Rebound headaches are a type of headaches that are caused due to overuse of medications meant to treat headaches. While occasional use of pain killers to manage headaches is not a cause of concern, overuse of pain killers to treat headaches can lead to rebound headache, which may last for long duration and eventually do not respond to pain killers.
There are a host of factors that affect the symptoms associated with rebound headaches and here are some alternative therapies that are useful in curing rebound headaches.
Rebound headaches develop as a result of frequent use of pain killers for management of headaches. The manifestation may vary depending upon a host of factors like age, medical condition, dosage of the medication, frequency of usage etc.
The type of medication also influences the severity of rebound headaches, for example there are higher chances of rebound headaches from the consumption of barbiturates compared to those from the consumption of opiates.
What Causes Rebound Headaches?
There is no clarity over how rebound headaches occur, however studies have shown that regular consumption of headache medication can alter pain pathways and the way the receptors in the brain work.
- Simple pain killers are at the lowest risk of developing rebound headaches and may result in rebound headaches if the recommended dosage is exceeded.
- Combination pain killers are at a higher risk of causing rebound headaches, especially if they contain sedatives.
- Migraine medication can also cause rebound headaches, however for most medications containing ergotamine, the potential risk of rebound headaches is relatively lower.
- Opiates are associated with high risk of developing rebound headaches. Barbiturates are at the highest risk of causing rebound headaches.
Regular consumption of caffeine, smoking and other stimulants like chewing tobacco can also lead to rebound headaches.
Rebound Headache Symptoms
Here are some of the unique symptoms associated with rebound headaches,
- Rebound headache occurs when waking up in the morning and reduces with the use of pain killers.
- The pain may persist throughout the day and worsens with mental or physical exertion.
- Other symptoms include anxiety, irritability, insomnia, nose block and neck pain.
Natural Cures For Rebound Headaches
While there are a host of alternative therapy options to treat rebound headaches, here are a few well known and well defined treatment options,
- Massage therapy is considered to be beneficial in the management of rebound headache. Massage the nape of the neck with clove essential oil for quick relief. Regular massaging improves blood circulation and reduces frequency of headaches.
- Herbs including butterbur and feverfew help in management of certain forms of rebound headaches.
- Magnesium supplements are also considered useful in managing of pain associated with contraction of muscles and tension.
- Acupressure and acupuncture have also been considered to be very beneficial in the management of rebound headaches.
While these therapies can have varied levels of benefits, it is primarily important to ensure that you should avoid or at least limit the consumption of headache medication to severe headaches.