Headaches are common and may affect concentration when anyone gets afflicted by them. Many people depend on over-the-counter painkillers to relieve the pain, but several natural remedies can help get rid of a headache.
Here’s what you should know about headaches and their natural remedies.
What’s a Headache?
A headache is a pain in the face or head. There are different types and causes of headaches, including the following:
A. Tension headaches
The symptoms of tension headaches are dullness, aching, and tautness across the forehead. It’s often caused by stress.
B. Migraine Headaches
An intense throbbing often accompanies migraine headaches in one part of the head. It can result from strong stimuli, such as bright lights and harsh smells in your environment. Stress is also a common cause of migraine headaches.
C. Sinus headaches
It often manifests as the pressure around your cheeks, forehead and eyes. Sinus headaches result from nasal or sinus congestion. They can also be a sign of sinus infection.
Regardless of the reason your head aches, the following are simple natural remedies to relieve you quickly. Please note that you should seek urgent medical attention if headache persists.
Remedies You Can Use
1. Use Cold or Hot Compresses
Cold compresses can provide immediate relief for headaches with radiating pain (like migraine headaches) that starts at a point and spreads to another. The method is effective because cold temperatures have a numbing effect, which dulls the pain.
Also, they help relieve migraines by constricting the blood vessels. You can easily make your cold compress by wrapping an ice pack with a towel and placing it on the affected area for about 15 minutes.
On the other hand, heat is a better option to ease tension headaches, which often result from stress. Relaxing the shoulder muscles and stiff neck is an effective way to relieve this type of headache.
Draping heat packs or a hot towel around the neck and shoulder muscles can help relax the muscles. For sinus headaches, placing a warm cloth on the area that hurts provides relief. A warm bath might also do the trick.
Acupressure is the act of applying physical pressure to specific parts (acupoints) of the body for a minute or two at a time.
It is most helpful when applied to the rear of the neck or the base of the skull. It helps to ease tension headaches by relaxing the tension in the stabilizer muscles located in the neck.
3. Stay hydrated
Dehydration is often an underlying cause of several headaches. It can also alter how a person feels, thinks, or acts. Staying hydrated helps to prevent or reduce the severity of headaches.
Besides, a study by the American Migraine Foundation revealed that alcohol could be a migraine trigger. Alcoholic beverages also have a dehydrating property, which can cause a headache the next day. Taking too much caffeine may also cause dehydration.
Therefore, taking more water and less dehydrating beverages, such as coffee or alcohol, can also prevent headaches.
Taking a beverage such as tea, coffee, or soda, that has a little caffeine may relieve a headache. Also, caffeine improves the effectiveness of some over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen.
A published review by the Journal of Headache and Pain reveals that caffeine may help relieve migraine symptoms or a tension headache. Caffeine relaxes the blood vessels, improve blood circulation and ease tension.
However, you must take precautions not to consume too much because caffeine withdrawal has a type of headache associated with it.
Headaches often result from too much sleep, inadequate sleep, or not sleeping soundly. Such headaches occur when the body does not get enough rest and can be relieved with proper rest. If it’s because of excess sleep, cut down on your sleep time and engage in more relaxing activities.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicinal practice that involves placing small needles into specific parts of the body (acupoints). Acupuncture aims to stimulate the body’s energy.
Research reveals that acupuncture is an effective way to prevent tension headaches and migraines or reduce their frequency.
7. Apply Relaxation Techniques
Research shows that relaxation training and practices help to relieve headache symptoms. It also reduces stress and anxiety and boosts motivation and productivity.
Relaxation techniques include yoga, guided meditations, deep-belly breathing, and progressive muscle relaxations. If you have muscle spasms in the neck, consult your doctor about physical therapy.
8. Avoid Exposure to Bright Lights
Flickering or bright light from office, mobile devices, or computer screen may trigger migraine headaches. You can avoid or manage that by covering your windows with blackout curtains during the day or wearing sunglasses outdoors.
You can also replace your office light fixtures with daylight-spectrum fluorescent bulbs and add anti-glare screens to your computer. Wearing anti-glare glasses is also a good alternative.
9. Mineral and Coconut Water
Coconut water and mineral water are natural remedies for dehydration and are very useful to relieve dehydration-induced headaches.
Also, coconut and mineral water are natural rich in electrolytes. They do not contain sugar or artificial sweeteners found in some commercial electrolyte beverages.
10. Magnesium diet
A 2015 study reveals that people who often experience migraines or cluster headaches are more likely to have low magnesium levels. Therefore, adding magnesium to your diet or taking it as a supplement may help prevent migraines with aura.
Taking foods like almonds, cashews, oatmeal, eggs, sesame seeds, milk, brazil nuts, and so on, will provide your body with the needed amount of magnesium required to fight off migraines.
There are several natural remedies available for eliminating headaches without using medication. Some of them work better with a particular type of headache, while others are generic.
However, some headaches may still linger even after applying several natural remedies, and taking over-the-counter drugs may bring relief.
It is crucial to pay attention to a persistent headache. It may be a symptom of an underlying issue. In that case, consult a doctor to find and resolve the problem.
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