Definition: Headache is a nervous complaint and is characterized by various types of pain or discomfort in different parts of the head.
Etiology: Its causes are many ,and so are its modes of onset, duration, intensity, or other conditions relating to it . These causes may be classified as follows:
1. Local Causes
· Frontal sinusitis.
· Head injury leading to inflammation, or deformity of a bone (osteitis).
· Rheumatism of the muscles of the neck (cervical fibrositis) and inflammation of one or more of the 33 bones of the vertebral spinal column (spondylitis).
2. Referred Pain
· In the nose, from coryza, or growths, or septum structural defects.
· In the eye, from weak sight, iritis, or glaucoma.
· In teeth, from inflammation (Odontalgia); or in the ear.(otitis).
· From Utero-ovarian reflex.
3. Nervous Causes :
· Neuralgias produce a wide-spread pain, limited to the supraorbital region.
· Cerebral disorders, as meningitis, syphilis, growths, abscess, high and low blood pressure, etc.
4. Constitutional Causes :
· Chronic nephritis, uraemia, too high blood pressure, ploycythaemia ; severe anaemia, congestive heart failure.
· After-effects of epilepsy, hysteria and migraine.
· Sea or air-sickness, sudden reduction or depression in atmospheric pressure in air flights or sea voyage, caissons disease, hypoxaemia (diminished amount of oxygen in blood) ; gastritis ; chronic constipation; chronic hepatitis, gout; lead poisoning, acidosis and alkalosis.
· Acute fevers, as malaria, enteric fever, small-pox, scarlet fever, typhus, yellow fever, influenza, heat stroke.
(1) In inflammatory congestive headache, place crust of bread soaked in vinegar on the temples.
(2) Application of ice on the head is not only bad but dangerous.
Aconite. Congestive headaches, if the pain is very severe with a burning sensation over the whole head, particularly the forehead ; face red and bloated, eyes red ; when the pain is accompanied by incoherent talking or raving.
1. Belladonna. It is indicated in congestive headache, when the pain is deep-seated, is oppressive and heavy, and the face is pale and haggard with unconsciousness, incoherent talking and murmuring, with drowsiness. It is also applicable in other types of headache, the main symptoms being that the patient cannot lie down, nor can he bear light, noise, jarring or draught of air.
2. Glonoine. For throbbing and congestive headaches which come suddenly, and the blood is felt rising up into the head with severe heat and pain (a feeling of tight band across the forehead). Sun headaches > from uncovering the head. The headache is aggravated from bending the head backward and lying down.
3. Gelsemium. For congestive, catarrhal and nervous headaches; the characteristic symptom being a feeling of band around the head just above the ears. Mostly this headache accompanied with vision troubles e.g. dim sight, squinting. The Gelsemium headache is dull and dragging and is relieved by copious urination and sleep. The headache commences with blindness in the occiput or the nape of the neck, and passes over the head and settles in the eye. It is also indicated in headaches due to tobacco smoking.