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Headaches are a commonly occurring form of pain that many people deal with. Headaches can range from being moderately uncomfortable to severe and unbearable. There are several types of headaches including tension, cluster, migraine, sinus, and more.
While medications and painkillers are available to treat headaches and their symptoms, people can use natural remedies for headaches to get immediate relief.
Types of headache
headache is characterized by a constant and dull sensation of pain that occurs all over the head. Other symptoms include sensitivity or tenderness in the scalp, neck, face, and head.
Cluster headache causes a piercing sensation of pain and a burning sensation. The area affected includes one side of the face or behind either of the eyes. The impacts include sweating, flushing, redness, and swelling. It may also include watery eyes and nasal congestion.
Migraine headaches are throbbing and intense pain that arises on one side of the head. The common symptoms include vomiting, nausea, and heightened sensitivity to smell, sound, and light.
A person consuming more than four cups or 400 mg of coffee in the day may face a dull headache. Even those withdrawing from overconsumption of coffee may face migraine-like symptoms. Accompanying symptoms include difficulty concentrating and irritability.
Fluctuating hormones in women specifically due to birth control pills, menstruation, and pregnancy can cause a headache. The symptoms include vomiting, nausea, and sensitivity to sound, light, or both.
Head injury may be followed by tension and migraine headaches that become chronic. This type of headache is difficult to diagnose as it may arise months after the original injury.
Tips to get rid of a headache
Use a Cold Compress or Cold Pack
Apply an ice pack, a bag of frozen veggies, ice, or any cold item wrapped in a small towel on the forehead for headache immediate relief. A cold shower can also temporarily relieve a migraine headache
Try a Heating Pad or Hot Compress
A tension headache causes tight muscles; a warm compress can heal such headaches. Placing a heating pad or a heated towel on the neck or at the back of the head can help the tight muscles relax. A warm water shower is also an effective tension headache remedy.
Dim the Lights
Migraine headaches can be triggered by bright lights. Even the lights from devices like TV, laptops, and phones can worsen headache symptoms. Therefore, dim the lights while recovering from a headache. During the day, people suffering from headaches can cover the windows or put blackout curtains.
Ease Pressure on the Head
External compression headaches are caused due to tight hairstyles like a tight ponytail or a bun. Tight swimming goggles, a hat, or a headband worn for a longer duration can also cause headaches.
A habit of chewing a piece of gum, fingernail, inside of cheeks, lips, or any handy objects like paper, pen, or toothpick can accelerate headache. During a headache episode, avoid sticky and crunchy foods.
Drink plenty of liquids
Dehydration causes headaches and can also increase their severity Therefore, drinking water is among the best natural remedies for headaches. Additionally, consume lots of liquids or foods that contain liquids such as fruits, salads, soups, juices, or smoothies.
Consume Beverages with Caffeine
Consuming beverages with caffeine content such as soda, tea, and coffee can alleviate headaches. As caffeine relaxes the blood vessels and assists in better blood circulation, it can ease the symptoms of migraine or tension headaches.
Indulge in Self-Massage
A few minutes of gentle self-massage can provide headache immediate relief. Massaging pressure points may relieve tension and reduce headaches. Applying gentle pressures while massaging the forehead, temples, bridge of the nose, base of the eyebrows, and back of the neck can provide quick relief from headaches.
Take Some Ginger
Ginger is a natural remedy for headaches and works well, especially for migraine headaches. Fresh ginger can be brewed with tea leaves and consumed as green tea. Powdered ginger mixed with hot water also makes a rejuvenating drink that can ease headaches.
Aromatherapy remains one of the most sought-after headache remedies. Essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, rosemary, and chamomile relax the nerves and relieve headache symptoms.
Acupuncture stimulates the body’s natural pain-relieving compounds and therefore it is among the key headache remedies. Acupuncture doesn’t only reduce the severity of headaches but also brings down their frequency.
Slow deep breathing ensures headache immediate relief as it reduces stress. People can simply inhale and exhale slowly for mitigating headaches. To start with, one must count slowly to five while inhaling and again count five slowly while exhaling.
Sleeping is one of the most effective headache remedies, especially for tension headaches.
Adopt a ‘Headache Diet’
A headache diet comprises foods rich in magnesium like dark leafy green veggies, tuna, and avocado. These foods are best to deal with cluster headaches. The Omega-3 fatty acid content in seeds, legumes, and fish like mackerel and salmon also helps people with migraines.
Vitamins and Minerals
Consumption of vitamin B2, vitamin E, vitamin D, magnesium, melatonin, and coenzyme Q10 ensures headache immediate relief. Those who suffer from regular headaches can switch to dietary supplements enriched with these vitamins and minerals.
Use Meds in Moderation
- Headache remedies in the form of medications should be used only in moderation and by adhering to labels on the over-the-counter (OTC).
- Medicines in liquid form are better than tablets as they allow faster absorption.
- Aspirin for headaches should not be used for children under 18.
- Kidney or heart failure patients should not take ibuprofen or similar nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- Painkillers should be taken in smaller doses at the start of the headache.
Signs to Visit a Doctor
- Medical care is advised when the headache starts affecting daily activity level, working efficiency, and sleep cycle.
- When OTC headache remedies fail to improve the condition.
- The pain is sudden and the trigger is not identifiable.
- The headache is accompanied by neurological symptoms of speech problems, confusion, or dizziness.
- If the pain is followed by any form of head injury.