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A headache or cephalalgia is pain anywhere in the region of the head or neck. It can be a symptom of a number of different conditions of the head and neck.

The brain tissue itself is not sensitive to pain because it lacks pain receptors. Rather, the pain is caused by disturbance of the pain-sensitive structures around the brain.

Nine areas of the head and neck have these pain-sensitive structures, which are the cranium, muscles, nerves, arteries and veins, subcutaneous tissues, eyes, ears, sinuses and mucous membranes.

There are a number of different classification systems for headaches. The best recognized is that of the International Headache Society. Headache is a non-specific symptom, which means that it has many possible causes. Treatment of a headache depends on the underlying cause, commonly involving pain killers.

You don’t always have to head for a medicine bottle when your head is pounding.

Try these alternative remedies to prevent or stop a headache: Is your headache a migraine, tension, or cluster headache?

Some believe acupuncture can be as effective as pain drugs for treating migraines and reducing their frequency and severity by increasing levels of beta-endorphin, a natural painkilling substance in your body.

If you’re needle-phobic, acupressure may be a good way for you to dim headache pain. Simply rub the two points on either side of your vertebrae at the nape of your neck— right below the ridges at the base of your skull.

Also try massaging the webbed area on the top of your left hand, between your thumb and forefinger.

Take some ginger. It inhibits inflammation in blood vessels, so take it when your head-ache first comes on.

Tame the shoulds. Change irrational beliefs —those are ideas typically prefaced with words such as should, ought, must, or have to—that can lead to stress and head pain.

Replace them with ideas that use words such as wish, want, like, and desire.