The day starts with screaming kids, continues slowly onward with stop 'n' go traffic, and ends on a sour note with an angry boss. By this point, you are ready to chop your head off in order to relieve the pounding pain.
You can take a little comfort in knowing that almost everyone has had such a day...and such a headache. Yet some people fare worse than others do. An estimated 45 million Americans get chronic, recurring headaches, while as many as 18 million of those suffer from painful, debilitating migraines.
The Three Kinds of Headaches
Although there are nearly two dozen types of headaches, they all fall into three basic categories: tension, vascular, and organic.
Tension headaches, the most common of the trio, cause a dull, nonthrobbing pain, usually accompanied by tightness in the scalp or neck. Triggers range from depression to everyday stresses such as screaming kids and traffic jams.
Vascular headaches are more intense, severe, throbbing, and piercing: They take first prize for pain. Cluster and migraine headaches fall into this category. Triggers for cluster headaches are unknown, although excessive smoking and alcohol consumption can ignite them. Migraines are thought to be caused by heredity, diet, stress, menstruation, and environmental factors such as cigarette smoke.
Less common are organic headaches, in which pain becomes increasingly worse and is accompanied by other symptoms, such as vomiting, coordination problems, visual disturbances, or speech or personality changes. Triggers include tumors, infections, or diseases of the brain, eyes, ears, and nose.
If you are prone to the usual tension headache, keep reading to learn about home remedies that can help you feel a lot better -- fast.
To learn more about headaches and their many causes, visit these links:
- To see all of our home remedies and the conditions they treat, go to our main Home Remedies page.
- Headaches, whether a dull or pain or full-blown migraine, can be treated with some simple herbal preparations. Herbal Remedies for Headaches can show you how.
- Sinusitis, an infection of the sinus cavities, can cause heacaches and other uncomfortable symptoms. Learn more in Home Remedies for Sinusitis.
- In Home Remedies for Hangovers, learn how to bounce back when an excess of alcohol strikes you down.
- Learn about the science behind that throbbing head pain in Headaches Explained.