Creating Waves of Awareness
Headache and Homoeopathy
© Dr. Rajneesh Kumar Sharma M.D. (Homoeopathy)
Dr. Swati Vishnoi B.H.M.S.
Dr. Preetika Lakhera B.H.M.S.
For well formatted and illustarted article, please see attached pdf file.
Headache, also known as cephalalgia, is the symptom of pain or ache anywhere in the region of the head or neck viz. a pain located in the head, as over the eyes, at the temples, or at the base of the skull.
Sore head, cephalalgia, migraine; cephalalgy, hemicrania
Peripheral nociceptors are stimulated in response to tissue injury, visceral distension, or other factors may induce pain. In such situations, pain perception is a normal physiologic response mediated by a healthy nervous system. Pain can also result when pain-producing pathways of the peripheral or central nervous system are damaged or inappropriately activated.
Headache may start from either of above or both mechanisms. Only a few cranial structures are pain producing –
The ventricular ependyma, choroid plexus, pial veins, and much of the brain parenchyma are not pain-producing.
Main structures participating in primary headache are-
The innervation of the large intracranial vessels and dura mater by the trigeminal nerve is known as the trigeminovascular system. Cranial autonomic symptoms, such as lacrimation and nasal congestion, are prominent in the trigeminal autonomic headaches, including cluster headache and paroxysmal hemicrania, and may also be seen in migraine. These autonomic symptoms reflect activation of cranial parasympathetic pathways, and functional imaging studies indicate that vascular changes in migraine and cluster headache, when present, are similarly driven by these cranial autonomic systems. Migraine and other primary headache types are not "vascular headaches"; these disorders do not reliably manifest vascular changes, and treatment outcomes cannot be predicted by vascular effects. Migraine is a brain disorder.
A primary headache is caused by over activity (Psora) of or problems with pain-sensitive structures in head. Chemical activity in brain, nerves or blood vessels and muscles of head and neck can play a role in primary headaches. It may be genetic in some people (Syphilis).
Generally, primary headache is not a symptom of underlying disease. But, some primary headaches could be a symptom of an underlying disease. They include-
Some lifestyle factors may cause primary headaches-
A secondary headache is a symptom of an under running disease which can activate the pain-sensitive nerves of the head. These diseases may be-
Headache may be primary or secondary-
Most common primary headaches are-
Other primary headache types are-
Most common secondary headaches are-
i. Migraine with typical aura
ii. Migraine with prolonged aura
iii. Familial hemiplegic migraine
iv. Basilar migraine
v. Migraine aura without headache
vi. Migraine with acute onset aura
i. Benign paroxysmal vertigo of childhood
ii. Alternating hemiplegia of childhood
i. Status migrainosus
ii. Migrainous infarction
i. Episodic tension-type headache associated with disorder of pericranial muscles
ii. Episodic tension-type headache unassociated with disorder of pericranial muscles
i. Chronic tension-type headache associated with disorder of pericranial muscles
ii. Chronic tension-type headache unassociated with disorder of pericranial muscles
i. Cluster headache periodicity undetermined
ii. Episodic cluster headache
iii. Chronic cluster headache
iv. Unremitting from onset
v. Evolved from episodic
i. External application of a cold stimulus
ii. Ingestion of a cold stimulus
i. Dull type
ii. Explosive type
iii. Postural type
i. With significant head trauma and/or confirmatory signs
ii. With minor head trauma and no confirmatory signs
i. With significant head trauma and/or confirmatory signs
ii. With minor head trauma and no confirmatory signs
i. Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
ii. Thromboembolic stroke
i. Intracerebral hematoma
ii. Subdural hematoma
iii. Epidural hematoma
i. Arteriovenous malformation
ii. Saccular aneurysm
i. Giant-cell arteritis
ii. Other systemic arteritides
iii. Primary intracranial arteritis
i. Carotid or vertebral dissection
ii. Carotidynia (idiopathic)
iii. Post-endarterectomy headache
i. Acute pressure response to exogenous agent
iii. Malignant (accelerated) hypertension
iv. Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia
i. Benign intracranial hypertension
ii. High pressure hydrocephalus
i. Post-lumbar puncture headache
ii. Cerebrospinal fluid fistula headache
i. Direct effect
ii. Due to chemical meningitis
i. Nitrate/nitrite-induced headache
ii. Monosodium glutamate-induced headache
iii. Carbon monoxide-induced headache
iv. Alcohol-induced headache
v. Other substances
i. Ergotamine-induced headache
ii. Analgesics abuse headache
iii. Other substances
i. Alcohol withdrawal headache (hangover)
ii. Other substances
i. Ergotamine withdrawal headache
ii. Caffeine withdrawal headache
iii. Narcotics abstinence headache
iv. Other substances
i. Birth control pills or estrogens
ii. Other substances
i. Focal non-cephalic
i. Focal non-cephalic
ii. Systemic (septicemia)
i. High altitude headache
ii. Hypoxic headache (low pressure environment, pulmonary disease causing hypoxia) Sleep apnea headache
i. Cervical spine
ii. Retropharyngeal tendinitis
i. Acute glaucoma
ii. Refractive errors
iii. Heterophoria or heterotropia
i. Acute sinus headache
ii. Other diseases of nose or sinuses
i. Compression or distortion of cranial nerves and second or third cervical roots
ii. Demyelination of cranial nerves
iii. Optic neuritis (retro-bulbar neuritis)
iv. Infarction of cranial nerves
v. Diabetic neuritis
vi. Inflammation of cranial nerves
vii. Herpes zoster
viii. Chronic post-herpetic neuralgia
ix. Tolosa-Hunt syndrome
x. Neck-tongue syndrome
xi. Other causes of persistent pain of cranial nerve origin
i. Idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia
ii. Symptomatic trigeminal neuralgia
iii. Compression of trigeminal root or ganglion
iv. Central lesions
i. Idiopathic glossopharyngeal neuralgia
ii. Symptomatic glossopharyngeal neuralgia
i. Anesthesia dolorosa
ii. Thalamic pain
Some common types of headache are explained below-
Generalized headache, nasal congestion, watery eyes. Caused by seasonal allergens, such as pollen, molds.
May mimic frequent migraine or cluster headaches, caused aneurysm. May rupture to allow blood to leak slowly resulting in a sudden, unbearable headache, double vision, rigid neck with rapid unconsciousness.
Pain at the back of head or neck worse on movement, caused by inflammation of the blood vessels of the head or bony changes in the structures of the neck.
Throbbing headache caused by rebound dilation of the blood vessels, occurring several days after consumption of large quantities of caffeine.
Headache disorders occurring more than 15 days a month, two categories are determined by duration of the headache- less than four hours and more than four hours. It typically evolves from transformed migraine. Although not related to chronic tension-type headache, they can evolve from episodic tension-type headache and can be associated with medication abuse.
Excruciating pain in the vicinity of the eye with lachrymation, nasal congestion and flushing of the face. Pain often develops during sleep and may last for several hours. Attacks occur every day for weeks, or even months, then disappears for up to a year.
People with painful organic diseases often become depressed and start headaches. Causes may be physical, emotional, and psychic.
Generalized head pain of short duration, minutes to an hour, during or following physical exertion like running, jumping, or sexual intercourse, or passive exertion like sneezing, coughing, defecation etc. Very few percentage is caused by organic diseases like aneurysms, tumors, or blood vessel malformation and remaining by migraine or cluster headaches.
Usually frontal, bilateral pain directly related to eyestrain, caused by muscle imbalance, uncorrected vision and astigmatism.
Generalized head pain developing with fever and is caused by the swelling of the blood vessels of the head, often secondary to an infection.
Migraine-like symptoms of throbbing pain and nausea, but it is not localized to one side. It is caused by alcohol, which causes dilation and irritation of the blood vessels of the brain and surrounding tissue.
Headaches in women are often caused by hormones, and many women notice a link with their periods. The combined contraceptive pill, the menopause and pregnancy are also potential triggers.
This type of headache strikes just before mealtime and is caused by muscle tension, low blood sugar, and rebound dilation of the blood vessels, oversleeping, or missing a meal.
Generalized or “hairband” type pain that is worse in the morning and better throughout the day, caused by severe hypertension: over 200 systolic and 110 diastolic.
Some headaches are a side effect of taking a particular medication. Frequent headaches can also be caused by taking too many painkillers. This is known as a painkiller or medication-overuse headache.
Migraine-type pain that occurs shortly before, during, or immediately after menstruation or at mid-cycle i.e. at time of ovulation. It is caused by alterations in estrogen levels.
Aura or warning signs develop, which may include visual disturbances or numbness in arm or leg. Aura subsides within 30 minutes followed by severe pain. It is caused by a hereditary component. Other factors include certain foods, contraceptive pill or menopausal hormones, excessive hunger, changes in altitude, weather, lights, excessive smoking, and emotional stress.
Severe, one-sided throbbing pain, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, cold hands, sensitivity to sound and light. Causes are often same as that with aura.
It has a rapid development, usually less than three days of unyielding headache and typically presents in a person with no past history of headache. It does not develop from migraine or episodic tension-type headache but begins as a new headache and may be the result of a viral infection.
Localized or generalized pain, can mimic migraine or tension-type headache symptoms. Headaches usually occur on daily basis and are frequently resistant to treatment. Pain can occur after relatively minor traumas, but the cause of the pain often difficult to diagnose.
Gnawing pain over nasal area, often increasing in severity throughout day. Pain is caused by acute infection, usually with fever, producing blockage of sinus ducts and preventing normal drainage. It is caused by infection, nasal polyps, anatomical deformities, such as deviated septum that blocks the sinus ducts.
A boring, burning, or stabbing pain caused by inflammation of the temporal arteries. Pain is often around the ear worse when chewing. It may be seen during weight loss and eyesight problems. Cause is unknown. May be due to immune disorder.
A muscle-contraction type of pain, sometimes accompanied by a painful “clicking” sound on opening of the jaw. It is an infrequent cause of headache. It is caused by malocclusion, stress, and jaw clenching
Dull, non-throbbing pain, frequently bilateral, associated with tightness of scalp or neck with constant degree of severity. It is caused by emotional stress or hidden depression.
Short, shot like pain in trigger areas found in the face around the mouth or jaw, frequency and duration of pain varies. Cause is unknown, pain from chewing, cold air, touching face may be triggering factors. It may result from neurological disease, such as multiple sclerosis.
Pain progressively worsens and accompanies projectile vomiting with possible visual disturbances of speech or personality changes, problems with equilibrium, gait, or coordination and seizures. The cause of tumor is usually unknown.
Afterpains - headache, with – intolerable cham. cimic.
Afterpains - headache, with hyper.
Appetite - increased, hunger - headache – before epiph.
Appetite - increased, hunger - headache – with bry. kali-c. kali-s. Phos. PSOR. sel. sep.
Back - alternating, sides - headache, with acon. aloe alum. brom. ign. meli. sep.
Brain - concussion - headache, from kali-br.
Coryza - headache, then ant-c.
Cough - headache, with carb-v. sulph.
Ears - discharge, from - headache – after absin.
Ears - discharge, from - headache – with psor.
Epistaxis - headache – after ant-c. sep.
Epistaxis - headache – during acon. agar.
Eructations - headache, with calc. cimic. mag-m.
Eyelids - closed, shut - headache, with nat-m.
Eyes - opening difficult - headache during nat-m. tarent.
Eyes - sand - headache, during lac-d.
Eyes - staring - headache, during Bell. Glon. Stram.
Eyes - stones, little, full of, during headache lac-d.
Face - heat - headache, with chinin-s.
Face - red - headache, during bell. glon. meli.
Feet - coldness - headache, during gels. meli. sep. vario.
Forehead - wrinkled - headache, during caust. grat. stram. verat.
Hair - falling - headache, after ant-c. hep. nit-ac. sep. sil.
Hands - cold - headache, during ambr. vario.
Hands - cold - icy - headache, with vario.
Head external - scalp - lumps, nodes - headache, with sil.
Hearing - illusory sounds, noises - headache, during Chin. form. naja puls. sil.
Hearing - illusory sounds, noises - ringing - headache, during chin.
Heart - aching - headache, with crot-h.
Heart - palpitation - headache; with - beating in nat-m.
Heart - palpitation - headache; with – congestion scop.
Heart - palpitation - headache; with brom. calc-ar.
Irritable - headache, during syph.
Joyous - headache, during ther.
Lachrymation - headache, during apis ign. mez. plat. puls.
Leucorrhoea - headache, with plat.
Loquacity - incoherent, rambling - headache, during bar-c. lach. stram.
Lumbar back - pain - headache, alternating with aloe
Nausea - headache during - trembling of body, with borx.
Nausea - headache during ant-c. caust. cocc. con. ip. iris sang. stront-c.
Navel and region - aching, headache, with lept.
Neck and nape - stiff - headache, with sil.
Neck and nape - weak, tired - headache, with - falls, forwards nux-m.
Neck and nape - weak, tired - headache, with fago.
Numbness insensibility - general, whole body - headache, during cedr.
Saliva - increased - headache, with epiph. Merc. nat-s.
Spine - pain, in, relieves the headache - sciatica, during petr.
Spine - pain, in, relieves the headache kali-p.
Spleen - stitching - headache, with urt-u.
Stomach - empty, hollow, sinking, weak feeling - headache, during sep.
Stools - involuntary, hurried - headache, with mosch.
Sweat - amel - headache, except eup-per.
Taste - bitter - headache, with calc-p.
Thirst - headache, with mag-m. pulx.
Trembling, tremors - headache, with borx.
Urination - difficult, painful, dysuria, strangury - headache, with, in children con. senec.
Urination - frequent - headache, with vib.
Urine - profuse, copious, increased - headache, with iris lac-d. mosch. ol-an. vib.
Urine - scanty - headache, then iod. ol-an.
Vertex - itches, headache during verat.
Vertigo - headache – before calc. plat. plb. til.
Vertigo - headache – with apis bell. calc. con. croc. ferr. iod. lac-c. lil-t. nux-v. onos. sil. stront-c. sulph.
Vertigo - turning - then headache rhus-t.
Vision - blindness, loss of vision, affections of - headache – after sil.
Vision - blindness, loss of vision, affections of - headache – with caust.
Vision - headache - after agg caust. con. Lach. Phos. sil. Sulph.
Vision - headache - before agg gels. glon. graph. iris KALI-BI. lach. Nat-m. Phos. podo. PSOR. Sep. sil. Sulph. ther. Tub.
Vision - headache - during agg bell. iris ph-ac. podo. Puls. zinc.
Vision - hemiopia - headache, then nat-m.
Vision - sparks - headache, during chel. Mag-p.
Vision - weak - headache, with zinc.
Vomiting - headache, with bry. caust. Chel. cocc. Ip. Iris meli. NUX-V. PULS. Sang. sep. verat.
Waterbrash - headache, with mag-m.
Yawning - headache, and form. staph.
Chapter 87. Headache Principles and Practice of Hospital Medicine
Chapter 9. Headache The Patient History: An Evidence-Based Approach to Differential Diagnosis
Chapter 20. Headache CURRENT Diagnosis & Treatment Emergency Medicine, 7e
Chapter 229. Headache The Color Atlas of Family Medicine, 2e
Headache Symptom to Diagnosis: An Evidence-Based Guide, 3e
Chapter 10. Headache and Other Craniofacial Pains Adams & Victor's Principles of Neurology, 10e
Treating Headaches in Older Adults Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Geriatrics
Headache in Children Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide, 8e
Headache Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide, 8e
Headache & Facial Pain Clinical Neurology, 9e
Evaluation & Management of Headache CURRENT Diagnosis & Treatment: Family Medicine, 4e
Headache Harrison's Manual of Medicine, 19e