How to get rid of a headache

Headache is a common reason for seeking a therapist. According to who estimates, the number of people in the last year faced with this problem, is 47%. Almost 4% of the adult population suffer from headaches (cephalgia) at least two weeks per month.

the Causes of headaches

what a headache, from time to time come across almost everything. Periodic attacks ruin the lives of half of all women and one-third of all men. They are even socio-economic problem, because they reduce the efficiency and hinder family relationships. The question how to get rid of the headache, set a lot of people.

Types and causes of headache

Single cause does not exist and it is impossible to give a universal recipe for what to do if headache. Because brain tissue has no pain receptors, cephalalgia occurs because of impact on receptors in the blood vessels of the neck or head.

If a headache, it can be as an independent disease and a symptom of some other underlying disease. According to this criterion there are two types of cephalalgias – primary and secondary. It is impossible to say, how to cure a headache without setting its nature and cause.

Primary or idiopathic headache is the most common form of cephalgia. This is a distinct disease, arising without any other pathology. It includes:

  • headache;
  • tension headache (TTH);
  • cluster headache
  • other types of primary cephalgia.

Most Often diagnosed with “migraine” and “tension headache”.


Migraine is a very common disease. Recently added to the list of diseases the ones that most interfere with social adaptation. Migraine attacks come every seventh person. Women suffer from migraine far more often than men. There are two main types of migraine headaches – without aura and with aura.



Migraine without aura repeated attacks lasting from four hours (with medications the attack can be shorter) up to three days. For this form of the disease characterized by unilateral location, usually in the frontal-temporal lobe, and pulsating character of pain. The attack is usually aggravated by physical activity, even minor, such as walking.

Migraine without aura is often accompanied by nausea and light and phonophobia. In women, migraine often coincides with menstruation. Many of the first symptoms appear with the arrival of menarche (the first menstruation), and in adulthood, the migraine begins on the first day of the menstrual cycle.


For this migraine is characterized by specific neurological symptoms preceding the attack or pain accompanying it. Usually they last no more than an hour, although they may appear a few hours or even days. Usually, symptoms of aura follows headache with the same symptoms as migraine without aura.

In the complex of the aura consists of one or more of these symptoms:

  1. Visual symptoms, such as shimmering spots or blurred vision;
  2. Sensitive symptoms (tingling or numbness);
  3. speech disorders.

All signs of an aura totally disappear after the attack and lasts no more than one hour and not less than five minutes. Sometimes the headache after the aura does not occur or is not similar to a migraine.

Oftalmologicheskiy migraine aura


Biological causes of migraines are not yet fully clear, but recent evidence of its relationship with neurotransmitters. However, it is known that migraine attacks often occur after ingestion of some foods, such as chocolate, red wine, dried fish, pickled herring. There were cases when migraines cause such staples as eggs, beef, tea and coffee making facilities. Patients suffering from migraine are usually advised to note that they were eating before the next attack.

There are other reasons that can provoke a migraine. For each patient, so it is recommended to keep a diary. We will note several major factors:

  • strong emotions or stress;
  • motion sickness in transport;
  • physical activity
  • hunger
  • loud noise or bright light;
  • “changing lights”, work with computer.

tension Headache

It used to be called psychogenic headache. TTH is the main species. According to various sources, throughout life, with her face from 30% to 70% of people.

tension Headache

Tension-type headache is usually bilateral. As a rule,the pain is mild or moderate, oppressive, and not a pulsating character. Are they the type of “wrap”, “helmets” or in the back of the head with the transition to the neck during exercise are not amplified. Most patients suffering from tension-type headache, the muscles of the head and neck palpation shows increased sensitivity. Sometimes tension-type headache accompanied by photophobia or light nausea, but, unlike a migraine, this is the exception rather than the rule. The disease is divided into episodic and chronic forms.

Episodic TTH

The Diagnosis of episodic TTH is, if there was at least ten episodes per year, occurring at most 15 days a month. Duration of attacks varies from half an hour to 7-15 days. Sometimes episodic tension-type headache combined with migraine without aura.


Tension Headache is considered chronic if the patient feels it more than 15 days per month (more than 180 days in a year), it lasts for several hours or is of a permanent nature. When setting such a diagnosis it is desirable to clarify whether headache with other disorders.


The Pathogenesis of TTH is still not completely clear. Many doctors believe that the case primarily in long-term muscle tension neck and head. Tension in the muscles increases the concentration of potassium that causes pain when stimulated receptors. Besides suffering from TTH constrict cranial arteries. Most doctors agree that a significant role in the development of TTH is played by the emotional stress.


A Cluster, or bundle, headache is a rather rare disease. The number of people suffering from this disease is about 0.1-0.5% of the population. More common in middle-aged men. In this pathology pain is strictly one side of the head, usually in the temporal area or behind the eye. This attack occurs each day, to eight times a day, and usually lasts less than an hour.

For this kind of headache is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • watery eyes
  • stuffy nose;
  • sweating of the forehead and face;
  • swollen eyelids
  • inability to lie dormant.

The Diagnosis is made, if the person had not less than five of such attacks. They usually arise in clusters (series), lasting several weeks or even months. Because of this seriation cluster headaches are also called beam. Such periods are followed by remission, but one patient out of ten, the disease becomes chronic, without periods of light.

Secondary headaches

This sort of headache is always associated with some other pathology. It may resemble migraine or tension-type headache, but if the first episode of headache coinciding with the emergence of the underlying disease, it is always considered secondary (symptomatic). Distinguish causes of secondary headaches:

  • trauma to the head and/or neck;
  • pathology of the cervical spine;
  • bleeding in the skull or neck;
  • tumours
  • the use of various substances or their cancellation;
  • infection (meningitis, encephalitis, brain abscess, systemic infection, etc.)
  • hypertension or hypotension;
  • sinusitis
  • mental illness.

Most Often a secondary headache appears because of trauma or sinusitis, and hypertension. It could be the excessive ingestion of various drugs, e.g., analgesics, or opiates, or long-term use of hormones, including hormonal contraceptives.

Headaches occur after administration of drugs (cocaine and hashish) and alcohol. Sometimes, on the contrary, my head starts to hurt with a sharp termination of the use of certain substances such as caffeine or hormonal drugs.

Methods of diagnosis

Impossible to give a universal answer to the question of why headache. If the patient suffers from frequent seizures, to find out what makes a headache, you should determine what nature is cephalalgia. To do this, the doctor will ask whether a recent history of injuries, what medications the patient constantly uses, will measure his blood pressure.

diagnosis of headaches

It is Often recommended to turn to ophthalmologist for fundus examination. Is prescribed ultrasound of the main arteries, electroencephalography and MRI. If severe headache accompanied by high fever may indicate an infection.

If the headache is primary, it is necessary to accurately determine its character. In case of migraine and tension-type headache in different location, and TTH is the characteristic spasms of the muscles of the neck and head. Migraine and TTH are used various medications, and a tool that helps from migraine, tension-type headache may be totally useless. Sometimes one person there are two types of headaches. In such cases it is useful to make notes which highlight the symptoms, helping the patient to gradually learn to distinguish between migraine and TTH.

Many people are not in a hurry to go to the doctor if they have a headache. They are treated at home and cost taking any painkiller acquaintance or folk remedies. Of course, when isolated and rare attacks can reduce pain by using analgesic. But if you have a headache often, there is a danger that the disease will become chronic. In addition, there are indications that should alert, becausewhat they say about that headache, most likely, is connected with dangerous pathology. Do not hesitate to contact a doctor if these symptoms occur:

  • severe pain does not take analgesics;
  • the pain is so strong that it was impossible to raise his head from pillow;
  • there is a loss of consciousness or other disturbances of consciousness
  • pain in the dynamics increases;
  • there is vomiting, and it does not bring relief.


As already mentioned, if the cephalalgia secondary, attention should be directed at treatment of the underlying disease. In secondary headaches can soothe the pain by analgesics, or combination preparations, but first and foremost, always treat the pathology where the head hurts.

However, even with primary tsefalgii the answer to the question, how to remove a headache, can vary depending on how the type of doctor deals with. In addition, special treatment is required, if the disease has entered the chronic form.

Almost all kinds of headaches if the attack is not very strong, are good combination of drugs, such as “Sashan” and “Spazmalgon”. They include the following: NSAIDs, providing analgesic effects, and antispasmodic, relieves spasms of blood vessels. In “Tsitramon P” contains caffeine, NSAIDs and paracetamol.

Combination therapiesDosage
Spazgan1 tablet 2 times a day
Spazmalgon1-2 tablets, 3 tablets per day
Citramon-P1 tablet 2-3 times a day

Although contraindications to the use of these drugs not so much, nor should they be considered a universal tool to help with frequent attacks. This emergency assistance in the case of single episodes of headache. If seizures are ongoing, should look for other ways. Very often people who suffer from recurring migraine attacks or tension-type headache, overused analgesics. Remember that excessive use of painkillers can lead to the fact that your illness will become chronic.


As for TTH and migraine treatment has two main areas:

  • mild attack;
  • prevention of attack.

How to relieve migraine

With weak attacks can help conventional analgesics (paracetamol, NSAIDs) and combination means, such as "Pentalgin". By taking medicines in which the active substance is acetylsalicylic acid, it is necessary to consider contraindications – bleeding tendency, diseases of the stomach and intestines.

With a strong recurring attacks of migraine following tools are used:

Kofetamin.Tablet retard1-2 tablets no more than 4 tablets per day
DihydroergotamineInjection5 to 20 drops in 1/2 glass of water
Zolmitriptan (brand name "Zomig")Nasal spray0.25-0.5 ml of a 0.1% solution 1-2 times per day
tablet1 tablet (2.5 mg)

All these drugs are not recommended to take for a long time. You should avoid overdose. In addition, there are many contraindications, including pregnancy.

Medicines to prevent migraines are used quite often, especially when there are very severe and frequent attacks. The doctor may prescribe tools such as antidepressants, anticonvulsants ("Topiramate", "Clonazepam", etc.), antagonists of serotonin, vasoactive drugs ("Vazobral"), beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers. Sometimes use combinations of antidepressants with calcium channel blockers.

Medicines for migraine preventionDosage
Topiramate25-100 mg per day
Clonazepam2 mg per day
Vasopril2 ml 2 times a day

What to do for headache tension

Treatment of this disease depends on its stage. Episodic TTH is removed by taking normal painkillers such as acetylsalicylic acid (trade name "Aspirin", "Anopyrin", etc.), other NSAIDs, such as naproxen and paracetamol (trade names – "Paracetamol", "Panadol", "Efferalgan", etc.). Painkillers effective if taken early in attack. To funds on the basis of acetylsalicylic acid must be treated especially carefully, because chronic administration of large number of this substance can earn an ulcer or bleeding.

Pentalgin from headaches

Quite good help to soothe pain selective activators of potassium channels. These new-generation drugs work in two directions: relax muscle spasms and reducethe sensitivity of the neurons. One such tool is flupirtine (trade name "Katadolon"). Also use different muscle relaxants, such as tizanidine (trade name "Sirdalud").

Drugs that help with headache tensionDosage
Acetylsalicylic acid400-800 mg 2-3 times a day, no more than 6 grams per day
Paracetamol0,35-0,5 g 3-4 times a day, not more than 1.5 g per reception 3-4 g / day
Flupirtine100 mg 3-4 times per day, when expressed pain 200 mg 3 times a day, not more than 600 g / day
Naproxen250-500 mg 2 times a day, maximum single dose of 500 mg, maximum daily dose of 1000 mg.
Tizanidine6-18 mg per day (it is recommended to start with small doses, 2 mg 1 time per day at night)

To Deal with chronic tension-type headache is difficult because patients are too late go to the doctor. Many of them are trying to be treated at home, take a huge number of analgesics, their status is complicated by the fact that the attack now occurs already due to the cancellation of painkillers.

In addition, chronic tension-type headache, usually occurs when prolonged emotional stress. To effectively combat it is necessary to eliminate the source of stress.

non-pharmacological means of treatment and prevention

The answer to the question of what to do when you have a headache, not confined to one drug. If you want to understand how to quickly get rid of a headache, don't forget the following methods:

  • psychotherapy
  • reflex - and acupuncture
  • massage
  • diet therapy
  • swimming and other ways of relaxation.

The Patient with migraine usually suggest that you keep diaries, where the patient observes a possible provoking factors. If it is noticed that the migraine attack often occurs after consuming a certain product, it is necessary to exclude it from your diet.

The Two main forms of headaches (migraine and TTH) usually occur on the back of strong emotional experiences and stress, so patients may benefit from psychotherapy. A qualified therapist will teach how to reduce emotional stress and coping with daily psychological stress. Psychotherapy is especially effective in chronic TTH.

Because TTH is also associated with overexertion of skeletal muscle, we suggest you do reflexology and acupuncture. These treatments help to relax the body and release chronic muscle tension.

A Good way to relax and improve their emotional state is swimming. It is also good to get a massage. When tension-type headache associated with excessive muscle tension neck and head, massage these areas of the body can be very effective. It is also useful to do exercises for the neck.

Headache – not such a harmless phenomenon, and treatment at home sometimes leads to serious consequences, because sometimes it indicates the presence of a brain tumor or meningitis. But even if you are absolutely sure that you are suffering from migraine or TTH that is not associated with any concomitant disease, avoid taking painkillers.

Analgesics will help to briefly remove the attack, but will not eliminate its causes. To understand how to remove a headache, need to set the type and stage of disease. When a painful migraine attacks are far more effective than special funds, and from chronic tension-type headache be treated by changing lifestyle and reducing stress.

In addition, if you rely on some painkillers, risk further complicate the situation, as some drugs of this class when used too often, can themselves exacerbate pain. And remember that only a doctor can determine exactly what to do if a headache.


  1. Modern approaches to diagnosis and treatment of migraine. V. V. Osipov;
  2. Migraine: clinical features, diagnosis and treatment approaches. V. V. Osipov;
  3. International principles of diagnosis of headaches. Problems of diagnostics of headaches in Russia. V. V. Osipova, Yu. e. Azimova, G. R. Tabeeva;
  4. tension Headache – a practical guide for physicians. Vladimir Osipov.