Headaches can be extremely debilitating. If you have ever suffered from one, then you most certainly know what I mean. Chances are that many of you have experienced headaches — considering that upward of 45 million Americans suffer from chronic headaches.
They can cause you to feel under the weather and result in excruciating pain in your eyes. A headache can come on in many different forms and with many different sensations — ranging from a tension headache to a migraine to a dull ache in your temples.
The most common type of headache is a muscular or tension headache. These account for 90% of all headaches. Less than 10% of headaches are caused by migraines or cluster headaches and even fewer (two percent) are caused by a severe condition such as tumors or neuralgias (nerve pain).
No matter which way you look at it, however, there is nothing pleasant about a headache.
Finding a treatment that works can be tricky. However, a new study has found that medications used to treat high blood pressure might, in fact, help to relieve the pain associated with a headache.
Researchers in the United Kingdom conducted this study based on various suggestions that these medications might help relieve headaches. Past studies have shown a link between high blood pressure and headaches, but there was no conclusive proof of this.
In fact, the suggestion of a link between high blood pressure and headaches has been discussed for about 100 years now, but unfortunately conclusive proof was never found.
The study looked at the effect of four different blood pressure medications and their effect on headaches. Over 17,000 participants were given the medication, while over 6,600 were given a placebo.
One-third fewer people reported headaches when taking the blood pressure medications than did the people in the placebo group. In fact, about one in 30 found the medication to be of benefit in preventing a headache.
The researchers concluded that the medication did help to prevent headaches, which was likely due to a reduction in blood pressure. However, while they hypothesized this could mean that high blood pressure is a factor in headaches, this particular study could not be conclusive on this finding.
“The uncertainty over whether high blood pressure causes headache does not, however, detract from the practical benefits of the use of blood pressure-lowering drugs in preventing headaches and cardiovascular disease.”
If you are suffering from headaches, you might consider speaking to your doctor to determine if you have high blood pressure. While this study did find a link between blood pressure medications and headaches, it did only help one in 30, which is not enough evidence to turn to this medication in lieu of an aspirin when you get hit with a headache.
We will update you further as more information becomes available on this topic.