What is a headache?
It is a symptom of having pain in the head region. It can be due to a migraine, tension or cluster headaches.
Generally speaking, the headache can be either primary which is due to a standalone cause located in the head. Such structure includes but is not limited to muscles, nerves or blood vessels problems in the head region. It can be due to more than one of these structures. A secondary headache is due to causes not related to the head region, but patients develop a headache as a manifestation of this illness. Reasons for a secondary headache are many such as alcohol-induced hangover, brain tumours, carbon mono-oxide poisoning, severe hypertension, glaucoma, and influenza.
How to identify the cause of a headache?
It is possible to know what causes a headache by asking the patient detailed questions about the nature of a headache, how severe it is, what causes/aggravates it, what relieves it, and if a headache is associated with some other symptoms such as dizziness, blurring of vision or nausea and vomiting. Sometimes the physician asks you to perform a physical examination or do some blood work to reach the diagnosis.
How to treat a headache?
It is imperative to know the root cause of the problem before treating headaches as simply giving painkillers such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen or Tylenol only suppresses a headache without addressing the actual reason.
Role of acupuncture in treating headaches
Acupuncture plays a significant role in relieving headache either a migraine, tension or cluster headaches. Adding an electric stimulation to the acupuncture greatly enhances the efficacy of acupuncture treatments. This proved scientifically by a recent research published in the journal of Neuromodulation in March 2018 by Ishiyama et al (2018) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29566284
In this study, using a special protocol of electrostimulation acupuncture for treatment of a headache proved significantly effective for controlling the headache symptoms.
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