Hysteric about headache?

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Hysteric about headache?

Headaches are one of the most common health grievances of students, adults and even children, Headaches are very common and usually do not point to a serious illness. But even a mild headache can disrupt your daily activities
What actually happens in your body to cause headache?

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The skull bones and brain tissues do not have pain sensitive nerve fibers. But muscles of face, mouth, throat, neck, scalp and blood vessels on the surface and base of brain are sensitive to pain as they contain pain sensitive nerve fibers.

The tip of these nerve fibers gets stimulated by various causes like stress, muscle tension, lack of sleep etc. The stimulated nerve tip sends message up the length of the nerve fiber to the related nerve cells of Brain. Brain locates the region of stimulated nerve tip based on these signals and we feel the pain or ache.

The headache may be mild, chronic or severe depending on the underlying cause and pain bearing capacity of the individual.
Our body produces natural pain killing proteins called endorphins. One of the theories suggests that people with low endorphin levels suffer from severe headache and other chronic pains in comparison with people having high endorphin levels.

What triggers headache?

• Anger

• Muscle tension

• Missed meals

• Vigorous exercise

• Sexual excitement

• Infections like Common cold , Flu , Fever , Ear infection ,Tooth infection Sinus infection , Pneumonia , etc

• Coughing – too much coughing can cause a form of traction headache.

• Lifestyle causes Hangover ,Excessive alcohol , Stress , Fatigue , Tension , Tiredness , Excessive smoking

• Dyspepsia

• Eye conditions

• Systemic or metabolic conditions, Hypertension , Thyroid disease ,Anemia , Kidney failure , Uremia

• Brain or head conditions Meningitis ,Encephalitis ,Head injury ,Heatstroke, Sunstroke

• Before, during, or after menstruation

• Hunger

• Medications (Many drugs designed to relieve pain can actually cause headache when the drug is stopped after a period of prolonged use.)

• Alcohol and caffeine withdrawal

• Not getting enough sleep

• Reading for long periods of time or eyestrain

• Doing repetitive work

• Staying in one position for a long time, such as working at a computer.

The same causes of head ache have been explained in Ayurveda also. These causes vitiate all the three doshas (vata, pitta and kapha). The vitiated doshas cause tension, migraine, sinus and other head aches.

Few common types of headache are Tension headache, Migraine headache and sinus headache.

Tension headache: Tightening of muscles of face and neck cause tension headache. It is characterized by a dull ache in forehead or back of head and pain in neck and shoulders which travels to head. Causes like less sleep, stress, reading for a long time, and working in front of a computer for long hours can precipitate tension headache.

Migraine Headache: Migraine headache is caused when blood vessels of head get too much dilated or constricted. Females are more prone to this type of headache than males and migraine tends to run in families.

A person suffering from migraine headache feels like vomiting becomes too sensitive to light, sound and other activities. Few people experience spots or flashes before headache.

Few facts like menstruation in females, caffeine, alcohol, aged cheese, cured meat, stress, change in sleeping pattern, strenuous exercise trigger migraine headache.

Sinus Headaches

A sinus headache surfaces when fluids in the nose are not able to drain well and pressure builds up in sinuses. A cold, dust allergies, dirty or polluted water air travel may cause this type of headache.

Sinus headache causes pain in forehead, cheek bones, nose and stuffy nose. The headache increases when face is bent or touched. The symptoms are worse in the morning.

Although headaches are very common, It is recommended to consult a doctor about your headache. Go to an emergency department if any of the following symptoms occur:

• Pain that develops very rapidly

• A change in concentration or ability to think

• A change in level of alertness

• Altered speech

• Weakness, numbness, or difficulty in walking

• Changes in vision

• Headache with a stiff neck or neck pain, or if light hurts your eyes

• If you feel that this the worst headache of your life

• Headache with dizziness, or a feeling that you are falling to one side

• Headache from an injury or blow to the head

• Headache with fever.

Home remedies for tension headache.

For tension headaches massage few drops of peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil on temples.

Massage the scalp with slightly warmed sesame oil. This relieves tension headache and induces sleep.

Regular exercise, yoga and meditation reduce the stress levels and keep the tension headache at bay.

Persons of vata type can use hot water bags on aching parts and a hot shower will be of good help.

Persons of pitta type can use cold or ice packs on aching parts and wrap a wet cold cloth around neck.

Home remedies for migraine headache.

Make a note of facts which trigger the headache and also the foods. Try to avoid these . Avoid spicy foods, coffee, tea, alcohol, onion and garlic. Avoid citrus fruits except lemon.

Try muscle relaxation exercises. Progressive muscle relaxation, meditation and yoga are definitely going to help. Relax at least for half an hour everyday by doing your favorite activities like listening to music, gardening, taking hot water bath etc.

Stick to you a regular sleep pattern and get enough sleep but don’t oversleep. Avoid sleeping during the afternoon.

Rest in a dark, quiet room when you feel a headache coming on. Place an ice pack wrapped in a cloth on the back of your neck and apply gentle pressure to painful areas on your scalp.

Home remedies for sinus headache.

• Breathe in warm, moist air.

• Moist the nasal passages with the help of saline nasal spray. A saline spray can be used up to six times per day.

• Do not smoke. If you smoke, quit.

• Avoid second-hand smoke and polluted air.

• Avoid exposure to anything that triggers allergy or sinus symptoms.

• Wash your hands frequently to avoid colds.

• Seek treatment for a persistent cold before sinusitis sets in.

• Avoid alcoholic drinks. Alcohol can cause swelling of nasal and sinus tissues.

Can Headaches Be Caused By Sitting At A Computer?

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Can Problems Be Caused By Sitting At A Computer system?

Has this ever before occurred to you that while you are actually happily typing away on your personal computer for hrs at a time you are in fact generating a concern in your neck that can bring about chronic migraines? If you experience migraine headache headaches or pressure splitting headaches this may be one thing you should look into.

When an individual with migraine splitting headaches or tension migraines sees a chiropractic practitioner for their discomfort exactly what does the chiropractic doctor generally create for that individual? The usual treatment for the majority of migraine people is to adjust, or even readjust, the neck. Chiropractic practitioners instruct our team that a lot of headaches originate from back concerns, and that by readjusting or even manipulating the neck tension as well as migraine headache headaches may be eased or remedied.

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Over 80% from splitting headache individuals that get chiropractic treatment show improvement that ranges from minor enhancement around total eradication of their headache discomfort. If this is the case at that point this seems reasonable that most migraine headaches or strain migraines emerge coming from spine (back) complications. It additionally seems to be logical that if we understood just what was actually inducing these neck troubles, and also eliminated just what was creating them, our company could likewise do away with the hassles, each migraine and stress.

As a chiropractic practitioner for 25 years I have treated a lot of individuals along with migraine headache splitting headaches as well as tension migraines. After taking a look at 1000s of patients I uncovered that as numerous as 95% which were actually experiencing headaches possessed one point in common, a solved cervical (neck) arc. Off the side view a regular neck must possess a light contour in that. Yet in my experience as a chiropractic specialist I predict that around 95% of my patients with hassles possessed either a lessening from that curve, no arc whatsoever, or an arc that was actually entirely turned around. When these “bad neck curvatures” were actually handled with chiropractic changes most presented terrific enhancement.

Chiropractic specialists know that headaches could be brought on by “poor neck position,” so the upcoming concern becomes “can resting at a computer system reason poor neck posture?” If the solution is of course, then it’s noticeable that sitting at a computer system can easily and also carries out cause migraines.

Folks normally establish poor back curves due to bad pose habits. Everything an individual carries out that spots their head in a placement forward to their body will certainly lessen or even switch their normal back contour. As well as poor neck curvatures DO create headaches. Chiropractors have actually been actually showing this for decades.

The types of tasks that can easily bring about unsatisfactory neck stance consist of resting at a pc for prolonged time periods, reviewing with the mind angled forward, sitting while slumping over in an office chair or on a couch, copulating the head or even back in odd ranks, or even some other task that mades the head in a position ahead to the body. Therefore, to answer our initial question, yes, hassles may be brought on by sitting at a computer system. Sitting at a computer could lead to an uncommon neck curve to develop which can lead to hassles.
Good posture can certainly protect against the progression from inadequate neck posture, which would appear to become the most effective remedy, yet what can be done if the decreasing or turnaround from the back contour possesses already been cultivated?

Certainly, chiropractic therapy is a choice that may be considered. However there are actually several various other alternative procedures for tension or even migraine headaches.
The majority of people merely take a sedative. However are actually painkiller the very best strategy? They absolutely reside in some scenarios, but there are actually numerous various other migraine therapy options that don’t call for using potentially hazardous drugs. All drugs have side effects, a number of which could wind up being worse than the headaches themselves. Just before addressing your illness along with medications this is actually smart to seek the advise of a health and wellness expert.

There are lots of organic treatments for migraine headache headaches or even pressure migraines. These include worry and also strain reduction, ice treatment (made use of at the base of the cranium), doing away with food items sets off, getting the appropriate amount from rest, psychophysiological feedback, problem cushions or paddings, exercise and lots of others. A number of these might help soothe headaches, both migraine headache and pressure, and may be checked out additionally.

Chiropractic Care for Migraines

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Chiropractic Care Look After Migraines

Chiropractic care is a secure, non-invasive way to soothe migraine headache suffering without the use of medication. Chiropractic migraine headache therapy is actually not for everyone, however it may be especially helpful for patients that could not use prescribed medication as a result of various other risk aspects.

Migraine migraines are idiopathic. This means that in spite of the last century’s advances in medical science their cause is still unknown. A number of concepts exist to discuss migraine headaches. They consist of a feasible serotonin insufficiency in migraineurs, genetic makeups impairments, and arterial inflamationing in the cranium.

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A common chiropractic care idea is that subluxations in the muscle mass at the foundation of the skull and the neck reason, or even help in, the development from migraine splitting headaches. Subluxations simmer areas in the muscular tissues adjoining the little bones from the top spinal column. On an x-ray, the bone tissues look in the correct place and clinical physicians usually skip the stress in the muscle mass. A chiropractic physician carefully maneuvers the spinal column to rest these subluxations.

Chiropractic practitioners offer two ranges of look after migraine clients, plain chiropractic and also combined chiropractic. chiropractic care only includes manipulation of the back as well as spinal subluxations. Blended chiropractic care combines standard adjustment with other corresponding strategies. The focus in mixed chiropractic care is to minimize total back pressure and pressure.

Researchers at Northwestern University of Chiropractic in Minnesota just recently compared chiropractic care along with drug treatments for migraines and also constant pressure splitting headaches. The research study was actually published in the Publication from Manipulative as well as Bodily Therapies. Two hundred eighteen hassle patients were actually offered either medicine treatment or frequent chiropractic treatment. Both groups reported a 40-50% decrease in problem pain in the end of the research study.

Subsequent four weeks after terminating all treatment showed simply the chiropractic care team still delighting in the pain decrease the therapy initiated. Simply 20-25% of the drug therapy patients were still benefiting from their procedure at this subsequent.

Relieve Migraine Headaches the Natural Way!

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Ease Migraine Migraines the Organic Method!

Natural procedure methods for migraine splitting headaches are usually harmless and also much cheaper than conventional pain drugs. Certain, this is feasible to have unfavorable responses to all-natural procedures, yet the chances are a lot below along with medicines.

Other traits help different individuals. No two individuals are actually as well and a frustration procedure approach that helps a single person might certainly not work with yet another. However on the contrary, even if one strategy carries out certainly not work for someone else does certainly not mean this will definitely not soothe your migraine headache headaches. There are actually a lot of substitutes to taking medications when it comes to migraine splitting headache comfort. One could be merely what you need.

Chiropractic changes are actually surely one of the most well-known form from organic hassle comfort. Individuals with migraine headache headaches have been going to chiropractic physicians for decades, and also with excellent results. As a lot of as 80% or even more of problem patients find comfort along with chiropractic care. Vertebral problems carry out cause problems and also chiropractic physicians perform an exceptional task of dealing with spine issues.

Psychophysiological feedback is a training system developed to aid a person establish the potential to handle their autonomic (spontaneous) peripheral nervous system. After discovering the method this is actually then achievable for a person to control their heart rate, blood pressure, skin layer temperature level, and of course, the relaxation from their muscle mass.

Muscle pressure may induce headaches as well as by kicking back muscle mass, specifically in the back, that is actually feasible to alleviate migraine headaches. As soon as the technique is found out there is actually not any sort of demand for the psychophysiological feedback equipment. The person with migraine headache headaches can right now create the wanted impact at any time they desire.

In some cases excessive sodium can create problems. As well as through simply decreasing the salt intake headaches may at times be actually stopped.

Some migraine splitting headaches are actually caused by food items level of sensitivities. Specific foods items may lead to migraines as well as doing away with these foods can easily prevent migraine headache ache. Some usual meals that could set off migraine headache headaches are actually cheese, alcoholic drinks, monosodium glutamate (an artificial additive), nuts, grains, coffee, chocolate, onions as well as others.

A typical reason for many stress splitting headaches and also migraine splitting headaches is merely ordinary aged tension. Folks that obtain tense expertise splitting headaches off the raised stress.

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Eliminating tension could usually ease migraine splitting headaches. Pressure can be alleviated in several means like through taking a cozy bath or downpour, resting in a silent dark room to remainder, putting something cool astride the neck (at the foundation of the cranium) or having someone massage your neck muscles and probably your temporal area to assist ease your pressure and also muscle spasms.

There are many other all-natural therapies available to migraine headache individuals featuring the Soothe-A-Ciser Migraine headache Headaches Padding. This pillow was developed through a chiropractic physician to aid improve back concerns that may cause splitting headaches.

Each one of the above therapy techniques for migraine headaches are actually taken into consideration safe. However, it is actually always a smart idea to speak with your medical professional prior to seeking to manage your own self for a health issue.

5 Ways to Relieve Migraine Headaches Naturally!

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5 Ways to Relieve Migraine Headaches Naturally!

There are many new migraine headache treatments available that can be both safe and effective. Natural treatments for migraine headaches are usually safer and cheaper than traditional pain medications. And in many instances they can relieve pain just as well or even better than prescription or non-prescription drugs. The possibility of a negative reaction to a safe and natural migraine headache treatment is still there, but it is less with most natural treatment methods than it is with pain-relieving medications.

Every person on the face of the earth is unique. Their body chemistry is different than anyone else’s. One person may find relief from their migraine headaches with one type of treatment while someone else may try that same treatment and find no relief at all. No two people will experience the same reaction from the same treatment. But why is that?

Every body is made up of a mixture of chemicals. Every person produces certain chemicals in their body so that they will be able to function at their best. Histamines will increase gastric secretion and dilate the capillaries. Insulin is secreted by the pancreas and helps regulate the blood sugar levels. Hormones are produced by the body for many different functions. Adrenaline (epinephrine) is produced in response to stress. Every body is unique and produces different chemicals in differing amounts. When a person takes aspirin (a chemical) for their migraine headaches it changes the chemical make-up of that person’s body.

You’ve always heard that when two chemicals, in the same amounts, at the same temperature, etc. are mixed together they will cause the same reaction. That may be true, but when one chemical (such as aspirin) is taken by two separate people their reactions will never be exactly the same because no two people have identical chemicals in their body. One person taking aspirin will not have the same reaction as someone else taking aspirin. And it’s the same with natural migraine headache treatments. Since no two people are identical no two people will respond exactly the same to a treatment method for migraine headaches.

So just because one migraine headache treatment does not work for one person does not mean it won’t work for your migraine headaches. There are many effective alternatives to taking medications when it comes to relieving migraine headaches. You just have to try one for yourself to see if it will work for you.

One natural and popular treatment method for migraine headaches is chiropractic care, or chiropractic manipulations. Studies have shown that over 80% of headache patients find some type of relief for their headaches with chiropractic treatment. And chiropractic treatment has been shown to be extremely safe. Spinal problems cause headaches and when these spinal problems are treated by chiropractors a high percentage of their patients experience relieve from their pain.

Another natural way to relieve migraine headaches is biofeedback. This is a safe and potentially effective way to eliminate pain. Biofeedback is not actually a treatment, but a training program designed to help a person develop the ability to control their autonomic (involuntary) nervous system. Functions that are normally automatic in the body, such as blood pressure regulation or heart rate can be controlled voluntarily. This technique makes it possible for a person to control their own heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature or relaxation of their muscles.

It’s no secret that stress causes muscle tension. And nobody will deny that muscle tension causes pain and headaches. And it’s also a fact that by relaxing this muscle tension, especially in the neck and head, it is possible to relieve the migraine headaches or neck pain that is being caused by the tension. With biofeedback the machinery is not always necessary. Once the biofeedback technique is learned there is no longer any need for the equipment. The patient with migraine headaches can now produce the desired effect at any time. A person that has been trained with biofeedback can control some of their bodily functions, such as muscle relaxation, which can help relieve their headache pain.

Another cause of headaches can be the intake of too much salt. Some people just can’t get enough of it. They pour it onto their food with wreckless abandon. And too much salt can and does cause headaches. What’s the solution? Simply lessening the salt intake can sometimes prevent the headaches from occurring.

Food sensitivities have also been shown to cause migraine headaches in some people. Foods such as cheese, alcohol, MSG (monosodium glutamate – a food additive), yeast, wheat, nuts, avocados, beans, bananas, oranges (and other citrus fruits), pork, vinegar (and pickled foods), dairy products, caffeine, chocolate, onions and others can cause migraines. Foods that cause migraine headaches are called “migraine triggers.” People who experience migraine headaches because of food allergies can reduce or eliminate their pain by eliminating the foods that cause the headaches.

It sounds simple, but it takes a little detective work to figure out which foods, if any, are causing the migraine headaches. So how can you determine which foods are the culprits? The logical way is to keep a diary of what you eat and when. Get a small notebook, with each page representing one day, and make three columns on each of the pages. The first column on the left side of the page will contain the hours in the day. The second column down the middle of the page will be a list of the foods eaten that day. And the third column on the right side of the page will list the symptoms (headaches) that you experience.

Here’s how the food diary works: if you had an orange, cereal and milk for breakfast at 8 AM you would write “orange, cereal, milk” in the middle (food) column directly to the right of 8 AM in the left (time) column. Make a note of everything that you eat on this list and at what time you ate them.

Next, whenever you experience a migraine headache write “migraine headache” or “headache” in the right (symptoms) column that corresponds with the time (in the left column) your headache began. For example, if you started feeling pain from one of your migraine headaches at 2 PM you would write “headache” in the right (symptoms) column directly across from 2 PM in the left (time) column.

Once you’ve had enough time to experience a few migraine headaches you will be able to examine your food diary to determine which foods you ate shortly before you began experiencing your pain. For example, if you had 3 migraine headaches over a one-month period, and you had milk shortly before each of the migraine attacks, milk may be the culprit. It may take a few weeks or even a few months to come to any conclusions, but over time, by figuring out which foods or ingredients in these foods, are causing your pain, you will be able to eliminate these ingredients and relieve your pain caused by these foods.

Probably the most common cause of headaches is just plain old stress. People who experience tension in their lives can get headaches from their increased tension. Stress can be caused by many things including work-related stress or family-related stress. And although it’s not always possible to eliminate the cause of the stress it is often possible to relieve the muscle tension and pain that originates from the stress.

Biofeedback training (as explained above) is one way to help reduce stress. Other ways are taking a warm bath or shower, lying down and relaxing in a quiet dark room, having someone massage your neck and head (temporal region) muscles to help relieve your tension and muscle spasms or placing something cold (ice) on the back of the neck (at the base of the skull). When using ice it should not be placed directly on the skin. Some wet paper towels that have had the water wrung out of them should be placed between the ice and the skin. Regular exercise can also, over time, reduce tension.

We have discussed 5 natural treatment methods that are available to migraine headache patients. They are all considered safe and are effective for many people. There are many other natural treatment methods out there for you to try. If you have headaches it may be beneficial for you to try some of these treatments or search for others on your own. But as a word of advice, it is always a good idea to talk with a chiropractor or medical doctor before treating yourself for a health condition.

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Migraine Headaches – Is Relief Without Drugs Possible?

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Migraine headache Migraines – Is Actually Relief Without Drugs Feasible?

Natural therapy methods for migraine headache splitting headaches are typically harmless and also much cheaper than typical pain drugs. Certain, it is actually achievable you might experience a bad response or maybe boost your problem pain as a result of an all-natural therapy, yet the chances are actually far lower than along with pain-relieving medications.

Individuals are different apiece other. A natural procedure that might relieve a single person’s migraine headache headaches might not eliminate someone else’s. But on the very same action, even if one migraine splitting headache procedure does not function for someone does certainly not imply it will not work with you. There are a lot of reliable options to taking medication when this concerns easing migraine splitting headaches. Some of these alternate techniques may be just exactly what you have been actually searching for.

Chiropractic adjustments, or chiropractic controls, are actually a popular all-natural therapy approach for migraine alleviation. People along with migraine headache headaches have been actually checking out chiropractic practitioners for over 100 years, as well as along with terrific outcomes. Research studies have actually revealed that over 80% from hassle people find relief along with chiropractic care. And also, chiropractic care therapy has actually been shown to be very secure. Spine problems carry out result in hassles as well as by remedying these vertebral problems numerous frustration patients find welcome relief.

 

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Biofeedback is actually another form from treatment that is actually risk-free and also could be helpful in dealing with ache. Biofeedback is actually a training course created to assist a person develop the capability to handle their autonomic (unintentional) nervous system. Functionalities that are usually automated could be regulated willingly. This strategy creates this achievable for a person to control their personal soul rate, high blood pressure, skin layer temperature level, as well as of course, the leisure of their strained muscles.

Tension may cause pressure, which can easily result in muscle firmness (muscular tissue stress) and trigger problems. Through resting these tense muscle mass, especially in the back, it is feasible to soothe the pressure leading to the migraine headaches. Along with biofeedback, as soon as the technique is actually discovered there is no longer any requirement for the biofeedback tools. The patient with migraine headaches may right now produce the desired impact at any type of. They can easily regulate specific bodily features, like muscle leisure, which could help in reducing and also soothe their migraine headache splitting headaches.

The majority of people are not aware that way too much sodium may create problems. And also by simply lowering the salt intake hassles can easily occasionally be actually avoided.

Food allergy symptoms or even level of sensitivities may likewise lead to migraine headache splitting headaches. Particular foods items such as cheese, booze, monosodium glutamate (a preservative medium), almonds, grains, high levels of caffeine, chocolate and onions could result in migraines. Foods that cause headaches are called “triggers.” Folks who experience migraine headache headaches because of meals sensitivities can easily eliminate their discomfort through simply eliminating the meals resulting in the pain.

Having said that, this is actually certainly not always easy to discover which foods are the wrongdoers. One method is to always keep a food items journal. Acquire a tiny notebook, along with each page working with 1 day. On each regular webpage create 3 rows. The initial column will definitely have the hrs in the day. The second cavalcade will be actually a listing of the foods items eaten that time. And the third row will definitely specify the indicators that you experience.

As an instance, if you possessed eggs and also toast for morning meal at 8 AM you will write “eggs and salute” in the food items row that corresponds with 8 AM. Take down every little thing that is consumed on this list and also at just what opportunity they were eaten.

When you ultimately experience a migraine splitting headache you write “migraine splitting headache” or even “headache” down in the signs row at that time it began. As an example, if among your headaches starts at 2 PM you will definitely write “headache” in the signs and symptoms column for 2 PM.

This may have a handful of full weeks or perhaps a handful of months, however after experiencing a few migraine headaches, through the food items journal, you will have the capacity to inform which meals induce headaches. With time, by figuring out which ingredients in these foods are actually creating your discomfort, you are going to be able to remove these active ingredients and relieve some discomfort.

Yet another typical cause of strain splitting headaches and migraine headache headaches is only ordinary worry. Individuals which experience stress can easily acquire frustrations off their raised strain.

Easing stress can typically ease migraine headache splitting headaches. Strain could be alleviated in lots of methods like with biofeedback instruction (as detailed over), having a warm and comfortable bath or even shower, lying down and relaxing in a peaceful dark space, putting something cold astride the back (at the foundation of the brain) or having a person massage therapy your back muscles and also possibly your temporal region in order to help soothe your strain and kink. Normal physical exercise can easily additionally, eventually, decrease stress.

These are merely a few from the numerous all-natural treatment methods that are actually available to migraine headache people. They are actually all of taken into consideration secure and also work for lots of folks. If you have headaches that could be beneficial to attempt some of these treatments or find others by yourself. However as always it is a great idea to chat along with your medical professional prior to trying to manage on your own for a health issue.

What to Do When You Encounter Back Pain

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Ouch my back hurts, you moan, reaching for your sore, pinched, or strained backside. This is an all-too common scenario for many of us. More than 65 million Americans suffer from back pain every year. It is the most frequent complaint from people seeking medical care.

Advances in medicine have created many treatment options for people seeking back pain relief. Alternative treatments have increased in number and availability as well. However, there is still no miracle cure able to rid the world of back pain once and for all. Since the intensity, causes and specific conditions vary with each patient, you need to discuss treatment options with a health care professional in order to tailor treatment to your specific condition.

Patients have an almost daunting number of choices of medications, some of which alleviate not only back pain but reduce inflammation, muscle tension, and spasms too. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) include aspirin, ibuprofen, and a host of prescription medicines. Taken regularly, these medications can significantly reduce inflammation and resulting back pain, and also provide back pain relief when taken during acute episodes. One common side effect of NSAIDs that should be taken into consideration is their propensity for causing gastrointestinal upset.

Acetaminophen comes in many over-the-counter medications. It acts as an analgesic, and is often used to treat acute pain. These medications can be taken alone or in conjunction with NSAIDs. Potential harmful side effects of acetaminophen include liver and kidney damage.

Doctors sometimes prescribe opioids or muscle relaxants for severe pain, but these medications can be habit-forming.

Acupuncture has been used in China for over 2,000 years and was first popularized in the United States in the 1970s. This ancient alternative to traditional Western medicine has received validation by research studies which have documented acupuncture’s beneficial effects on patients, but many within the medical community are wary of relying too heavily on this form of treatment, as modern medicine has not been able to fully explain how acupuncture works.

Another alternative treatment, chiropractic, is based on the understanding that a properly functioning nervous system is essential for good health. The spinal column is quite literally the backbone of the nervous system, because the spinal cord is encased inside it, as well as nerve roots that branch out into the entire body. Chiropractors adjust the spine of patients, aligning the vertebrae and correcting stress-inducing imbalances.

Your doctor may prescribe physical therapy, which helps patients build strength and increase flexibility. Physical therapy combines exercise with massage, heat/cold therapy, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation.

It is essential that you know what is causing your back pain so you can get the right treatment for you. Your doctor plays a crucial role in diagnosing and prescribing treatment for your condition, but in order to achieve the most effective treatment, you must take an active role in your healthcare also.

Back Pain Relief

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Different types of back pains have different types of causes, and to gain some relief, the cause rather than the symptom should be addressed. People suffering from back pain are often suggested by friends and relatives to have complete bed rest, which is a misconception. Mere bed rest would not be sufficient to alleviate back pain if there were a serious underlying cause, like bone degeneration, osteoarthritis, or a bone infection. On the other hand, there is nothing as good as having rest for some initial period (though not necessarily bed rest), if the pain has resulted on account of a stress or a strain.

In a case of back pain without a pathology, avoiding physical activity for some time helps relax the nerves and reduce swelling, if any, in the painful area. This can be eased further by using non-drug methods of pain relief like applying hot and cold compresses to the affected area. Cold compresses are recommended for use during the first two to three days, later followed by hot compresses. This technique relaxes the nerves that have become irritated, and allows for restful sleep. Since pains are normally associated with sleeplessness, during phases of sound sleep the body gets time to heal itself.

Another way of traditional pain relief, and probably the most widespread, is the use of painkillers. Almost everyone has his or her favorites among painkillers, and you can use yours. But if the pain persists, and there is no remarkable benefit from the painkillers, it is advisable to consult a doctor and seek advice. However, if the pain has been relieved, normal daily activity should be resumed gradually after two to three weeks.

However bad back pain might be, it needs good, judicious management. In case the pain is not the result of a serious underlying problem, self-help techniques mentioned above, timely use of painkillers, and plain commonsense can go a long way in providing quick relief. Despite these interventions, however, if the acuteness of the problem gives way to a chronic, unmanageable situation, expert medical help should be immediately sought.

How to Test for Back Pain

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Medical Evaluation and Diagnostic Testing procedures should be performed prior to beginning any treatment in order to determine the treatment process that will be most effective. The following describes some of the evaluation testing procedures that can be performed to help confirm the cause of back pain.

The causes of back pain can be very complex, and there are many structures in the lower back that can cause pain. The following are used to test for the cause pain:

X-RAYS An X-Ray provides an image that can be used to evaluate bones, joints and degenerative lesions in the spine.
CAT SCAN (CT) Used primarily when problems are suspected in the bones or when a patient cannot obtain an MRI
MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING (MRI) The most common test to evaluate the lumbar spine. Evaluates: *Vertebral bones * Discs * Joints * Nerves * Soft tissues
MYELOGRAM where dye is injected into the spinal column and then the area is flexed and x-rayed.
DISCOGRAPHY Discography is a diagnostic procedure used to determine the level of the painful disc.
EMG The EMG/Nerve Conduction Study is a useful test to study the nerves in the arms and legs.
BONE DENSITY Bone density testing is fast, painless, and noninvasive. During a test, patients lie fully clothed on a padded treatment table while the machine scans one or more areas of bone. The entire test normally takes only minutes.
BONE SCAN

A Bone scan in Nuclear Medicine is a procedure which involves two steps:

The patient is asked to arrive 3 hours before their actual scan to receive an injection of a small amount of radioactive tracer that is “tagged” to a calcium like material. Usually the tracer is injected in a vein in the arm of the patient. In some instances, other sites of injection are used especially for those patients that had difficult veins to find. The “radiopharmaceutical” has no side effects and because of this, the patient can be released from the department for 3 hours to give the calcium time to circulate and be taken up by the bone. There are no dietary restrictions so the patient may eat before and after the injection.

After the three hours has elapsed, the patient returns to the Nuclear Medicine department for their scan. The patient is placed on a table a head to toe scan is performed by a “gamma camera”.

The Various Causes of Back Pain

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Back pain can be caused by many different diseases and conditions. Some of these conditions can be very serious but fortunately they are for the most part uncommon. These serious conditions include; cancer, tumors, neoplasm, inflammatory arthritis and infection. Several common conditions that can cause back pain are listed below.

Fractures and Dislocations

Fractures and dislocations can occur anywhere in the body. The vertebral bodies which help support the weight of the upper body can break resulting in a compression fracture. These types of fractures can be very painful and even disabling.

It is important for the physician to determine the nature of these fractures. Some fractures can be caused by dangerous or serious conditions such as cancers, malignancies, or advanced osteoporosis. These are called pathological fractures. Other types of fractures may occur through traumatic events.

A dislocation is a term used to describe a condition where a joint has been disrupted and has separated to the point where the two adjacent bones are no longer aligned or touching. When a joint is dislocated the spine becomes unstable and is unable to protect the spinal cord or nerves.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) is a natural condition of the body that causes deterioration of the intervertebral discs. This is a gradual process that may compromise the spine. Although DDD is relatively common, its effects are usually not severe enough to warrant significant medical intervention. The intervertebral disc is one structure prone to degenerative changes associated with aging. Long before Degenerative Disc Disease can be seen radiographically, biochemical and histologic (structural) changes occur. Over time the collagen (protein) structure of the annulus fibrosis weakens and may become structurally unstable. Additionally, water and proteoglycans(PG) content decreases. PGs are molecules that attract water. These changes are linked and may lead to the disc’s inability to handle mechanical stress.

Herniated Disc

Herniation of the nucleus pulposus (HNP) occurs when the nucleus (gel-like substance) breaks through the annulus fibrosis (tire-like structure) of an intervertebral disc (spinal shock absorber). Injury to the disc may result in pain, numbness, tingling or loss of muscle strength. Disc injuries in the neck region may affect the arms or hands while disc injuries in the low back may affect the legs or feet. People between the ages of 30 and 50 appear to be vulnerable because the elasticity of the disc and water content of the nucleus decreases with age.

Facet Syndrome

Facet syndrome is a common spinal disorder affecting the posterior joints that results in pain, stiffness and inflammation. Increased stress at the facets results in stretching of the ligamentous capsule, deterioration of the smooth cartilaginous surfaces and increased friction at the joint. In facet syndrome, the symptoms of pain, discomfort and weakness frequently localize to the spine, nonetheless a small percentage may be felt in the extremities or other body areas.

Foraminal Stenosis

The spinal nerves pass through openings on the side of the spine called intervertebral foramen. Foraminal stenosis occurs when these openings are smaller than normal. This condition can be the result of injury, degenerative change or congenital anomaly. The smaller opening may result in compression of the nerve. This irritation often causes symptoms of numbness, weakness, burning or tingling in the involved extremity. Long standing or severe stenosis may result in a functional loss. Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a condition where the size of the spinal canal is reduced. This may lead to compression of the spinal cord. Symptoms often include pain, numbness, tingling and weakness. Severe cases may actually cause loss of function and may even lead to disability. Spinal stenosis is more common in patients over fifty years of age. Many factors can cause stenosis including injury and degenerative change.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder associated with widespread soft tissue pain, tenderness and fatigue. A person with fibromyalgia will experience pain when up to 18 specific areas called tender points are pressed. Pushing carefully on these specific points during an examination causes discomfort or pain. The pain of fibromyalgia is more than normal muscle aches common after physical exertion. Fibromyalgia often can be severe enough to disrupt a person’s daily work and activities. The cause of fibromyalgia is not known.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is commonly called the “fragile bone disease.” It is due to loss of bone density caused by a deficiency in such bone-building nutrients as calcium, vitamin D and other vitamins and minerals. The most common complication of osteoporosis is compression fracture. In people with advanced osteoporosis, compression fractures can occur as the result of simple daily activities such as bending, carrying heavy loads, or a minor fall.

Osteoarthritis (DJD)

Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease (DJD), is the most common type of arthritis. OA can occur in almost any joint of the body but most commonly occurs in the fingers, hips, knees and spine. Over time changes occur within the smooth cartilaginous surfaces of the joint. These changes lead to a loss of elasticity and the cartilage becomes stiff or brittle making it susceptible to injury. This will lead to stiffness, pain and crepitation at the joint. Advanced cases may actually result in significant damage to the bone itself.

Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebrae slips forward (translation) in relation to the adjacent vertebrae. Stability is inversely proportional to the degree of translation. The ability of a vertebrae to ÒslipÓ in relation to its neighbor can be caused by many factors, including facet or disc degeneration, trauma or a defect in a region of the vertebrae called the pars interarticularis. Severe cases may result in spinal cord or nerve compression and can require surgical intervention.

Sprain/Strain

Sprains and strains are two of the most common causes of back pain. They can be caused by trauma, overuse, lack of conditioning, and improper body mechanics. The term sprain is used when this injury occurs in a ligament. Conversely, strain is used when the affected tissue is muscle or tendon. Typically, patients will complain of increased pain with activity and relief at rest. Treatment will often include a period of rest followed by a therapeutic exercise program to increase flexibility and strength.

Compression Fracture

Compression fractures can occur in any vertebra (spinal bones) and is described as a collapse of the vertebra.

Symptoms – The first symptom of a compression fracture may be sudden and severe back pain that remains in one local area. Some persons may experience numbness/tingling, or weakness in the arms or legs if the spinal cord or nerves leading away from the fracture have been compressed. If multiple fractures occur in an area of the back, the person will develop a forward hump-like curvature to the back.

Causes – There are many possible causes of compression fractures. Car accidents, falls, and weakening of the bone due to pathology (i.e. cancer), or Osteoporosis are common.

Diagnosis – The diagnosis is based on observation of the aforementioned symptoms and x-rays of the spine. Additional tests (i.e. bone scan, blood tests) may be needed to diagnose the actual cause of the compression fracture.

Cancer

If you have severe back pain, it is natural to wonder whether or not the pain might be a sign of cancer. Tumors in the spinal column may cause pain from expansion of the bone or from weakening the bone, which in turn can result in spinal fractures, compression (pinching) of the nerves, or spinal instability.

Discitis

Discitis, or disc space infection, is an inflammatory lesion of the intervertebral disc that occurs in adults but more commonly in children. Its cause has been the subject of debate, although most authors believe it to be infectious. The infection probably begins in one of the continguous end plates, and the disc is infected secondarily. Severe back pain that begins insidiously is characteristic of the disease.

Discitis in Children
Although most children will continue to walk in spite of the pain, young children may refuse to ambulate. The characteristic finding is extension of the spine and the child’s complete refusal to flex the spine. Children with discitis usually are not systemically ill. They rarely have an elevated temperature and their white blood cell count is frequently normal. However the erythrocyte sedimentation rate is usually increased. Lateral radiographs of the spine usually will reveal disc space narrowing with erosion of the vertebral end plates of the contiguous vertebrae. bone scanning may be helpful in localizing a lesion that is difficult to diagnose clinically. Some bone scans are falsely negative, so the diagnosis of disc space infection should not be excluded simply because the bone scan is normal. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) seems to be helpful in identifying a disc space infection.

Kyphosis

Kyphosis is the abnormal forward bending of the spine. In kyphosis, the curve of the spine is abnormal, forming a hump.

What is going on in the body?

The normal spine rounds slightly in the chest area, with arching in the lower back and neck regions. Excessive kyphosis can occur mainly in the chest area of the spine, causing the roundness of the back to appear exaggerated.

What are the signs and symptoms of the condition?

Symptoms are usually minimal, unless the deformity is severe. In that case, the back may ache or, rarely, nerve problems may arise. The hamstrings, or muscles at the back of the thigh, may also be tight.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

Kyphosis is generally caused by an abnormal posture. Other possible causes include: á a significant fracture of the vertebra, which can cause the back to angle forward á spinal surgery á Scheuermann’s disease, which results in wedging of the vertebrae. This disease is usually seen in teenage boys, and its cause is unknown. Pott’s disease, which refers to kyphosis due to collapse of the vertebra when tuberculosis infects the spine á osteoporosis in elderly women, which causes a type of kyphosis known as dowager’s hump á spinal tumors, or surgery to remove them á nerve disorders

Lordosis

Lordosis is a disorder defined by an excessive inward curve of the spine. It differs from the spine’s normal curves at the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions, which are, to a degree, either kyphotic or lordotic. The spine’s natural curves position the head over the pelvis and work as shock absorbers to distribute mechanical stress during movement.

Lordosis can be found in all age groups. It primarily affects the lumbar spine, but does occur in the neck (cervical). When found in the lumbar spine, the patient may appear swayback, the buttocks more prominent, and in general an exaggerated posture. A lumbar lordosis can be painful sometimes affecting movement.

Certain disease processes can adversely affect the structural integrity of the spine and contribute to lordosis. Some common causes include achondroplasia, discitis, kyphosis, obesity, osteoporosis, and spondylolisthesis.

Ligamentous Hypertrophy

Ligaments run up and down the spinal column. Hypertrophy of the ligaments in the vertebral canal (the posterior longitudinal ligament — runs up and down along the back side of the vertebral bodies, and the ligamentum flavum — runs up and down under the posterior bone ring made up of the lamina and spinous process) can increase their mass enough that they narrow the canal (stenosis) sometimes to the point that the spinal cord and/or nerve roots running through the canal are compressed. When the posterior longitudinal ligament in front and ligamentum flavum behind the spinal cord hypertrophy the cord is almost “circumferentially” surrounded and compressed). Hypertrophy of the ligamentum flavum laterally near the facet joint can also contribute to foraminal narrowing (stenosis) with potential nerve compression (pinching).

Obesity

According to the American Obesity Association (AOA) 64.5 percent of adult Americans (about 127 million) are categorized as being overweight or obese (1). The unfortunate truth is that obesity is becoming a global epidemic affecting adults and children.

Connection to Back Pain
Most people know that obesity contributes to the development of coronary heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and colon cancer. However, did you know that obesity is a contributing factor to back pain? It is true. Being overweight or obese can significantly contribute to symptoms associated with osteoporosis, osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), degenerative disc disease (DDD), spinal stenosis, and spondylolisthesis.

The spine is designed to carry the body’s weight and distribute the loads encountered during rest and activity. When excess weight is carried, the spine is forced to assimilate the burden, which may lead to structural compromise and damage (e.g. injury, sciatica). One region of the spine that is most vulnerable to the effects of obesity is the low back; the lumbar spine. Lack of exercise and bodily conditioning leads to poor flexibility and weak muscles in the back, pelvis, and thighs. This can increase the curve of the lower back causing the pelvis to tilt too far forward. Further, this is detrimental to proper posture and as posture weakens, other regions of the spine (neck) may become painful.

You may try to dismiss the cause of some of these spinal disorders to the process of normal aging. It is true that with age body tissues can cause changes to spinal anatomy (2). However, if you are overweight or obese, chances are you have, or will have, back pain.

Trauma

Trauma to the spine refers to injury that has occurred to bony elements, soft tissues and/or neurological structures. The two things that surgeons are most concerned about, in the case of spinal trauma, are instability of the vertebral column and actual or potential neurological injury.

Stability to the spinal column can be compromised when bony elements are injured or there is disruption to soft tissues such as ligaments. Instability causes the back to become unable to successfully carry normal loads, which can lead to permanent deformity, severe pain and in some cases catastrophic neurological injuries. Most often the instability comes from a fracture in one of the bony parts of the vertebra, specifically the vertebral body, the lamina or the pedicles.

In the case of trauma, dislocations and fractures happen simultaneously and can result in a very unstable spinal column. They can occur in any region of the spine and are associated with a degree of neurological injury. A surgeon needs to restore the mechanical stability of the spine to try and prevent more neurologic injury, progressive deformity or prolonged incapacitation pain.

Back pain in pregnancy

Introduction to back pain during pregnancy
For pregnant women, back pain during pregnancy is not a trivial matter. If not addressed, it can have a negative impact on your daily lifestyle, cause missed time from work, and make your delivery more difficult. Back pain in the course of your pregnancy can also create problems that will continue for an extended period after delivery.

Addressing back pain during pregnancy
While it is fairly common, back pain during pregnancy should definitely not be accepted as just part of the process. To help make your pregnancy as pleasant as possible and facilitate an easier delivery, back pain should be always be addressed as quickly as possible and managed throughout your pregnancy.

Low back pain of long duration (several weeks or months) during pregnancy is a predictor for post partum back pain (pain after birth). For this reason, pregnant women are encouraged to seek appropriate treatment for back pain during pregnancy.

Likewise, any post partum pain that lasts longer than six to eight weeks should be treated in order to avoid chronic or recurring back problems.

Radiculopathy

lumbar radiculopathy, which refers to pain in the lower extremities in a dermatomal pattern. A dermatome is a specific area in the lower extremity innervated by a specific lumbar nerve. This pain is caused by compression of the roots of the spinal nerves in the lumbar region of the spine. Diagnosing leg and back pain begins with a detailed patient history and examination.

Scoliosis

Scoliosis is defined as a side-to-side deviation from the normal frontal axis of the body. Although traditional, this definition is limited since the deformity occurs in varying degrees in all three planes: back-front; side-to-side; top-to-bottom. Scoliosis is a descriptive term and not a diagnosis. As such, a search is made for the cause. In more than 80% of the cases, a specific cause is not found and such cases are termed idiopathic, i.e., of undetermined cause. This is particularly so among the type of scoliosis seen in adolescent girls. Conditions known to cause spinal deformity are congenital spinal column abnormalities, neurological disorders, genetic conditions and a multitude of other causes. Scoliosis does not come from carrying heavy things, athletic involvement, sleeping/standing postures, or minor lower limb length inequality.

In managing AIS, the judgment of the surgeon and the participation of informed patients and families are as important in determining treatment outcome as surgical techniques. Decision-making in the management of AIS remains complex despite the availability of data on natural history, prognosis of different curve patterns, brace treatment factors, and surgical innovations.

The management of AIS includes several steps and treatment options:

  • screening and early detection of deformity,
  • observation of changes in deformity over time with informed judgment regarding prognosis, orthotic and non-operative interventions,
  • surgical planning and operating.

Sciatica

This is a condition which causes pain down the back of one or both thighs. Inflammation of the sciatic nerve (which is the largest nerve in the body-about the diameter of your little finger) can be either constant or intermittent. Success in solving this problem is directly correlated to the diagnosis. Sciatica can be caused by a pinched nerve as it exits the low back spine or it can be caused by prostatic cancer. Odds are usually that the cause is some structural imbalance, but there are so many potential causes, some serious and some benign, it is better to at least know that there may be a grave cause to the symptoms.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t immediately incorporate a strategy to eliminate any structural imbalances. In most cases, this will resolve the problem. If the problem doesn’t respond to these basic efforts, then professional assistance may be needed. The first effort in relieving sciatic symptoms should be to review Hip Pain.

Trigger points can accumulate in the piriformis muscle forcing a contraction and strangulation of the sciatic nerve. The tennis ball exercise should be incorporated to help to relax the piriformis muscle. Stretching may be beneficial, but that is more of a “try an see” exercise.

If there are no improvements with this approach, refer to Low Back Pain to better understand the relationship between the sciatic nerve and the low back spine. Seeking help from a chiropractor or orthopedist may be indicated if the solution can’t be found at home.