In today’s fast-paced world, headaches have become a more common occurrence for many people. Medical concerns can cause them, but stress, dehydration, a late work night, or simply overdoing it in spin class are more common causes. While headache therapies such as over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen, as well as prescription headache drugs, are available, they don’t always relieve the symptoms. And, as tempting as it may be, exceeding the recommended dosage is not the answer. In fact, a number of common (and quite simple) lifestyle changes can help relieve headache pain without the need for medicine.
Massages may appear to be costly, yet they are incredibly beneficial. Tension in the upper body as a result of muscle strain produced by improper posture or a vigorous training routine can create headaches. By lowering muscle tension, massage therapy may assist to ease chronic pain and headaches. Learn about different message types (Swedish, deep tissue, shiatsu, and so on) and obtain recommendations for a local practitioner who can effectively target your individual problem areas.
Aromatherapy is the study of how specific fragrances can trigger positive, even therapeutic, brain responses. Certain smells have been reported to relieve and reduce headaches. Among them are peppermint extract, eucalyptus oil, and lavender oil. They’re available at a variety of local health food stores and on the internet.
Acupuncture is a technique that includes inserting small, sharp needles into specific points on the body to promote energy flow. It’s supposed to boost the body’s natural pain-relieving molecules, and it’s been demonstrated to lower headache frequency and severity, according to the National Institutes of HealthTrusted Source.
Muscle tension headaches can be relieved by hot and cold compresses. Put the ice in a plastic bag and cover it with a thin towel to avoid it from harming your skin. Apply the ice pack to your forehead and/or cheeks, or wherever you’re experiencing the most discomfort. Just don’t leave the cold pack on for more than 10 minutes at a time. You may buy a heat pack at most drugstores or make your own by filling the hot portion with uncooked rice. Fill a small pillowcase or piece of fabric two-thirds filled with uncooked rice. Using a stitch or a tie, close the open end. When needed, microwave the rice for one minute. Apply on the back of your neck or the top of your head for hot comfort.
To be more specific, breathing. You know, the things you already do on a regular basis! Although it may seem silly, daily breathing exercises that help you concentrate your thoughts and relax your muscles might help cure tension headaches. Begin by finding a peaceful spot with a comfortable chair in your home, office, or another non-distracting environment. After then, take five seconds to inhale and five seconds to exhale in a calm, rhythmic manner. As you relax, the tension in your muscles reduces. As part of a progressive relaxation strategy, you can also try focusing on each major muscle group in your body. Start from the bottom and work your way to the top.
A headache can be caused by dehydration, but it is readily avoidable. Pedialyte, Gatorade, or Powerade are electrolyte-containing beverages that can help just as much as a glass of water. There are, however, drinks that can help you avoid headaches as well as drinks that can make them worse. Drinking too much coffee or caffeine-containing soft drinks might trigger headaches. If you’re used to starting your day with a Starbucks quad latte, try a half-caffeinated, half-decaffeinated blend. Dehydration from alcohol, particularly red wine, can lead to headaches.
We hear a lot about the health problems that lack of sleep may bring, and not receiving the recommended amount of sleep can lead to chronic headaches. However, knowing that you require more sleep and actually obtaining it are two different things. You may increase the quantity and quality of your sleep in a number of ways, including the ones listed below. Make a sleep schedule for yourself. Make a habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Even if you only go to bed 15 minutes earlier or sleep 15 minutes later, this can be a positive move. In the hours leading up to bedtime, stay away from stimulants. Stimulants such as alcohol, sweets, nicotine, and caffeine might prevent you from sleeping and keep you awake at night. Allow your body to relax before you lay your head on the pillow. Before going to bed, do something soothing. Turn off the TV or internet and indulge in a nice book or a relaxing bath. It may sound quaint, but a little rest and relaxation may go a long way!
Follow a “headache diet.”
While some foods are delightful, they have been linked to headaches. Keeping a “headache journal” of the meals and drinks you consume on a daily basis or when you get a headache is a good idea. If you find a trigger, try avoiding it for a while to see if your headaches go away. Foods that could be problematic include:
Foods and beverages that contain caffeine. Chocolate, coffee, cola, and tea are just a few examples.
Foods containing monosodium glutamate. MSG is a preservative that has been used in Asian cookery for centuries. Foods like quick ramen noodles contain it as well.
Foods are high in nitrates. Hot dogs, lunch meat, sausage, and pepperoni are all examples of basic meats that can produce headaches.
Foods are high in tyramine. Tyramine is a compound formed when an amino acid called tyrosine is broken down, and it can be found in meals like pizza and aged cheeses.