Most people get headaches occasionally and knowing whether they are due to muscle tension, migraine or something else can help you choose an appropriate remedy.
Tension headaches generally feel as if a band is tightening around the head, neck and shoulders. They are sometimes linked to muscle tension caused by stress or poor posture. Painkillers can help the occasional headache but people who have regular or chronic headaches need to remember that taking painkillers continually, particularly those containing codeine, can make headaches worse and more frequent. Speak to your local Pharmacist
for more information on how to manage tension headaches.
Migraine is a particularly painful, throbbing headache. It is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and/or sensitivity to bright lights or noise. People usually want to stay still and quiet during a migraine.
Most of us think a headache is a migraine only if it is accompanied by fuzzy vision or numbness in the body, but only about one in six sufferers experience these symptoms.
Sufferers should take a pain killer as soon as the warning signs are experienced, try to lie in a dark, quiet room and apply a cold compress to their forehead to try and alleviate the symptoms.
Sometimes, headaches can be a sign of other problems, such as arthritis in the neck, inflamed sinuses, disturbed sleep or viral illnesses such as colds and flu
See your GP if you have a headache which causes difficulty moving or speaking, persistent changes in vision, convulsions, a high fever
, stiff neck, rash, vomiting or any other
Reduce your headache risk:
- Keep your fluid levels up, drinking enough water to allay thirst
- Eat a healthy diet and do not skip meals
- Watch your stress levels; find time each day to relax
- Keep a headache diary for three months to identify possible triggers