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

2407 分類 收藏
Weiya Wang 發佈於 2015 年 3 月 9 日
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