What is a headache?
A headache is a pain that starts in the head and often spreads to other parts of the body. The most common type of headache is called “tension-type” because it’s usually caused by stress, muscle contractions, or emotional factors. Other types include:
- Migraine headaches
- Cluster headaches
- Sinus (sinusitis) headaches
- Cough (coughing) headaches
- Neck (neck sprain) related headaches
Thousands of people wake up every morning with a headache and the pain can be so bad that it affects their mood, productivity, and quality of life. But there are many ways to get rid of headaches without relying on medication.
There are many ways to get rid of these pains without relying on medication. Here are 10 remedies for your next headache!
1. Drink or eat:
What works: Drinking or eating something cold like ice cream, ices, frozen fruit bars, popsicles, slush drinks, and lemonade may help relieve a headache because these things lower your body temperature. The pain is caused by the widening of certain blood vessels in the head- which leads to a throbbing sensation. Coldness constricts or shrinks these blood vessels and can help relieve the pain.
What works: When you’re under the weather, taking a walk is often one of the best things you can do to feel better. A 2010 study published in the journal Brain Structure & Function found that aerobic exercise helped decrease migraine frequency by up to 50 percent in people who had three or more migraines per month.
3. The heat:
What works: Taking a long, hot shower, soaking in a warm bath, or putting an ice pack on your forehead may help ease the pain. The warmth stimulates blood vessels in the head and neck, which can lessen some types of headaches.
4. Sleep it off:
What works: When you spend a full night’s sleep (eight to ten hours), your body can repair itself and your mind is allowed uninterrupted time to process the day’s events and to sort out problems, which may help prevent future headaches. But if you suffer from chronic headaches, make sure you do not nap during the day- this can make it worse.
5. Stay away from smells:
What works: Olfactory stimulation, or smelling things, is one of the most common headache triggers, so avoid scented candles or perfumes while you’re having a headache attack. Other odors that may trigger headaches include smoke and other strong fumes. If you can’t avoid these scents, move away from them as much as possible.
6. Skip the bar:
What works: Alcohol is a well-known headache trigger for many people with migraines, so it’s probably best to avoid alcohol when you’re having a bad head day.
7. Listen to your muscles:
What works: Stiffness and tension in the neck and shoulders can trigger a headache, so try to relax your muscles with some gentle rocking or stretching. You might also use a foam roller on problem areas.
8. Change your position:
What works: Changing how you sit or stand may bring relief from a tense neck and shoulder area where a headache may originate. When you have a tension headache, lie down and rest or sleep until the pain is gone.
9. Keep it cool:
What works: When you feel a migraine coming on, try keeping your head cool with an ice pack or cold compress because this may help ward off the full-blown headache. This treatment may also work for other types of headaches, such as tension-type and sinus.
10. Get your caffeine fix:
What works: Coffee is one of the most common headache triggers for people with chronic tension-type headaches, but it can also help relieve a migraine headache if you drink it before a migraine strikes. It’s not clear why caffeine helps relieve migraine pain, but it may interfere with certain chemical processes in the brain that contribute to headache attacks.
All of these headache remedies are low-cost and easy to do. You can use them for both tension headaches or migraines, so pick your favorite remedy and try it out! If you find that one doesn’t work for you, feel free to switch up which one you’re trying next time a headache strikes. With all the different options available, there’s bound to be a solution that will work for everyone. What is your go-to cure when dealing with a headache?