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    Wellness Lifestyle

    Headache (Pain Management)

    Headache (cephalalgia in medical terminology) is a condition of pain in the head. Sometimes neck or upper back pain may also be interpreted as headache. This is normally benign and self-limiting and it is a symptom, not a disease.

    Headache is the most common complain of pain. The pain can be sharp, throbbing or dull. The pain may be due to tension in the muscle of the scalp, face or neck. On certain occasions, it can be due to dilation of the blood vessels of the head and the pressure build up inside the brain through infection, bleeding or a tumour. The may be due to the consequences of consuming certain beverages containing caffeine or alcohol. Sometimes, we experience pain as a result of dehydration, dental problems or the exposure to unfavorable environment. Stress and lack of rest can also give raise to headache.
    Treatment of uncomplicated headache is usually symptomatic with over-rge-counter painkillers such as aspirin or paracetamol. Other forms of headache (e.g. migraines) require more specific treatment. Headaches included tension headache, cluster headache and migraine.

    Staying relaxed is the gold standard in dealing with headaches. In some occasion, medicine will be prescribed to assist the individual to deal with headache. Traditional method like acupuncture has also been used for headache management. Yoga has also been found to be useful in controlling headache conditions. Treat early signs of headaches preventing it from getting worse.
    Here some tips in managing headache:-
    • Apply a cold, moist cloth or ice pack onto your forehead.
    • Rest in quiet, comfortable, dark room.
    • Begin stress management therapy as soon as your headache starts.
    • Have a massage to relax tense muscles at your head, neck, temples, face or jaw.
    • Identify and avoid headache triggers by keeping a headache dairy.
    • Maintain good posture to avoid muscle tension.
    • Live a healthy lifestyle. Get regular sleep, eat nutritious food regularly, avoid alcohol & drugs and avoid foods that may trigger your headache.
    • Avoid over-exertion. Some headache can be triggered by intense physical activity.
    • Avoid taking non-prescription pain relievers more than 3 times a week because you may get rebound headaches.
    If all of above do not work, do make an appointment with your doctor. Bring along your headache diary when you visit your doctor. Discuss with your doctor or other health professional to find out the best way to manage the headache.

    Article by Chua Soon Gin, Pharmacist, My Pharmacy
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