Relieve headaches: What really helps?


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CBD oil, unlike medical CBD used in studies, is regulated as a cosmetic in Germany. Since it cannot be sold as a dietary supplement due legal regulations, it should not be swallowed. In other countries such as the UK, however, CBD is already approved as a dietary supplement and can be consumed. To avoid confusion, we explicitly state that our statements refer to CBD in general and not to specific oils or products.

On the legal position of CBD in the Therapeutic Products Advertising Act:

There are numerous studies that provide evidence that CBD has various therapeutic properties and can provide support for many ailments. Since cannabidiol is currently covered by the Therapeutic Products Advertising Act, we are not allowed to make any therapeutic claims at this point. We would also like to point out that our products are not considered as medical preparations.

It throbs, stings and pulsates in your head? Almost everyone has experienced this. After all, headaches ("headaches") are among the most common health complaints - a classic widespread disease. When a headache occurs, many sufferers choose the conventional route and resort to painkillers. Still others rely on home remedies. In this article, readers will learn not only what types of headaches there are, but also what they can do themselves against headaches.
Types of headache
Tension headache
Cluster headaches - one-sided pain
Migraine with and without aura
Triggers of migraine
Causes of secondary headaches
Conventional treatment of headaches
Relieving headaches without medication
Preventing headaches, migraines and other headaches
CBD for headaches

Doctors distinguish between more than 220 types of headache. According to a study, more than half of the people in the world suffer from recurring headaches. Women are affected more often than men.
In many cases, the complaints take a chronic course. We speak of chronic headaches when they occur on more than 15 days in a month and for at least three months in a row.

Types of headache

A basic distinction can be made between primary and secondary headaches. The primary form has the headache as the main symptom without a cause. Secondary headaches, on the other hand, have different triggers, such as diseases.

Because of the large number of different types of pain, it is not possible to cover all types of headache in this article. Therefore, only an overview of the most common types of pain will be given here.

Tension headache: Pressing and dull pain in the head

Tension headaches belong to the primary headaches and are expressed by a pressing and dull, but usually bearable pain in the head. Sufferers localise the pressure in the forehead, around the eyes and all around the head. In addition, tension headaches can cause tension in the neck.

Often, a tension headache lasts only about 30 minutes. However, in severe cases or very severe headaches, the tension headache can last for several days.

Cluster headache - one-sided pain

Cluster headaches also belong to the primary form. The headache mainly occurs in the forehead and temples and behind the eyes. Men are affected three times more often than women.

Doctors distinguish between episodic and chronic cluster headaches. In episodic headaches, pain-free phases alternate with phases in which the attacks occur regularly. If the symptoms take a chronic course, the cluster periods can no longer be distinguished, so that the pain occurs regularly.

Migraine with and without aura

A migraine is usually behind moderate to severe pain, which is mainly limited to one of the two sides of the head. Those affected describe a throbbing, pulsating and stabbing sensation. However, they suffer not only from the headache attacks, but also from a variety of other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or sensitivity to sounds, smells and light. Physical activity and exertion can make the pain worse.

A few years ago, it was thought that migraine was caused by a malfunction of the blood vessels in the brain. In the meantime, however, scientists assume that an imbalance of pain centres in the brain stem is the cause.

What is migraine with aura?

In about 10 to 15 percent of all sufferers, migraine attacks are preceded by a neurological disorder that can affect vision, speech, balance and movement. This so-called aura occurs a few minutes to an hour before the headache starts and sometimes remains during an attack.

Migraine triggers

Various internal and external factors (triggers) can trigger a migraine. The most common triggers include:

  • Stress
  • Strong emotions, which can be positive or negative (e.g., extreme joy or sadness)
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Hormone changes
  • hunger or hypoglycaemia
  • Inadequate fluid intake
  • Coffee, black tea, nicotine and alcohol
  • Certain medications (e.g. nitro supplements used in the treatment of heart disease or sexual enhancers)
  • Changes in the weather
  • External stimuli, such as flickering lights, smells or noise.

Causes of secondary headaches

Secondary headaches can have a variety of causes. The pain may have the characteristics of a migraine or a tension headache. Triggers can include

  • A cold, flu or infection
  • Tension in the neck or back (musculoskeletal disorders)
  • Head injury
  • Lack of sleep
  • Accident (e.g. head or cervical trauma)
  • Vascular disorders in the area of the head and/or neck
  • Blood pressure disorders

The unauthorised use of painkillers should only be done in consultation with a doctor. The underlying cause should be treated first.

Conventional treatment of headaches

As varied as the forms and triggers of headaches are, so are their treatment methods. A severe migraine, tension headache or other form of headache should always be diagnosed by a doctor. The family doctor or a neurologist can then initiate appropriate treatment or pain therapy.

If the headache only occurs from time to time, the German Migraine and Headache Society (DMKG) recommends classic painkillers such as paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen to relieve the pain. However, these medicines should only be taken for a maximum of ten days per month and for a maximum of three consecutive days.

Such painkillers are not a permanent solution. This is because they can put a lot of strain on the body and thus also on health due to side effects. Therefore, tablets should only be used in case of very severe pain and should not be taken over a longer period of time.

Relieving headaches without medication

There are many things that sufferers can do to relieve their headaches, such as taking a walk in the fresh air or doing relaxation exercises (e.g. autogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation or yoga) to relieve stress. Cold compresses on the forehead can also be helpful.

When looking for help, many people also find home remedies. Here are some tips and tricks:

  • Gently massage the forehead and temples with peppermint oil or lavender oil. Simply mix one to two drops of the oil with a tablespoon of vegetable oil and then massage it in with light pressure and in circular motions.
  • A well-known home remedy is also caffeine (coffee or black tea). However, caution is advised here, because too much caffeine can lead to problems or increase the pain. For this reason, this should not be the first remedy of choice.
  • In naturopathy, water treatments are the mainstay. For example, alternating warm partial baths or a foot bath with increasing temperature should help to relieve the pain.

Prevent headaches, migraines & co.

Home remedies can be used when the pain is acute. To prevent it from occurring in the first place, sufferers can take preventive measures such as:

  • Get out in the fresh air regularly
  • Get enough sleep
  • Use different methods to reduce stress
  • Keeping the body hydrated
  • Eating a balanced diet

CBD against headaches

CBD oil for headaches can be an alternative according to experience reports. This is because after taking CBD, the cannabinoid from the hemp plant binds to the receptors of the body's own cannabinoid system - the so-called endocannabinoid system. This system is part of our nervous system and is involved in various physiological processes in the body, including the sensation of pain.

In addition, cannabidiol (CBD) is said to have a calming effect, so that it can help to relax.

On the subject of CBD and studies, it has to be said that the effect of CBD on headaches has hardly been studied so far. However, as CBD oil can be a low side-effect alternative to painkillers, it might be an option for sufferers to try.

What can you do for headaches Home Remedies?

First of all, it is important to drink a lot! This improves the blood circulation in the brain. Various medicinal plants such as chamomile flowers, willow bark or motherwort can also be used - drunk as a tea - to relieve pain. Relaxation and stretching exercises as well as walks in the fresh air are also recommended to reduce stress and relieve pain-inducing tension. For others, it helps to massage the temples with peppermint oil.

Is cola good for headaches?

Drinking cola for a headache is not a good idea. An Israeli study found that excessive consumption of cola even causes headaches in children. Instead, it is recommended to drink plenty of water, juice spritzers or herbal teas. Those who hope to get relief from headaches from caffeine should rather resort to coffee. But be careful: too much of it can increase the risk of a pain attack.

What should you do if you have a headache that lasts for a long time?

If you have a recurring headache that lasts for a long time, it is a good idea to consult a doctor to get it checked out. If you have an acute headache, you should make sure that you drink enough fluids. A cold compress on the forehead or rubbing and massaging the temples with lavender or peppermint oil can also help.

What should you drink when you have a headache?

First of all, it is important to drink at all. People with headaches should drink about two litres of fluid per day, preferably water. Juice spritzers or herbal teas are also recommended. The caffeine in coffee can also be used to relieve pain. It dilates the blood vessels in the brain, improving blood flow. However, caution is also advised here, because too much caffeine can trigger headaches.