If you’re reading this because you can’t remember what a headache feels like, you’re lucky. A headache is a pounding feeling in your head or neck that is triggered by pain-sensitive nerves.
There are two main types of headaches; primary and secondary. Primary headaches are the result of small temporary changes to the nerves, blood vessels and muscles in your head, and include migraines and tension headaches. On the other hand, secondary headaches are triggered by problems elsewhere in the head and are brought on by illnesses like colds and flu. These most commonly occur as congestion and/or sinus headaches.
What are the symptoms of a cold and flu headache?
What you’ll notice most about a cold and flu headache is the persistent pain that never seems to let up. The pain may even affect your focus and concentration.
Sinus and congestion headaches have their own distinctive symptoms; the pain you experience with these headaches feels like a band of pressure wrapping around your head, in particular around your nose and sinus areas. The pain can get stronger with any sudden movements of your head. Headaches like these are usually worse in the morning because mucus builds up whilst you are asleep, adding to the pressure.
What causes a headache?
When you are suffering from a cold or flu, a headache can form thanks to infection-fighting molecules called “cytokines.” These little molecules are released by your immune system. While their primary function is to fight off infection, they can bring on inflammation which in turn can cause headache in some people.
Another cause of a headache is pressure caused by the swelling and inflammation of the sinus cavities to accommodate increased mucus from a cold or flu. This can cause the feeling of persistent pain that you feel during this bout of headache.
If you don’t have a cold or flu or any other illness, and your headache concerns you, see your doctor for advice.
How to relieve a headache.
There are many causes of a headache and while there is no absolute cure, there are ways to find relief. Before turning to the medicine cabinet you can:
- Have a warm bath or shower. This soothes, calms and relaxes muscles.
- Get a head full of fresh air. Go outside and take a walk.
- Doing gentle neck stretches will also help loosen your neck muscles and provide relief.
Drink up! A common cause of headaches is dehydration, so make sure you have plenty of fluids.
Treatments for headache
If your headache stems from a cold or flu, CODRAL® can help you relieve discomfort with their range of multi symptom treatments, including;