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The Causes For Headaches
Don't Begin In Your Head

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There are many causes for headaches and there are many symptoms of headaches.

Interestingly, despite the many causes and symptoms, there are basically two types of headaches. They are:

  • a vasoconstrictive headache, a tension type headache
  • a vasodilative headache, a migraine type headache

Once you know which type headache you have, you can then learn how to prevent it and stop the pain.

causes for headaches

Vasoconstrictive Headaches

The main causes for headaches that vasoconstrictive, are generally muscle tension in the neck and shoulders. 

These tension headache symptoms inhibit the flow of blood and oxygen to the head.

As a result of the tension you might experience some muscle cramping caused by lymphatic stagnation. 

Muscle tension in the neck and shoulders can be caused from stress or some type of physical cause.

Some people refer to these as “tension headaches". Tension headache symptoms can vary from mild pain to very severe pain.  The symptoms might also include pressure, a tight, crushing pain that feels like your head is in a vice or being compressed.

Many times tension in the neck and shoulders can create a spinal subluxation in the neck. This can cause neck pain and possibly an “uneven” feeling in the vertebrae.  Treatment by a chiropractor may be helpful, but massaging the neck, shoulders and head may also release the subluxation as well.

In addition to basic massage techniques, a hot compress can be helpful. Herbs, taken internally, will help to relax the muscles and increase blood flow to the head. These antispasmodic herbal remedies may also help:

  • Black Cohosh
  • Kava Kava
  • Lobelia
  • Herbal Sleep
  • Valerian
  • Stress Relief
  • Passion Flower
  • Ginkgo
  • Kudzu/St. John's Wort

  • In addition to herbs, Magnesium can be very effective in relieving muscle tension and cramping. Kudzu/St. John's Wort and Magnesium can be taken on a regular basis as a natural way to prevent tension headaches symptoms.
  • Natural headache relief using herbal remedies is a healthier choice than taking over the counter drugs which have detrimental side effects to the body.

  • Vasodilative Causes For Headaches

    The causes for headaches, specifically migraines are vasodilative in nature.  This type of headache is the exact opposite of the tension headache. It's caused by too much blood flow to the head.  This is the type of headache is what most people refer to as a migraine headache. 

    These symptoms for headaches (migraine) include a rush of blood flow making the head feel full and congested, like the head is exploding outward. It's usually a throbbing, pounding type of pain with a sensitivity to light, sound and touch. The ears and the eyes are usually red.

    A natural cure for migraine headaches also include massaging. The migraine headaches will respond to massage but only if you can tolerate the touching.

    A cold compress should also help. Herbal remedies that will move the blood flow away from the head, and back into the digestive organs should provide some relief as well. But the best way to treat vasodilative headaches is to try to prevent them from happening.

    This kind of headache is usually “liver” related and a sign that your liver is overloaded with toxins.  Cleaning up a toxic liver can be an easy way to reduce the causes of headaches.

    Taking liver cleansing herbs like Feverfew, Milk Thistle or Digestive Bitters can lessen the severity and eventually eliminate them all together.  But they must be taken on a regular basis and they won't be effective once the migraine has started. 

    Migraines are often triggered by food allergies. It might help to journal your foods so you can see which foods might be triggering your migraines.

    Sinus Headaches

    Chronic sinus headaches are a little different as they are not your typical causes for headaches as with vasodilative or vasoconstrictive causes.

    The chronic sinus headache is caused by congestion in the sinus cavities producing pressure, pain and inflammation.

    To get relief you must promote drainage of the sinuses. Massaging the sides of the neck and shoulders will increase lymphatic drainage and help drain the sinuses.

    Using a Neti Pot or an over the counter saline sinus wash will also help. My husband has used these and he finds them to be effective and helpful.

    Herbal remedies like Fenugreek, Thyme, and Horseradish root extract (taken internally) are good decongestants.

    Another helpful technique to relieve a sinus headache is to boil some water and add a few drops of eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, and/or pine oil and then inhale the vapors. To more effectively capture the vapors, drape a towel over the head and pan creating a little tent.

    I hope these healthy choices and tips have been helpful in learning more about natural ways to relieve and manage the causes for headaches.  

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