Almost 58 million people in Germany occasionally experience headaches. Women are affected about twice as often as men. And the pain does not stop in front of children: every second girl and every fourth boy between the ages of twelve and fifteen regularly buzzes their skulls, as a study by the German Migraine and Headache Society (DMKG) showed. Relief usually provide over-the-counter analgesics from the pharmacy. However, the quick grip to the tablet should not become a habit, advises the technician health insurance (TK).
Headache through tablets
The DMKG estimates that between 800, 000 and 1.6 million people in Germany suffer from chronic headaches because they take too many painkillers. Eight out of ten sufferers are middle-aged women. "As paradoxical as it sounds: Almost all analgesics, even swallowed regularly for a long time, even cause headaches, " says Maria Schwormstedt, a medical doctor at TK.
A vicious circle, as those affected unknowingly try to combat the pain with its cause, namely the drugs. "Anyone who ingestes tablets too often for fear of new attacks of pain, gets his body used to the regular supply of painkillers." If you then put the tablets off, the withdrawal symptoms are again expressed in the form of a headache, "explains Schwormstedt.
Headache tablets should be taken no more than ten days a month for a maximum of three consecutive days. Better yet, look for alternatives to pain medications. There are many possibilities: "Whether acupuncture, mint oil on the temples or a relaxed walk - everyone has to find out for themselves whether he can do without medication, " says Schwormstedt.
Five tips to fight a headache
1. The lifestyle does it
With a balanced diet, low alcohol and nicotine and regular exercise in the fresh air - best endurance sports, which lowers the headache threshold - headache has little chance.
2. The rhythm has to be right
As boring as it sounds, it makes head and body good when certain things happen regularly. For example, a changed sleep pattern, such as prolonged sleep on the weekend, can trigger migraines. And those who drink a lot of coffee in the office should not give it up at the weekend - that too can prevent a migraine attack.
3. Just no stress
Often stress and overburdening are to blame for the buzzing skull. If you are under pressure during your job, you should make sure that you take time for relaxation: a short walk during your lunch break, a yoga class or simply look out the window for five minutes in between.
Relaxing is also a massage from a partner or a friend: It not only calms and loosens a tense neck, but also helps to a new dose of happiness hormones that can catch the pain. Jacobson's progressive muscle relaxation, in which certain muscle groups are consciously tense and relaxed, can help clear the head.
4. The headache diary: Know why
To find a prescription for regular headaches, you have to search for the triggers. This is best done with a headache diary: It documents the time of day and the intensity of the pain, but also the circumstances under which the headache occurs.
5. Immediate help for the buzzer
There are many tricks to deal with acute headaches without tablets:
- Cloves chew: Cloves are an old home remedy for headaches. In addition to painkilling ingredients, they also contain essential oils that improve blood flow. This especially benefits migraine sufferers.
- Cold helps with tension headaches. A wrapped in a towel ice pack or a cold washcloth on the forehead and temples relieves the pain.
- Heat for neck pain: Just put on a hot compress or blow with a hair dryer warm air on the neck. Even a warm bath relaxes the tense neck and shoulder muscles. Rosemary in the bath water also promotes blood circulation, Arnica relieves pain.
- Alternating warm foot baths can also provide relief as they stimulate blood circulation throughout the body. First dip both legs up to your knees in warm water for three to five minutes, then in cold for eight to ten seconds. Repeat this procedure three times and then pack your feet in warm woolen socks.
- Violet root, lemon balm and lavender tea, or simply black tea with lemon, can help relieve acute headaches.
- Essential oils: Especially against tension headache helps ten percent peppermint oil - just a few drops on the forehead and temples and gently massage. Lavender oil and the scent of lemongrass or neroli can also have a positive effect. However, migraine patients should be careful, as the attacks are often accompanied by a heightened sense of smell and fragrances can trigger migraine attacks.
Despite all the tricks and tricks, however, a visit to a doctor is sometimes unavoidable: If the headache over several days does not subside, a doctor should definitely clarify the causes.