This content requires Adobe Flash Player version
Either you do not have Adobe Flash Player installed,
or your version is too old,
or there is a problem with your Flash installation and we were unable to detect it.
‘The Head Ache’ Etching with watercolour G Cruikshank after Captain F Marryat, 1835 869i Wellcome Library
In many cultures, headaches have been attributed to the presence of evil spirits or humours, with treat- ments designed to help these troublesome interfer- ences escape from the body.
RIGHT: Removing the bone after trephination Woodcut from Feldtbuch der Wundartzney, 1530 Hans von Gersdorff RRd0181 / b10326492 Wellcome Library
Trephination or trepanation (see p. 154) is one of many approaches that have been used to relieve the pressure and tension of headache pain. Other remedies include blistering, bloodletting and electric shocks administered by laying an electric torpedo fish across the brow.