Many things can cause headaches. The most common types of headache are migraines and tension headaches. These types of headaches may be caused by the following:
Migraine headaches can run in families. This means that you are more likely to suffer from them if one of your family members also has frequent migraines.
The most common treatments for headaches are rest and over-the-counter pain relievers. These include aspirin, acetaminophen (one brand name: Tylenol), ibuprofen (one brand name: Motrin) and naproxen (one brand name: Aleve). Keep in mind that children should not take aspirin. Aspirin can cause a serious illness called Reye's syndrome in children younger than 18 years of age.
If these common treatments don't work, talk to your family doctor. He or she can prescribe medicine that might help relieve your headaches. Some people who suffer from very bad headaches need to have blood tests or X-rays to find out what is causing them.
Mind-body therapy may also help people who get headaches often.
Mind-body therapy focuses on the connections between your mind, body and behaviors. Problems with any one of these things can affect your health. Examples of mind-body therapy are meditation, muscle relaxation, hypnosis, biofeedback and a type of counseling called cognitive (say: kog-na-tiv) behavior therapy.
Biofeedback is a technique where you use your thoughts to control your body. Biofeedback can help you treat physical and mental health problems.
Cognitive behavior therapy is also called talk therapy. This kind of therapy helps you identify negative thoughts so you can stop them before they cause problems. Cognitive behavior therapy is often used to treat low self-esteem and depression, but it can also help ease stress in general.
Yes. Studies show that mind-body therapy works just as well as medicine for certain kinds of headaches.
You can do certain types of mind-body therapy yourself:
You might need help from a professional for other types of mind-body therapy, such as hypnosis and biofeedback.
Talk to your doctor if you want to try mind-body therapy. He or she can recommend someone who specializes in this kind of therapy. Your doctor can also offer suggestions to help you cope with stress.