead in cosmetics, gasoline additives, and paint can also cause headache.

Headache due to drugs: A number of drugs for treating various diseases can also cause headache. One important example is Nitrates that are given for heart disease. Even drugs like aspirin taken for pain in large amounts can cause headache. It is important to tell doctors the drugs that are being taken for other conditions while seeking help for headache. Unnecessary treatments can be avoided by this practice.

Headache due to ice cream: Holding ice cream or ice in the mouth or swallowing it quickly may cause a localized pain the mouth or throat and sometimes headache in the forehead or temple. There may be pain behind the ear also.

Headache due to fast food: Victims of this complain of feelings of pressures or tightness in the face, a burning feeling over the trunk, neck, and shoulders, a pressing pain in the chest, and a headache after eating usually from restaurants and hotels. All this comes on about half an hour after eating and lasts about an hour. The cause is monosodium glutamate, which is widely used as a food additive, and this chemical dilates blood vessels causing headache.

Headache due to alcohol : Alcohol also is a dilator of blood vessels. Some wines and other alcoholic beverages also contain chemical called histamine another potent dilator. Red wine in particular may have high histamine content and can trigger migraine and cluster headaches in susceptible individuals. The throbbing hangover headache that attacks on the morning after a heavy drinking is due to acetaldehyde and acetate – breakdown products of alcohol- circulating in the blood and dilating the arteries in the skull.

Headache due to fasting: Fasting can lower the blood glucose level and can trigger migraine and a dull headache often accompanies any prolonged fast such as those urged in some weight-loss programme.

Withdrawal or rebound headache: Caffeine, nicotine, and other substances can constrict blood vessels and thus diminish vascular headaches. If either these substances are continuously introduced into the blood by drinking coffee regularly or by smoking, blood vessels adapt a semi constricted state. However, if this is withdrawn, blood vessels dilate causing considerable headache. That is how stopping or delaying intake of coffee or tea can cause headache.


Headache Diet:

The best way to avoid headaches is to build up on your resistance through the intake of proper nutrition.

– Dinner should be comprised with whole wheat products, rice, cereals or potatoes, and raw salads.

– Fish containing omega-3 fatty acids should also be plentiful in a diet against headaches. This is because fish oil are said to prevent headache.

– Condiments, spices, oily foods, and sour buttermilk are among the stuff that should be avoided so headaches will not be triggered.

– Caffeine and chocolate should also be avoided because these are known to exacerbate headaches.

– Cured meat, nuts, aged cheese, ice cream, alcohol, red wine, and MSG are also other trigger foods for headaches that should be avoided.

Homeopathic treatment and symptoms

Homeopathic remedies are prescribed on the basis of symptoms rather than conditions, as each case of a particular illness can manifest differently in different people. There are many symptoms which can be effectively treated by homeopathy ­­­­­few symptoms are given below. If your symptoms are matching to any of the symptoms given below, it can be cured mail the disease and symptom number at drraishyam@gmail.com to know your medicine.

1. Frontal, vertical or occipital headache with great pain in eyeballs, better by pressure and stupefying pain in head, especially forehead. Pains are pressing inwards and outwards; they are increased on slightest touch.

2. Headache worse by binding the hair, biting the teeth together, before and during menses, stepping heavily, better by cold air and cold application, moving the head and from walking.

3. Headache relieved entirely by eating; worse during motion and working.

4. When trauma (injury) is the cause, pain aching. Bruised, occasionally sharp, as if nails were being driven into the brain; mental confusion. Aching pain is worse by rinsing the head and is relieved by having the head elevated.

5. Headache in plethoric and healthy persons. The cause is some disturbance of the circulatory system. The headache is violent and throbbing. Throbbing and bursting headache in temples with fiery red and hot face. Eyes become red. Face flushed. The pains disappear as suddenly as they appear, Unconsciousness.

6. Migraine headaches that start in the upper neck or back of the skull and extend to the forehead on the right. Intense headaches often begin in late morning or afternoon. migraines come suddenly, very intense, throbbing exploding, pressing outward, starts in the right back of the head and extends to the forehead and eyes.  It’s worse at 3 p.m., jarring, light, sun, washing the hair, stooping, and menses. Better by lying in the dark quiet room, binding the head, sitting up in bed, bending the head back.

7. Headaches with a steady, sharp pain in the forehead that may radiate to the back of the head; these types of headaches worsen with movement and light touch, but improve with firm pressure; individuals who are irritable and may also experience nausea, vomiting, and constipation

8. Pulsating throbbing centralized near or into the left eye. Symptoms include early morning headaches and dry mouth, disturbed by noise and movement

9. Headache when stooping as if brain would burst through forehead. Worse by motion. Headache brought on by playing or watching the play.

10. Chronic headache in fatty persons with tendency for sweating of the face. Icy coldness of extremities.

11. Headache of school girls and boys who apply themselves too closely to their books, especially children who are growing rapidly and whose mental development is out of proportion to their physical strength.

12. Headache with peevishness. The patient is cross and angry. Headache occurs normally in patients who use alcohol in excess and take opium to counteract its effect or who take strong coffee.

13. Headache congestive, throbbing and hammering like on temples, better by hard pressure. Headaches resulting from dehydration, weakness or anemia.

14. Migraine and throbbing headache. headache associated with the menstrual period, stiff neck pain, and feelings of gloom or despair.

15. Headaches or Migraine resulting from worrisome behavior or insomnia. Symptoms include dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Pain in the back of the head, as if the parts were alternately opening and closing. Headache comes on like a shadow. Can hear what is going on while asleep, even snoring. Nervous headache with giddiness and nausea and vertigo. Holds the nape of neck firmly with hands owing to the severity of pain.

16. Migraine associated with dizziness, blurred or dimmed vision, or eye spasm. Symptoms include earache, dry mouth or thirst, and weakness. Sensitivity to cold or open air. Emotional upsets.

17. Specific for sick headaches. Listless and apathetic. Dull frontal headache over root of nose. Over eyes, through temples, worse stooping and moving. Migraine associated with acidity.

18. Headache caused by loss of sleep following excitement.

19. Nervous headache with characteristic symptom of spitting constantly.

20. Pains beginning in the nape of neck and shift over to head, causing a bursting sensation in the forehead and eyeballs. Feels as if head is full and big. Unconsciousness. blurred vision, sensation of tight band or vise clamped around skull, frequent urination, and difficulty holding head straight or opening eyes. Pain usually originates in the back of the head and may be relieved following urination; extremely weak and have difficulty keeping their eyes open

21. Headache due to working under gaslight, in the sun when heat falls on the head. Head feels enormously large, Sunstroke and sun headache without unconsciousness. pounding migraines as if the head would explode.  The pain increases and decreases with the sun’s rise and fall.  Worse from heat, alcohol, tight collars, shaking the head.  Better from pressure, lying in a dark room, cold washing, getting into the shade, wearing a hat.headaches that result during the period of menopause

22. When due to grief in hysterical patients. Terminates with a profuse flow of urine. Headache in hysteria. Pain as if a needle or nail were driven into the head.

23. People suffering from nausea and vomiting associated with migraine. accompanied with lack of thirst, constant production of saliva and weak pulse

24. Ice pick headaches and stress headaches. Symptoms include back or muscle spasms and feelings of grief, disappointment, or sadness. for pain that may be described as a feeling of something being driven into the skull; these types of headaches tend to be triggered by emotion, including grief or anxiety, and the treatment is appropriate for both children and adults

25. Headaches or migraine that typically comes during the weekend or during rest periods. With school teachers it comes on Saturday or Sunday and with preachers on Monday. The patient usually vomits bitter bilious substances and the vomiting gives relief to the pains in the head. Migraine of the eye with constipation. Objects could only be seen in halves. Bilious headache with burning and acidity. migraine with vomiting and nausea

26. Periodic migraines that begin with blurred vision, especially after eating sweets; pain usually occurs on one side of the head and may be partially relieved by gentle movement and/or fresh air

27. Headache begins with blurred vision aching and pressing pains on the forehead (particularly between and behind the eyes); may be accompanied by sinus congestion or nausea and vomiting; prefer to lie down in a dark room and better by warmth and eating

28. Violent headache during the menstrual period when the flow slackens. Headache, like the menstrual pain is relieved by the flow. Bursting and hammering headache.

29. Headache increases with the rise of the sun and stops at sun-set Headache with sweat, greater the pain the greater the sweat. Headache of schoolgirls or boys, worse on eye straining. Hammering headache as If hammers are knocking the head. women who suffer from migraine induced by sun’s exposure. Occurrences of migraine just before or after the menstrual period Excruciating headaches occurring due to grief or emotional, better cold applications, sweat, pressure, closing the eyes, lying in a dark room

30. Tension headaches, hangovers, toxic headaches from noise, sensation as a “nail being driving into the head;” often accompanied by nausea and/or dizziness; patient is constipated and irritable

31. Due to strain, or eye strain; vertigo; nervous headache, neurasthenia

32. Headache relieved by cold application and is worse in a warm room and by warm applications. Sense of coldness in the base of brain.

33. Headache due to hunger, wants to eat but cannot eat enough.

34. Bilious headache with gastric symptoms, pain in stomach, sour vomiting and acidity. Feels as if the head is full of boiling water.

35. Brought on by reading and eye-strain.

36. Headaches triggered by weather change (specifically before storm occurs).

37. Headache caused by indulgence in alcohol or tea, by hot weather over study and worse by strong odours. Increased flow of urine during headache.

38. Headache relieved by wrapping and covering. Worse in the dark and better in light. Nervous headache caused by excessive study at school.

39. Nervous headache beginning in the morning at base of brain, spreading over the head and locating in eye orbit and temple of left side. Intolerable pressive pain in the eye balls. Pain disappears in the evening.

40. Headache is centralized into the right eye. Symptoms include eyestrain, vomiting, and sharp or splitting head pain. right-sided headaches that begin in the neck and move upwards, recur in a predictable pattern (such as every seven days), and are accompanied by nausea and vomiting; pain is aggravated by motion, light or sun exposure, odors, and noise; craving for spicy or acidic foods, despite having a general aversion to eating due to the headache

41. Migraines that are accompanied by nausea and are relieved when the individual is lying down; light and movement tend to worsen symptoms; moody and don’t like being alone, but worry about being with others

42. Left-sided headaches. Heart palpitations or other heart issues, stiff neck and shoulders, stinging, burning, or throbbing pain, often on the left side of the head; symptoms tend to worsen with exposure to cold weather and with motion, but are temporarily relieved by cold compresses and when the individual is lying on the right side with the head propped up

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