Migraines often leave many of us in despair... there is little preventive treatment and symptoms are usually chronic. But it’s not all bad news! In fact, only very few headaches are migraines. 

In this article, I’d like to touch on five common headache causes which are easy to identify and take care of naturally. 

Article written by Ariane Monnami, nutritionist with a degree in Micro-nutrition. 

 

Dehydration 

Dehydration is most likely the cause for dehydration in a number of circumstances. This includes after exercising, after a large or very salty meal and after having enjoyed one too many glasses of wine on a night out..
Dehydration can also cause headaches when suffering from fever, following a weight-loss plan or during extreme hot weather. 

 

What to do? 

Two large glasses of water can quickly get rid of the headache and you’ll see even better results if the water is slightly salted. 

In fact, this is so effective that it makes us wonder whether the super fast results from taking aspirin or paracetamol are in fact simply because of the water that we take with it! 

As always, prevention is better than cure, so remember to take a bottle of water with you to work and stay hydrated! 

 

Muscle tensions 

This is often the case when you have cervical problems, if you are suffering from whiplash or simply after having spent too much time in front of your computer.. 

 

What to do? 

First of all, it’s a good idea to find out if your workplace can arrange for an ergonomist to rearrange your work environment. 

A computer screen which is off-centre or placed too high or too low can create abnormal tensions in your neck muscles. So, avoid remaining static at your desk and regularly ‘exercise’ your neck. Try gently turning your chin from left to right and right to left, gently tilting your head from one shoulder to the other and from front to back.  

You can also massage your neck (or persuade your partner to do it for you..) by pressing down on the bottom of your skull and using a decontracting massage oil for even better results. 

On either side of your spine, you’ll be able to feel two ‘bony’ lumps called the occiput. Slightly tilt your head forwards and massage this very sensitive area with your thumbs using small rotations. Move your thumbs slightly outwards and repeat this several times, ending with a massage under the ears, just behind your jawbone. 

  

Eye fatigue

Here again, this is most likely after having spent too much time in front of your computer screen or when trying to read long texts with tiny font. If you haven’t had an eye test in a while, your glasses might be out of date and this is also a common reason for headaches due to eye fatigue. 

Headaches caused by eye fatigue are most often felt around the eye and or towards the back of the eye. It might even feel a bit like someone’s trying to rip your eyes out.. and this is more or less what’s really happening! It’s no longer your neck muscles that are contracted, but those controlling eye movement. 

 

What to do? 

Unfortunately, your eye muscles are not quite as easily reached as your neck muscles! You can try massaging your temples and eyebrows but it’s a good idea to visit an eye care professional. 

 

Stress

Stress can be the reason behind your headaches if you are feeling particularly tense or overworked and if the pain is greatest at the base of your eyebrows. In fact, this area is particularly important in acupuncture (point B2), helping not only relieve headaches but also hay fever, eye pain and blurry vision.

 

What to do? 

Massage the base of your eyebrows with your index finger, using circular motions until the pain begins to fade. Feel free to repeat this several times throughout the day. 

For prevention, you can also follow regular magnesium and phytotherapy treatments to help with relaxation (for example using escholtzia, passiflora, hawthorn). 

 

Sinus Infections

Sinus infections cause headaches located around your forehead and it might feel like you’re wearing an overly tight cap or helmet, with pain increasing when your head is tilted forwards (for example when tying your shoelaces or picking something up from the floor). Your nose will also often be blocked and when lying on your side, the upper nostril will unblock whilst the other will remain blocked. 

 

What to do? 

Regularly rinse your sinuses with seawater and follow a probiotic treatment to strengthen your immune system and prevent allergies.