If you are experiencing a throbbing pain in your head and neck, which affects only one half at a time, then this isn't just any headache. It is probably a migraine attack. It can plague anyone from the age of 10 till the age of 90. In this form of headache, the blood vessels in the brain start dilating and drawing together. The changes that occur in the blood vessels give rise to the sensation of pain.
Not many people are aware of what a migraine is, and not many have taken the trouble to get themselves properly diagnosed. Some people wonder if its occurrence is hereditary, and the answer to this is not a definitive one. This is because there is no concrete scientific evidence proving this fact. Interestingly, migraines plague 20% of the women population and only 6% of the men. Most people, who are prone to it, usually get an attack before they hit the age of 40. It is usually triggered by certain conditions and foods, like chocolate and cheese.
There are certain typical features that can help you identify whether or not the headache is a migraine. The features are:
- Headaches lasting from 4 to 72 hours
- Pain on one side of the head and neck
- Normal activity increases the intensity of the pain
- Vomiting and nausea
- Sensitivity to light and noise
Some Effective Remedies
There are some ways to relieve the pain caused by this form of headache. Mentioned below are some alternative solutions to medications:
► Grab a coke, coffee, or anything with caffeine in it. Caffeine helps to constrict the blood vessels in the brain. Also, drink lots of water along with it, because dehydration can worsen a migraine attack.
► If possible, take a shower or bath with warm water, and place a cold compress on your head at the same time. Also, steer clear of light and sound. Give yourself or get a face massage to improve blood circulation.
► Soak your feet in warm water to increase blood circulation and prevent nausea.
► Try using herb therapy. Feverfew is a herb that helps in providing relief from the pain. You can use it fresh, have it in capsule form, or as a tea additive.
► Ginger usage helps in preventing migraines. In case you get an attack, prepare tea with ginger in it. Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory food and pain reliever.
► Peppermint is another option. Using peppermint either internally or externally will help. You can make peppermint tea or use peppermint essential oil mixed with a lotion to massage your head. This is a great way to get instant relief.
► If you feel that you might get a migraine attack, avoid all foods that can worsen the situation. These include wheat, chocolate, and cheese. Also, avoid alcohol and smoking.
If none of these work for you, then take your medication to get relief. If you are continuously experiencing migraine, you must consult your doctor. At times, it is experienced as a symptom of some other underlying medical condition. Treatment is effective only when the exact cause is known. Thus, do not delay in visiting your doctor.
Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.