Headache

Headaches inflict their misery in a variety of ways. Some start from a dull, steady ache maybe in the back of the head, maybe on the top of the head or maybe it is just a pain on the left or right side of the head. Others go straight to a blinding, throbbing pain. Nearly everyone has headaches at least now and then, but an unfortunate few experience near-frequent head pain. Common headache types include tension headaches, cluster headaches, rebound headaches, sinus headaches, and migraine.

There are a number of treatment strategies that work best for each type of headache. Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen do the trick for many people. Others need muscle relaxants or even stronger medicines. Some find relief from self-help and alternative techniques like acupuncture.

Instead of waiting to be blindsided by another sudden or pounding headache, preventive strategies can be taken, such as using stress management, physical therapy, or exercise in tandem with medications. Another aspect of prevention is learning to recognize and change things that may trigger your headaches — like reducing emotional stress, changing your diet, or getting more sleep. Advances in the medical management of headache mean that relief is no longer just possible, but probable. Although some form of head pain will occasionally visit most people, no one should have to live and suffer with headaches.

Headache Articles

Is fibromyalgia real?

Q. My friend was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia, but it seems like she might be imagining her symptoms. Is fibromyalgia a real condition? A. The short answer to your question is yes. Fibromyalgia is a real condition that affects some four million Americans. It's a chronic pain syndrome that experts believe may be caused by a malfunctioning nervous system. Researchers using magnetic resonance imaging to examine the brains of people with fibromyalgia have found abnormalities in the part of the brain that processes pain signals from the body. It appears that this part of the brain is essentially boosting the intensity of normal pain signals, potentially causing the body to feel pain without a physical cause. People with fibromyalgia experience muscular pain and tenderness throughout their body along with other symptoms, including extreme fatigue, mood disturbances (such as anxiety and depression), headaches, and problems with sleep and memory. More »

What’s that constant headache pain in the temples?

Throbbing pain in the temples, especially on just one side of your head, is typically a symptom of migraine pain. But when throbbing turns into a constant headache, and it's accompanied by pain when you touch your temples, it may be a sign of temporal arteritis, according to the Harvard Special Health Report Headache Relief. Temporal arteritis is a condition caused by inflammation of the large temporal arteries located on either side of the head. Also known as cranial or giant-cell arteritis, this painful condition is twice as common in women as in men and usually occurs in people ages 50 or older. More »

New ways to manage migraines

Migraine headaches can be painful and debilitating, but there are strategies to get them under control. For people with frequent or severe headaches, there are multiple ways to help prevent migraine and effective medications to halt the pain after one develops. (Locked) More »

Quick-start guide to headaches

There are several types of common headaches. Migraines typically begin on one side of the head, with pain stretching from the front to the back of the head. Tension headaches feel like a tight band around the head. Cluster headaches cause a terrible stabbing pain around the eye. Sinus headaches are usually behind the eyes and nose and feel more like pressure than pain. An occasional headache is probably nothing to worry about. But when pain is sudden or chronic—more than once a week— it’s time to tell a doctor. (Locked) More »

The finer points of acupuncture

The ancient practice of acupuncture has been used to help heal and manage ailments such as chronic pain, low back pain, and arthritis. The treatment involves inserting hair-thin needles into specific points on the body to help release energy that may be blocked because of illness or other imbalances. While the supporting research is ongoing and mixed, men may benefit from the treatment either by itself or as part of traditional pain therapy. (Locked) More »