What are headaches?
Does that excruciating and debilitating pain in your head disrupt your daily routine? Do you often bunk your work and school just because you are suffering from a headache? A headache may sound so simple but it’s one of the chronic and mental suffering that can cause a great impact in your life as well as the lives of others associated with you.There are various types of headaches that can result in impaired social functioning resulting in absenteeism from school, work, social gatherings or parties. A headache can result due to many factors like stress or emotional distress, or it may also arise from a medical disorder, such as anxiety, depression, migraine or high blood pressure or even lack of sleep, loud noise exposure or an incorrect prescription eyeglass can also cause you a headache.
Does that excruciating and debilitating pain in your head disrupt your daily routine? Do you often bunk your work and school just because you are suffering from a headache? A headache may sound so simple but it’s one of the chronic and mental suffering that can cause a great impact in your life as well as the lives of others associated with you.
There are various types of headaches that can result in impaired social functioning resulting in absenteeism from school, work, social gatherings or parties. A headache can result due to many factors like stress or emotional distress, or it may also arise from a medical disorder, such as anxiety, depression, migraine or high blood pressure or even lack of sleep, loud noise exposure or an incorrect prescription eyeglass can also cause you a headache.
Types of headaches
There are two types of headaches: Primary & Secondary.
a) A primary headache is caused by over-activity of problems with pain-sensitive structures in the head. A primary headache is not a symptom of an underlying disease.
Chemical activity in mind, the nerves or blood vessels surrounding your skull, or the muscles of your neck and head (or any combination of these variables) may play a role in primary headaches. Some people could also carry genes which make them more likely to come up with such headaches.
The most common primary headaches are cluster headache, migraine, migraine with aura, and tension headache
Some primary headaches can be triggered by lifestyle variables, including alcohol, especially red wine, certain foods, such as processed meats which contain nitrates or changes in sleep or lack of sleep
b) Secondary headaches
A secondary headache is a symptom of a disorder that may trigger the pain-sensitive nerves of the mind. Numerous ailments — changing greatly in severity — can cause secondary headaches. Possible causes of secondary headaches include medical conditions such as sinus infection, stress, and high blood pressure.
Some kinds of secondary headaches include external compression headaches (due to pressure-causing headgear), ice cream headaches (commonly called brain freeze), medication overuse headaches (due to overuse of pain medication), or sinus headaches (due to congestion and inflammation in sinus cavities).
Homeopathic medicines for headaches
Selecting the right remedy for a headache can be difficult because many headaches are worse or better from the same conditions. Many remedies cover these common symptoms. However, one cannot rely on allopathic drugs for a longer period of time as they can cause substantial adverse effects on a person’s life. Homeopathy as an alternative to conventional therapy is becoming increasingly popular. Some of the homeopathic remedies that are found to be effective in treating various types of headache include Belladonna, Natrum muriaticum, Nux vomica, Gelsemium, Pulsatilla, Ignatia amara, Lycopodium clavatum, Iris versicolor, Kalium phosphoricum, Bryonia and many others. Some of the homeopathic medicines for headaches are discussed below.
a) Natrum mur:- Indicated in headaches that arise when a person is emotionally upset and in grief. Also, prescribed to the individuals who experience headaches due to light, or due to menstrual onset in women.
b) Iris vesicolor:- Also, known as the blue flag, is a homeopathic remedy mainly for nervous system disorders including headache and gastrointestinal upset. Iris versicolor can help in treating right-sided headaches and migraines that are preceded by visual disturbances.
c) Nux vomica:- This homeopathic remedy is useful in treating headaches that arise due to chronic constipation. It is also a helpful remedy for people whose headaches are brought on by overeating, digestive upset, use of alcohol, coffee, and other drugs, stress, cold weather conditions, and headache due to inadequate sleep and a missed meal.
d) Glonine:- Prescribed in Intense headache conditions that occur due to the exposure of sun, and due to varied climatic changes. Glonine also relieves conditions where one feels their head like a burden and feels their head too small for the brain. It is also indicated in conditions where headaches are associated with a high fever.
e) Bryonia: Pain in the head which is usually steady but progresses as an intense headache with violent, throbbing pain in forehead extending to the back of the head. It is also recommended in conditions where the headache is centered over the left eye, and in constipation headaches.
f) Gelsemium sempervirens: It is a homeopathic remedy recommended in numerous neurological and behavioral symptoms including headache, drowsiness, tiredness, drooping eyelids and mental apathy. It is often used in headaches that are localized on the right side of the head preceded by dim vision or other visual disturbances.
g) Sanguinaria: This homeopathy remedy has a potent, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-cancer effect. It is used to treat conditions of headache where the pain begins in the back of the head and extends towards the right eye or on the right side of the head. It works better in conditions where the person is suffering from sharp, spitting, throbbing pain accompanied by nausea and vomiting that becomes even worse with motion.
h) Spigelia: It is well known for its contribution to treating all types of pain by acting as an analgesic. It is indicated in severe headaches where the neck and shoulders become stiff and usually worsens in cold conditions.
i) Sepia: Sepia prepared from the ink of the cuttlefish is prescribed to treat hormonal imbalances in men and women and is considered more suitable in headaches that arise during the onset of the menstrual cycle in women. It is also found to be helpful in headaches that become worse from missing meals, and in left-sided migraines accompanied by dizziness and nausea.
j) Pulsatilla – This medicine is the most effective medicine for tension headache, premenstrual headache, and headache that arises due to insomnia. It also helps in migraine conditions that worsens with climatic changes like extreme heat or cold.
k) Calcarea carbonica– it is a helpful remedy in treating both mental and emotional conditions, it promotes sleep and therefore used in headaches associated with insomnia. In migraines that are associated with dizziness, congestion, nausea and sharp bursting pain on the right side of the head.
l) Phosphorus – It is indicated in conditions where a headache arises due to skipped meals or in hypoglycemic conditions. It also provides relief in headaches due to cold and sore throats.
Studies in Homeopathy for headaches
1. The effect of Classical homeopathy on headache..
The study was conducted on 40 patients who were diagnosed with migraine or Tension-type Headache. The aim of the study was to evaluate the role of homeopathic medicines on headaches. Homeopathic remedies that were used in the study included Staphysagria, Calcarea carbonica, Sulphur, Natrum Mur, Bell, Phosphorous, Apis mellifera, Spigella, Coloc, and Sepia 30C and sometimes 200C. The treatment duration was continued for 3 months. Primary outcome measures included measuring pain intensity, while others included detecting Sleep problems and anger which are found to be aggravated due to headache.
The results showed a significant decrease in the pain intensity, insomnia problems and anger concluding that homeopathy is an effective remedy for treating migraine and Tension-type headaches.
2. Homeopathic Treatment of Migraine in Children: Results of a Prospective, Multicenter, Observational Study..
168 children diagnosed with migraine were included in the study from 12 different countries to evaluate the efficacy of homeopathic treatment in migraine headache. The most commonly prescribed homeopathic medicines included Ignatia amara (25%), Lycopodium clavatum (22%), Natrum muriaticum (21%), Gelsemium (20%), and Pulsatilla (12%) were prescribed for a duration of 3 months. The doses prescribed for the homeopathic remedies remained the same between doctors of all the 12 countries.
The results of the study showed a decrease in the number of migraine attacks, and the duration of migraine attacks was also reduced significantly which was assessed between the inclusion and follow-up visits conducted during the 3 months period.
Many scientific studies have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of homeopathic medicine on headache which suggested that homeopathy can help in attenuating the progression of headache and their symptoms. Homeopathic remedies are safe to use and have no drug interactions; it not only improves physical symptoms but also improves the general state of wellbeing and their mental-emotional frame of mind. Homeopathic remedies can also reduce the dose of conventional therapies if used in conjunction with them. The exact mechanisms behind these homeopathy remedies in treating headaches still remain unclear and more studies are suggested to understand the effects of homeopathy on headache and its underlying phenomenon.