Headaches are very common. It is believed that 1 every 20 people suffers from a chronic daily headache.
According to stats made available through WHO, World Health Organization, the most common are “Tension Headache and Cervicogenic Headache”, affecting over 60% of men and over 80% of women. Headaches are not only disabling and very painful, it will also have a substantial effect on life quality; family life, social life, employment etc. And the fact that many health care professionals tend to perceive headache as a minor trivial complaint makes it even harder for the people affected by it.
So, what can actually be done to give relief? Firstly, all health practitioners should consider any type of headache complaint seriously, and follow up with a thorough medical history and examination, to determine its nature. At this stage it will be determined, whether a referral is appropriate or if the complaint can be dealt with in house.
Tension and cervicogenic headaches are both defined as pain originating within the cervical structures and perceived by the brain in an incorrect manner; discomfort from reduced joint mobility, bad posture, wrong seat ergonomic and hyper tonic (tight) muscle tissues could all perceived by the brain as headache. Long hour office workers are good examples.
Patients are confused on the origin of their headache and think that it is caused by stress. Where in some cases this is true, more often than not, stress is considered a consequence and the amplifying cause.
Another major cause of headaches is of course dehydration. Typical example of that is the well-known hangover, but what we do not realize is that most of us are living our lives in constant dehydration, due to very little water intake.
So why painkillers are not the solution! The answer is that painkillers do not address the underlying cause. Pain killers will only hide the pain, but will do nothing about the cause, and this is why most headaches are recurrent. Try to close the door when the fire alarm goes off, so that you are not annoyed by that loud siren.
And guess what? Lastly but not least, it has been discovered that long term painkillers use is the major cause of a fairly common type of headache, the rebound headache. Solution? Seek therapy that addresses the cause of the problem.