Five myths about headaches you need to know

Have you ever asked yourself, what is a headache? That throbbing, distracting, annoying feeling that hangs in your head - most of us at some time have had to put up with a headache. And they seem to have a knack of coming on at the worst time.

From tension headaches and cluster headaches to sinus headaches and migraines, each one is different. So uncovering these five widely held myths could be the start of getting rid of them for good.

MYTH #1 - Migraines are the most common type of headache

Actually, tension headaches are the most common type of headache[1], with around 80% of headaches being tension type headaches[2]. The reason they’re so common comes down to our modern lifestyle and stress. This can make muscles in the head and neck become strained, and it’s these muscles that can be the real source of tension headaches. You probably know the feeling of one of these headaches - a dull, aching pain usually on both sides of your head.

MYTH #2 - Only adults get headaches

Headaches aren’t just for grown-ups. Children get them too, including tension headaches – the only difference is they can’t always tell you, especially young ones. Although they’re not always serious, it’s important to keep an eye on headaches in children and consult a doctor if they get worse.

MYTH #3 - Migraines are just really bad headaches

Not exactly true. Migraines are different from other headaches. They’re actually a neurological disorder and can feel much worse than your normal headache. Although it’s not known what exactly causes migraines; they are thought to be the result of abnormal brain activity temporarily affecting nerve signals, chemicals and blood vessels in the brain.

If you’re suffering from a migraine, you may get other symptoms such as nausea and sensitivity to light. You might even experience visual problems known as auras and see flashing lights or zigzag lines.

MYTH #4 - Only women get recurring headaches

Guess what? We can all get them. And while men are at less risk from tension headaches and migraines, they’re four times more likely to get cluster headaches[3]. These headaches get their name because you experience groups or clusters of headaches for several weeks, occurring once or twice a year around the same time. The pain’s usually felt behind your eye or on one side of your head coming on strong and unexpected.

MYTH #5 - All headaches are psychological

Most headaches usually are caused by an underlying physical cause. Just like how the source of tension headaches can be caused by muscles in the head and neck becoming strained. They, in turn, send out pain signals that are felt on both sides of the head. It’s why tension headaches often feel like a tight band around your head.

If you’re experiencing a tension headache or migraine, you might want to consider relieving pain by using a pain reliever such as Nurofen Express 200mg Liquid Capsules.

Nurofen Express 200mg Liquid Capsules. Contains ibuprofen. For pain relief. Always read the label.


Data Sources:
2. Stress and tension-type headache mechanisms. Stuart Cathcart1, Anthony H Winefield1, Kurt Lushington1 and Paul Rolan. 18 January 2010