How to make headaches go away quickly and naturally, prevent the causes of migraines and reduce the bad habits that cause them.
For many people in this fast-paced world, headaches have become more and more common. Sometimes it's caused by health problems of some sort, but often it's simply the result of stress, dehydration, lack of sleep, or excessive physical exertion.
Although there are many medications to reduce headaches, both over-the-counter and available by prescription (for example, ibuprofen), they are not always able to make the headache go away and are certainly not the healthiest solution.
In fact, it is possible to act on the root of many types of headaches by acting on lifestyle habits, or reduce and alleviate their symptoms through natural remedies, without the need to take any medication.
How to get rid of a headache in 9 steps
1. Therapeutic massages
Yes, massages are not only enjoyable but also incredibly therapeutic. Sometimes headaches are the result of tension built up in the upper body due to muscle tension due to poor posture or an intense training routine.
A good massage may be able to reduce chronic pain and relieve muscle tension that is causing the headache.
Take the time to evaluate the different types of massage (Swedish, deep tissue, shiatsu, etc.) and find a trusted professional near you who can effectively address and resolve the causes of your pain.
2. Hot/cold applications
For muscle tension headaches, hot and/or cold compresses can offer quick relief.
For the cold part, put ice in a plastic bag covered with a fine cloth so as not to damage the skin. Place the ice pack on the forehead and/or the back of the neck, basically where the greatest source of pain is.
Just be sure to limit cold pack applications to no more than 10 minutes at a time.
For the hot part, you can use a hot water bottle (not too hot) or make a DIY wrap out of uncooked rice.
- Bring a small pillowcase or cloth bag.
- Fill it about two-thirds full with uncooked rice.
- Sew or tie the open end
When needed, microwave the rice for one minute. Apply to the back of the neck or forehead for warm relief.
Aromatherapy is the study of how certain scents can trigger positive and even therapeutic responses in the brain.
Some scents have been shown to relieve and reduce the incidence of headaches. These include peppermint extract, eucalyptus, and lavender oil. They are readily available at many local health food stores or online.
Acupuncture involves the application of fine, pointed needles to key areas of the body as a means of promoting energy flow. It is believed to stimulate the body's natural pain-relieving compounds, and according to the National Institutes of Health trusted source, it has been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of headaches.
5. Breathing exercises
Yes, breathe... You know, that thing you already do all the time! It may sound silly, but tension-related headaches can sometimes be relieved with regular breathing exercises that help oxygenate the mind and relieve stress.
Start by finding a quiet spot with a comfortable chair in your home, office, or other place where you won't be disturbed. Then take slow, rhythmic breaths, breathing in for five seconds, then breathing out for five seconds. Meanwhile, try to relax all the muscles in your body.
You can also try a progressive relaxation technique by focusing on each major muscle group in your body. Start at your toes and work your way up.
Dehydration is one of the main causes of headaches, but it can be easily avoided. Drinking a good glass of water can help just as much as a drink containing electrolytes like Pedialyte, Gatorade, or Powerade.
But just as there are drinks that can reduce the headache, there are others that can trigger it.
Drinking too much coffee or too many caffeinated sodas can cause headaches. So if you normally start your day with a double latte, you can switch to a barley or decaf latte.
Drinking alcohol, and especially red wine, can also cause dehydration and trigger headaches.
We hear a lot about health problems caused by lack of sleep, and not getting enough sleep at night can lead to chronic headaches. But between knowing you need more sleep and actually getting it, there's all the frenzy and distraction of the modern world.
There are several ways to improve the quantity and quality of your sleep, including the following.
Commit to a sleep routine. Go to bed and wake up at regular times. Going to bed 15 minutes earlier or waking up 15 minutes later can be a jump in the right direction.
Avoid stimulants in the last few hours before bed. Stimulants like alcohol, sugar, nicotine, and caffeine can prevent you from sleeping and keep you awake at night with trips to the bathroom. Give your body time to relax before your head hits the pillow.
Choose a relaxing activity before bed. Turn off the TV or computer and treat yourself to a good book or a hot bath. It may seem old-fashioned, but a little relaxation goes a long way!
8. Adopt an "anti-headache" diet
Some foods, while delicious, are known to help cause headaches. Try keeping a "headache diary" of the foods and drinks you consume daily or specifically when you have a headache.
If you identify a particular trigger, avoid it for a while and see if the headache goes away. Possible problem foods include:
Foods and drinks that contain caffeine. This includes chocolate, coffee, cola and tea.
Foods that contain monosodium glutamate. Monosodium glutamate is used as a preservative and has traditionally been used in some Asian cuisines. It is also found in foods such as instant ramen noodles.
Foods that contain nitrates. Most simple meats, like hot dogs, sausage, and pepperoni, can cause headaches.
Foods that contain tyramine. Tyramine is a compound produced by the breakdown of an amino acid called tyrosine and is found in foods such as pizza and aged cheeses.
9. Drink relaxing herbal teas
The warmth and comfort of a steaming cup of herbal tea make it a great way to unwind in the evening. These same calming qualities may have pain-relieving effects. Because herbs can interact with medical conditions and medications, it is important to consult with a physician before taking these herbal teas.
10. Relieves pressure on the scalp or head
If your ponytail is too tight, it could be the cause of your headache. These “external compression headaches” can also be caused by wearing a too-tight cap, headband, or even swimming goggles.
11. Dim the lights
Bright or flickering light, even from a computer screen, can cause migraines. If you're prone to migraines due to too much light, cover your windows with blackout curtains during the day. Wear sunglasses outdoors. You can also add anti-glare screens to your computer and use daylight spectrum fluorescent bulbs in your lighting fixtures.
12. Avoid chewing
Chewing gum can damage not only the jaw but also the head. The same goes for biting nails, lips, the inside of the cheeks, or objects like pens. Avoid crunchy and sticky foods and be sure to eat small bites. If you grind your teeth at night, ask your dentist for a mouthguard. This can make the morning headache go away.
13. Eat some ginger
A recent study found that taking ginger, in addition to regular over-the-counter pain relievers, relieved pain for people in the emergency room with migraines. Another study found that it works almost as well as prescription migraine medications. You can try a supplement or make some tea.
14. Use medications sparingly
Pharmacy shelves are stocked with pain relievers for all kinds of headaches. To get the most benefit with the least risk, follow the label directions and these guidelines:
- Choose liquid pain relievers, your body absorbs them faster.
- Avoid ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) if you have heart or kidney failure.
- Do not give aspirin to a child under 18 years of age.
- Take pain medicine as soon as your head starts to hurt. You will probably beat it with a smaller dose than if you waited a while.
- If you feel nauseous when you have a headache, ask your doctor what might help you and read our guide on how to get rid of nausea.
- Ask your doctor what you should take to avoid a rebound headache, which is pain that comes on after a few days of taking pain medicine.
And be sure to talk to your doctor if you have chronic or very frequent headaches.
15. When to call the doctor
Seek immediate medical attention for:
- A headache after a head injury
- A headache along with dizziness, speech problems, confusion, or other neurological symptoms
- A severe headache that comes on suddenly.
- A headache that gets worse even after taking pain relievers
We hope we have been of help, if you know other tricks to get rid of the headache, do not hesitate to write them in the comments below. For any questions or clarification, do not hesitate to ask us what you want ?
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