Updated 27 May 2014

Interesting headache facts

Most of us get headaches at one time or another - and they're not pleasant. How many of these facts did you know?

Most of us get these at one time or another. They could be stress-related, diet-related or hangover-related. Whatever the cause, headaches are a real pain and not only in the neck. How many of the following facts did you know?

Rebound headaches. One can get a headache from taking too many headache medications too often. This is called a rebound headache. It will not go away until the person stops taking the headache medication entirely. Overdosing on painkillers can damage your liver or your kidneys.

Headaches mostly harmless. While most headaches are uncomfortable and sometimes disabling, they are mostly not dangerous. Most of them can be cured by over-the-counter headache medications and by lying down in a quiet dark room for a while.

Headaches in ancient times. The ancient Greeks and Romans used peppermint tea to treat their headaches. But that wasn't the only thing they used – they also drank infusions made from camomile, rosemary and lavender. They also applied raw potato, cabbage and onion to the head in an effort to relieve headache.

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Headache expert

Dr Elliot Shevel is a South African migraine surgery pioneer and the founder and medical director of The Headache Clinic in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, South Africa. The Headache Clinic is a multidisciplinary practice dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of Primary Headaches and Migraines. Dr Shevel is also the main author of all scientific publications generated by his team. He recently won a high level science debate in which he was able to prove that the current migraine diagnosis and classification is not based on data. Tertiary Education - Dr Shevel holds both Dental and Medical degrees, and practises as a specialist Maxillo-facial and Oral Surgeon. Follow the Headache Clinic on Twitter@HeadacheClinic.

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