It is almost universal for everyone to experience a headache from time to time. The first thing most people do when they feel one coming on is grab an aspirin or ibuprofen. What if we told you that there is a healthier and more effective way to handle head pain? Headaches: Who Gets Them?
There is a global epidemic of headache disorders. In the nervous system, they are among the most common conditions. Unfortunately, they are often underrecognized, underestimated, and undertreated. Globally, 50% of adults have this problem, and up to three-quarters of adults between 18 and 65 have had headaches in the past year. Despite geographic boundaries, age, race, and socioeconomic status, they affect individuals from all walks of life. Due to fluctuating estrogen levels, women are twice as likely to experience headaches for an extended period of time.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF HEADACHES
Almost all people in the world experience three types of headaches on a regular basis. There are three types of headaches: tension headaches, migraine headaches, and cluster headaches. The three most common variations can be found in the following paragraphs.
A tension headache is characterized by a dull squeezing sensation on both sides of the head. It may also result in achy shoulders and neck pains. Tension headaches can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a week. In the case of these headaches, people usually take aspirin or ibuprofen as over-the-counter pain medications. A tension headache can be caused by stress, depression, head injuries, anxiety, exhaustion, hunger, etc. Generally, they affect adults and older teens, and more women than men are affected.
Excruciating pain can be caused by migraines, which are a more severe type of headache. One area of the head is usually affected by the pain. Attacks of migraine begin around the eyes and temples and spread to the back of the head. A 72-hour episode is not uncommon. Dr. Elizabeth Loder, chief of the Division of Headache at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Department of Neurology, suggests the acronym POUND as a way to describe migraine symptoms: pulsating pain, untreated extreme attacks lasting one day, unilateral pain, nausea, and vomiting, and severe intensity. In addition to loud noises and bright lights, strong smells can also worsen migraine symptoms. Before an episode, some people experience visual disturbances and numbness or tingling on one side of the body. There is a family history of migraines in 90% of migraine sufferers. As you can see, it is often inherited from family members. Migraines are most common among people between the ages of 18 and 44.
Cluster headaches occur on one side of the head in clusters. Within a one-to-three-month period, there are usually one to eight brief but intense head pains per day. There are usually two to three of them per hour, and they are abrupt. A person with this disorder will experience repeated attacks every few years. An episode can cause a runny nose and drooping and red and watery eyes on the side of the head that has pain. It is common for people to become quite agitated and restless when they are exposed to light and sound. The majority of cluster headaches occur between the ages of 20 and 50. A person can, however, develop them at any age. Epidemics may be exacerbated by smoking and drinking alcohol. Additionally, if you or your family members have a history of these attacks, you are at an increased risk. Men are nearly five times more likely to suffer from cluster headaches than women.
Three other headache types are sinus headaches, cold-stimulus headaches, and exercise headaches, in addition to tension, migraine, and cluster headaches. Discover some of these more short-lived headaches and the symptoms they cause by reading on.
An infection of the sinuses causes sinus headaches. It causes pain in the forehead, around the nose and eyes, in the cheeks, and sometimes in the upper teeth. Once the infection has been treated, the pain will subside.
Some people experience sharp headache-like pain when they eat or drink something cold, commonly known as a brain freeze. It only lasts for a few minutes. Before swallowing cold food or drinks, warm them up in the front part of your mouth.
Exercise headaches are sometimes caused by vigorous activity. By staying hydrated or taking anti-inflammatory medications before exercising, you can prevent these discomforts.
YOGA CAN HELP SOLVE HEADACHE DISORDERS
It is fortunate that yoga is a comprehensive system that not only prevents but also helps resolve these issues. How to do it:
There is a great deal more to yoga than just physical exercise. Yoga addresses a number of health systems cohesively rather than targeting one specific aspect of health, says Peter Wayne, faculty editor of the Harvard Special Health Report. To stretch and strengthen muscles, this mind-body exercise incorporates gentle movements, meditation, and breath control. In chronic pain cases such as headaches, these techniques are highly effective. One of the most common triggers of head pain is stress, which can be effectively reduced during yoga class. It also promotes healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating well and getting enough sleep. During an episode of headaches, these changes may reduce the risk of headaches and relieve tension.
As part of yoga movements, there is also an exercise that can be used to relieve headaches naturally. As well as reducing blood pressure and improving mood, it reduces discomfort in the head by supporting a healthy heart and blood vessels. Exercises that combine mind and body are effective at managing chronic headaches, according to many studies. There are nearly 10% of people prone to migraines who discontinue over-the-counter migraine medication because of adverse side effects. Therefore, yoga can be an effective alternative healing method for managing head pain when incorporated into your daily routine.
YOGA EXERCISES AND POSES THAT RELIEVE HEADACHE PAIN
You can prevent or relieve headaches by practicing these three yoga poses:
The victory breath (ujjayi pranayama) is also known as ocean breathing, snake breathing, whispering breathing, and snoring breathing. During this breathing exercise, you focus on your breath and calm your mind. To perform this exercise, grab a yoga mat and either sit up straight or lie on your back. You may also want to find another comfortable surface. You should maintain a contraction in your throat so your breath sounds whisper. Your mouth should remain closed, and your nose should be used to inhale. Your diaphragm should be used to control your breathing, and you should exhale and inhale at the same time.
Ujjayi pranayama releases stress and calms the parasympathetic nervous system, which can help manage head pain. Additionally, it increases the amount of oxygen in the brain. By doing this, you can reduce your risk of getting a headache and reduce any existing pain you may have.
The practice of victorious breath is associated with risks and contraindications. This breathing exercise should be performed with the guidance of a certified instructor if this is your first time or if you have low blood pressure. In case you become dizzy or feel faint, stop the procedure. Consult a doctor if you have any medical concerns.
On your hands and knees, place your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips in downward dog (adho mukha svanasana). Release your upper back by pressing into your fingers, stretching your elbows, and extending your elbows. As you push off your knees, make sure your weight is evenly distributed in your hands. By lifting your pelvis and extending your spine, you can continue the pose. Two minutes is a good amount of time to hold this position. Knees can be relaxed, and hands and knees can be returned when exiting the pose.
The benefits of this yoga pose include increased circulation and blood flow to the brain. You will feel more energized and relieve headaches with it. Also, downward-facing dog poses relieve stress and relieve head pain, relieving headaches and reducing headache risks.
High blood pressure, detached retinas, weak eye capillaries, or any other infection affecting the eyes or ears should not perform this pose. Additionally, this posture should not be performed if you have recently injured your ankles, legs, hips, shoulders, back, or arms.
This pose may need to be modified for people with sensitive wrists or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. You can use a rolled-up towel under your palms to prevent blisters. To avoid wrist pressure, you can also try dolphin pose, which involves placing the forearms on the ground.
The child’s pose (balasana) is a restorative yoga pose that allows you to relax and stretch fully. Place your big toes together as you kneel on the ground. You should sit back on your heels and spread your knees apart so they are hip-width apart. Bring your head straight down and rest it on the floor in front of you as you do a forward fold. Your arms and upper body should be extended forward, palms facing down. Take a few deep, slow breaths. Pull yourself back onto your heels with your hands to release out of the pose.
It reduces pain by calming the nervous system. Additionally, it reduces and prevents headaches by relieving tension and stress in the upper body.
Contraindications and risks: Pregnant women should not perform Balasana. If you have a knee injury or are experiencing diarrhea, avoid this posture, as it can worsen the condition.
Lie on your back with your legs straight in front of you in a head-to-knee pose (Janu Sirsasana). Your left leg should be bent, and your left foot should be brought into your right thigh. Turn your back to your extended right leg and reach out with your hands toward your foot. Your right foot should be flexed, and your right thigh should be pressed into the ground. Your spine and neck may be lengthened or relaxed when you reach your maximum forward bend. If you are able to reach far enough, grab your heel, ankle, or calf. With each inhalation, extend your spine, and with each exhalation, relax deeper into the stretch. You can hold this position for ten breaths, then switch sides.
As a result of the head-to-knee pose, the brain is effectively calmed to relieve head pain. Additionally, it reduces anxiety, depression, and stress, which can contribute to headaches.
Asthma and diarrhea are contraindications for this pose. Additionally, if you have a knee injury, you should avoid fully flexing the knee. In order to prevent worsening your injury, consider using a folded blanket instead.
Poses that can be used to release tension include:
- A leg-up-the-wall pose
- The corpse pose
- Taking a bridge pose
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IF YOGA WERE USED TO TAKE CARE OF MIGRANTS?
Ninety percent of migraine sufferers have a family history of migraines. Almost everyone in this group, 90%, experiences recurrent episodes. The most effective way to deal with headaches is to learn how to manage them effectively. Although many people choose to use medications, they can be expensive and ineffective. Aside from that, there are also potential side effects. According to studies, yoga therapy reduces headache frequency and intensity more than conventional treatment. Yoga can be used by migraine patients to manage pain and reduce the frequency of episodes.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF YOGA FOR MIGRAINES AND HEADACHES?
The practice of yoga is highly effective in relieving pain. Mind-body techniques like yoga are used by half of all Americans who suffer from chronic headache pain. In addition to meditation, deep breathing, and stress management, yoga also teaches these techniques. The practice of mind-body therapy reduces stress, which is a common trigger of headaches. Furthermore, yoga promotes a healthy lifestyle, including good nutrition, regular exercise, and enough sleep to limit episodes. In addition to keeping the heart and blood vessels healthy, yoga boosts mood, reduces stress, and prevents high blood pressure – three of the most common causes of migraines and headaches.
WHAT CAUSES HEADACHES IN YOGA?
Yoga shouldn’t give you headaches. It is likely that you will experience head pain while practicing yoga due to an environmental or habitat hazard. There are a few factors that can contribute to headaches, so you should take them into account:
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of headaches and occurs when you don’t drink enough water. There are certain types of yoga that involve vigorous exercise, which results in sweating. You are more likely to become dehydrated as a result. Increasing the blood supply to the head through drinking water helps prevent headaches. A dry mouth, fatigue, dizziness, and dark yellow urine are also possible symptoms. Prevent dehydration by drinking water before and during yoga class.
The importance of eating before exercising cannot be overstated, as our bodies require glucose to provide us with energy. Consider the situation where you need to consume more food prior to yoga class. The result may be a hunger headache as your blood glucose levels drop. In addition to sweating, nausea, and fainting, other symptoms may also occur.
- It is possible to get a headache from bright lights both indoors and outdoors. Sun glare and sunlight can also cause a heat headache for people who practice yoga outdoors.
- You are upside-down in inversion poses because your heart is higher than your head. These poses can trigger headaches.
- New yoga practitioners participating in an advanced class may overexert themselves. In order to avoid headaches, it is recommended that you start with a beginner’s yoga class.
- There are several ways to perform yoga poses incorrectly, and each pose requires a different form. Injuries can be prevented by having good conditions. The result is a headache, tension, and discomfort caused by straining muscles in and near your neck and head.
People who are new to yoga sometimes hold their breath by accident while concentrating on a pose or movement. It is difficult for oxygen to reach the brain and muscles when we breathe improperly. Muscle tension and headaches can result from this.