The long history of headaches and their relief could doubtless fill many volumes. Although at the forefront of medicine in many ways (at least for the tenth century) Ali ibn Isa al-Kahhal seemed to have run out of practical solutions when he suggested lashing a mole to your head (then again have you tried it?). Hildegard of Bingen might suggest a need for more viriditas or 'greening' in your life, for "green is useful and mellow" as we know.
But sometimes there was only the suffering. Medieval Scots poet William Dunbar captures that pain well in his short poem:
A few years ago, I attempted a really foolish thing. While trying to coax my cat from the top of our roof; standing on a rickety wooden ladder; barefooted; saucer of milk in my right hand and reaching for the cat with my left … I took a serious fall. I had the cat in one hand and not wanting to crush my kitty, managed to twist my body so that I would not land on her or hit my head on the saltillo tile in our atrium. In doing this magnificent feat I landed hard on my right side, twisting my right leg, ankle and foot. I could feel nothing for the first couple of hours and then the pain came!!!! I couldn’t tell if I had broken anything or not.
Surprisingly I broke nothing, but I was told I would be on crutches for weeks and be badly bruised and swollen. After returning home from the hospital, I had remembered that my Grandmother had a “magic” cream for twisted limbs and bruises, Arnica.