If, at some point in time, you have felt like all the pain in the world has converged at a focal point situated right at the top center of your head, tightening that part of your head by some unseen tentacles, you have almost definitely experienced a Vertex Headache (known commonly as ‘headache on top of head’)! It truly is one of the most disconcerting sensations, almost synonymous to a sleeping volcano boiling and bubbling inside your head, ready to explode any second.
A Glimpse of the Anatomy of Headache
Try flicking the first tile of a perfectly arranged Domino Set, and see how that one puny jerk gets catapulted in a line of play, downing successive tiles by a mere touch, right till the end of the series. This is exactly how a headache occurs as a result of cascading events.
The commencing point is a slight trigger in your nervous system. In case of Vertex headache, the trigger points are embedded in certain neck and upper back muscles (known, in medical vernacular, as Sternocleidomastoid and Semispinalis Capitus muscles).
The Sternocleidomastoid muscle is a very queerly shaped muscle, similar to strap around the neck, originating at the skull behind the ear and then parting into two branches, one running down to the breast bone, while the other ending at the collar bone. This muscle can generate a whole array of problems such as dizziness, nausea, ringing ears, etc.
The Semispinalis Capitus muscle is anatomically a V-shaped muscle that starts along the cervical spine and ends at the back of the skull. This muscle gets irked as a result of bending head forward for inappropriately long periods of time.
Once the trigger points in any of the two muscles mentioned above get agitated, the blood vessels in the brain dilate, giving rise to a chemical in the brain that directly takes a toll on the arteries, resulting in the excruciating pain experienced. As if it is not torturous already, the Trigeminal Nerve associated with your brain further disrupts your pain tolerance. At times, the pain is accompanied by an ‘aura’, which refers to flashes, disturbance in vision, blackspots, etc.
- Stress/ Tension
- Deprivation of sleep/ Excessive Sleep
- Uncomfortable body posture (such as bending head forward)
- Exhaustion/ Fatigue due to exertion(mental or physical)
- Strain on eyes beyond healthy levels
How to combat Headache?
Grabbing out a painkiller from your medicine box and popping it into your mouth may seem like the most convenient way to fight off the pain, but being a staunch believer of natural remedies, I would strongly recommend one to let yourself be cradled in the arms of ‘Mother Nature’ and see it do wonders!
- Water, drink lots of it and hydrate yourself
- Ginger juice will work like an elixir
- Cinnamon, always the real deal
- Aroma of crushed cloves will soothe you inside out
Headache on top of head does not seem too big a problem after all now, does it?