Headaches are such a pain. (Get it? *grin)
I probably belong to a huge percentage of the population that suffers from frequent headaches.
Headaches range from disturbing to paralyzing. Discomforting to debilitating. Troublesome to agonizing. You get my drift.
The most common type of headache is called a tension headache, characterized by a mildly constricting sensation around your head, usually as a result of holding your neck tautly. And then there’s migraine. Intense, excruciating. A complete nightmare.
While most people rely on medication to treat headaches and migraines, there are actually a few tricks you can use to alleviate—if not totally eradicate— the pain. Let’s check them out!
1. Get enough sleep
Headaches are often your body’s way of telling you it needs a break. I’ve noticed that the headaches come when I’m sleep-deprived. The more sleep-deprived, the more severe the pain. On the other hand, too much sleep can also trigger headaches. It’s important to get enough sleep—but not too much. Around 7-8 hours per night is just about perfect.
2. Ice compress
A chilled cloth or cold compress against your forehead and eyes offers relief from a headache. Ice compress (i.e. ice wrapped in a wet face towel or cloth) works best for me, however, as it helps completely eliminate my chronic headaches.
You can also try applying a frozen or cold compress over your neck or head area as it reduces inflammation and slows down nerve conduction, which essentially relieves the pain from a headache.
3. Keep hydrated
Here’s the thing. Sometimes, a headache is a sign of dehydration. Make sure you consume enough fluids every day, not just at meal times. Adults should drink around 10-15 cups of water each day. Don’t worry, liquid from tea, milk, fruits, coffee, and vegetables are counted.
If you’re dehydrated, drinking water helps to relieve headache symptoms within 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the severity of the symptoms.
4. Consume a moderate amount of caffeine (not too much, mind you!)
Coffee drinkers rejoice! At the first sign of a headache, try drinking a cup of coffee. The caffeine acts as a mild painkiller in the early stages of a headache. Be careful not to overdo it, though, because you might build up a tolerance for it, and therefore end up immune to its effects. Keep your intake moderately low so you can use it as a quick remedy when you need it.
Drinking beverages that contain caffeine (such as tea) also work! My personal secret? A bottle or can of Coke. Works for me—all the time.
5. Get a massage
Massage is a traditional way to deal with a headache—yet it’s still quite effective! Most people find that the gentle pressure on the temples can ease the pain (at least momentarily). In fact, any type of rubdown can reduce stress and help prevent recurring headaches.
6. Take frequent breaks
Do you experience headaches after hours in front of a computer? It’s probably eyestrain. And it does cause headaches. Take frequent breaks, at least every half an hour or so. Look away from your computer screen, stretch those tight limbs, and release the stiffness from your muscles.
7. Apply acupressure
Apply pressure to your hand, to the point between your thumb and index finger, for some headache pain relief. Massage in a circular motion for at least five minutes. Then switch hands. This works, too!
8. Stay away from anything that’s too flashy, too bright, or that which smells too strong!
This comes from my personal experience. Watching an action movie in 3D in a dark theater or smelling a perfume that’s too strong? Both give me a migraine. These are headache triggers for a lot of other people as well. Do your best to avoid these kinds of err…stimulants.
You’re probably tired of hearing this, but regular physical activity relaxes you. It’s actually one of the simplest ways to lessen frequent headaches. Need I say more?
10. Take Magnesium
Magnesium has been proven an effective treatment for headaches. Interestingly enough, magnesium is a mineral essential for multiple functions in the body, specifically, nerve transmission and blood sugar control.
Frequent headaches plague many people. That’s why it’s important to know how to treat them naturally and effectively.
Do you know of any other uncommon headache remedies? Let me know in the comments below!