Anyone who has endured the excruciating pain of a severe headache or migraine episode knows how challenging it can be to perform mental tasks like working or driving while your head is pounding.
However, there are other things you can do when you have a headache besides getting into bed and hoping it goes gone. There are additional efficient headache treatments and methods to get relief quickly.
In today’s hectic society, headaches are more frequent for many people. Sometimes they are caused by illnesses, but most of the time, they are just the result of stress, dehydration, a late work night, or simply pushing yourself too hard in spin class.
While there are several ways to cure headaches, including over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen and prescription painkillers, they don’t always get rid of the symptoms.
Despite how alluring it may be, taking more medication than prescribed is not the answer. In truth, some typical (and relatively easy) lifestyle practices can lessen your headache pain without the need for any medication.
Understand the source of your headache
What’s causing or the type of headache may determine the best technique to get rid of it swiftly. The following are some frequent and uncommon headaches kinds and their causes:
The most typical sort of headache is a tension-type headache. Both sides of the head typically experience a dull, pressure-like pain.
Additionally, widespread, about 40 million Americans suffer from migraines. One side of the head typically experiences throbbing pain during a migraine attack, frequently accompanied by other symptoms such as sensitivity to light, touch, smell, or sound, nausea, vomiting, disorientation, or tingling.
You get a hangover, a headache followed by thirst, weariness, or nausea when you drink too much.
Nasal congestion, nasal discharge, a loss of smell, pain, pressure, or a feeling of fullness in the sinuses are frequently present when a sinus infection is the source of a headache.
Migraine attacks frequently masquerade as so-called sinus headaches. According to research published on November 11, 2021, in Current Pain and Headache Reports, COVID-19 can cause headaches with migraine-like symptoms or, more frequently, tension-headache features. A COVID-19 infection may start with a headache, lasting several days or weeks.
Rare, severe cluster headaches often affect one side of the head and can persist anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours if left untreated. They are accompanied by a runny nose and eye tears on the same side of the head as the headache. Most persons experience cluster headaches in a series, or “cluster,” of episodes that last weeks or months, followed by remission intervals of several months or years.
A brain aneurysm is a weak or thin area in a brain artery that has the potential to bulge or rupture and cause a brain hemorrhage.
The symptoms of a brain aneurysm may include dilated pupils, blurred or double vision, discomfort above and behind the eye, weakness, numbness, or difficulty speaking. The pain from a brain aneurysm is frequently referred to as the “worst headache you’ve ever had.” Seek emergency medical attention if you encounter these symptoms.
Consult your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment if headaches interfere with your life and do not respond to the treatments you have tried.
Massages are incredibly soothing while appearing to be a luxury. Headaches can occasionally be brought on by tension in the upper body brought on by muscle strain from bad posture or strenuous exercise.
Massage therapy may be able to lessen headache-causing muscle tension as well as chronic pain. Take the time to learn about different massage techniques (Swedish, deep tissue, shiatsu, etc.) and seek trustworthy recommendations for a local practitioner who can efficiently treat your pain locations.
Practice being calm
Learning to relax when you have a headache might lessen the pain. Relaxation techniques include yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, and stretches. You might discuss physical therapy with your doctor if you have neck muscle spasms.
Aromatherapy studies how particular scents can cause the brain to react in a beneficial and even therapeutic way. Some scents have been said to relieve headaches and reduce their frequency.
These include lavender oil, eucalyptus, and peppermint extract. They are easily accessible online or at several nearby health food stores.
Get some ginger
A tiny recent study showed that consuming ginger in addition to standard over-the-counter painkillers helped migraine sufferers in the emergency room feel less pain. Another discovered it performed nearly as well as over-the-counter migraine medications. You can make some tea or try a supplement.
Breath control drills
I’m breathing, yes. You already do that thing all the time. Although it may sound absurd, daily breathing techniques that help you focus your thoughts and relax your muscles can occasionally assist cure tension-related headaches.
Find a peaceful area with a comfy chair in your house, business, or any place you won’t be interrupted to get started. After then, breathe slowly and rhythmically for five seconds on each side. Your muscle tightness decreases as you unwind.
You can practice progressive relaxation by concentrating on your body’s main muscle groups. Work your way up from the ground up.
Take up the “headache diet”
Despite being delicious, some foods have a reputation for causing headaches. Consider maintaining a “headache diary” of the meals and liquids you take regularly or especially when you have headaches.
If you know what causes your headaches, try to avoid that particular trigger for a while. Foods that may be problematic include: Foods and drinks with caffeine. Chocolate, coffee, cola, and tea are a few examples.
Food products containing monosodium glutamate. MSG is a preservative that has historically been utilized in several Asian cuisines. Foods like quick ramen noodles contain it as well.
Foods that contain nitrate. Most common meats, including pepperoni, sausage, lunch meat, and hot dogs, can give people headaches.
Foods containing tyramine. Tyramine is a substance created when the amino acid tyrosine breaks down, and it can be found in meals like pizza and aged cheeses.