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  • Hey Head Squeezers, hope you're well

  • Really good question that's actually come in from a few different places this time.

  • We've got Haydn SHYickin who posted this in our G+ community, thank you very much. And

  • also michobebemckawii, who posted this in a you tube comment in our Head Squeeze discussion

  • page

  • Both posted a question which was: What are headaches and how do we get them?

  • A very very interesting one, and of course they are the bane of so, so peoples lives

  • so great question, I'm looking forward to unpacking this one.

  • I should obviously say that head squeeze is not your doctor so if you do get very serious

  • headaches or regular head aches then go see your local physician.

  • But if you're interested in the science of headaches then you've come to the right place,

  • so stick with us.

  • Now, there are a whole range of different types of headaches, not just the kind that

  • my dad gets when he tries to write a text message on his archaic mobile phone.

  • I'm going to introduce you to tension headaches -- that's the first kind of dull ache that

  • lots of us get, quite regularly actually.

  • And also vascular headaches, those are the Migraines and the cluster headaches of this

  • world.

  • And in my research I found some people talking about cluster headaches, and they say that

  • they feel like having a red-hot poker shoved in their eye-- nasty!

  • So why do we get them?

  • First things first, the brain is not sensitive to pain, so you never get a headache from

  • your brain. So if after a really long hard day I say 'my brain really hurts' I'm kind

  • of speaking a load of rubbish -- you're allowed to tell me that, that's totally cool. So what's

  • happening?

  • Well, the pain has got to be around your brain somewhere. And there's loads of places where

  • that could come from.

  • As I explained in my film about tickleishness and actually why we get tickled. The skin

  • is sensitive to pain, as are your bones, and structures in your ears, your nose, your mouth.

  • And it's there that the pain comes from.

  • Now what about the tension headache, that kind of dull ache that we all tend to get

  • quite often. Well, that comes from holding your muscles in a semi-contracted state for

  • quite a long period of time.

  • That muscle tension, that may come from the neck, or the face, or actually the meninges

  • -- the tissues around your brain, that help protect your brain - that muscles tension

  • fires your pain receptors and sends a message to your brain, the sensory cortex, and that's

  • why you feel it as pain.

  • That tension could come from emotional stress, it could come from poor eye sight, or, or

  • the wrong prescription. And what we normally do is just take some paracetamol that gets

  • rid of it.

  • Now paracetamol is very interesting, it acts in the brain, it inhibits the pain and inflammation

  • causing chemicals called prostaglandins

  • Now, the more intense headaches, the migraines of this world, they are called vascular headaches.

  • Reason being, the main culprit for those are the large blood vessels. More specifically,

  • it's a changed blood flow to your cerebral cortex.

  • Science doesn't really know how or why they happen.

  • One theory might be that there is a spasm in one of the cerebral arteries - that reduces

  • the flow of blood and causes a localised lack of oxygen.

  • Another idea is that maybe there is swelling in the blood vessels and that produces, there

  • is swelling pushing on the nerves that causes the pain.

  • Science isn't really sure just yet.

  • Migraines can be set off by the weather, by bad diet, bad sleep, stress - and they tend

  • to last between 4 and 72 hours.

  • Interestingly, 1 in 5 migraine sufferers report having a visual disturbance like a flash of

  • light or zig-zag lines in front of their vision before their migraine kicks in.

  • Now, researchers think that the neurotransmitter, serotonin, must have something to do with

  • migraines, because the drugs used to treat migraines change the way that serotonin bonds

  • to various receptors

  • Bad news, I'm afraid, for anyone watching who has 2 'X' chromosomes, yes, women, you

  • are more likely to get a migraine by a factor of three, down to hormonal changes.

  • Now, finally, cluster headaches, they are the really serious headaches that last for

  • weeks, if not months. They are normally found on one side of the head or around the eye.

  • Not really sure what causes them, but scientists reckon again that it's to do with the blood

  • flow to the brain, and it may be kicked off by substances that affect that blood flow

  • like alcohol.

  • I don't know if any of you have chugged tea and coffee during the day and then got what

  • we can only call a caffeine headache once you've got home. Caffeine restricts the flow

  • of blood to the brain, so as soon as you stop drinking it you get a rush of blood to the

  • brain.

  • Oh, one more thing I'd like to mention is 'medication overuse headaches.'

  • These are headaches caused by taking pain medication for a really long amount of time.

  • And a german study reckons it could now affect about 4% of the population!

  • Again, they're not sure why it actually causes these headaches. They think maybe that pain

  • medication for such a long period of time switches off these control system, the pain

  • control system. The best way to get rid of it is just to go completely cold turkey.

  • Bonus fact at the end, of course: 2,000 years ago the people of the Western Han Dynasty

  • treated their headaches with a chilli-like fruit.

  • Anyway. That's all the time I've got right now, please do keep sending in your question,

  • we will answer one of them every Thursday here at ask Headsqueeze. Put them in the comments

  • below these videos, join our G+ community and join in the discussion there.

  • Until next time, Happy Head Squeezing!

Hey Head Squeezers, hope you're well

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為什麼我們會頭疼?| 問頭擠 (Why do we get headaches? | Greg Foot | Ask Head Squeeze)

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    Weiya Wang 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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