4 ways to relieve a headache

4 ways to relieve a headache
4 ways to relieve a headache

When you have a headache, you might feel like there is a tight band around your head that is squeezing your temples harder and harder. You may also experience pain in your scalp and neck. Even though migraines are among the most common types of headaches, its causes are still not fully understood. Experts believe these could be triggered in response to stress, depression, anxiety, or injury. With the right treatment, you should be able to relieve it quickly.


Method 1 of 4: Use medication or professional treatment

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Step 1. Take non-prescription drugs

You can take paracetamol, ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin. Never take more than the dosage recommended on the box and use the smallest dose that can relieve your headache.

  • Keep in mind that the combination of over-the-counter headache medications and caffeine can damage your liver if you take large doses or over a longer period of time, especially if you also take it. alcohol or if you already have liver problems.
  • Talk to your doctor if you take migraine medication more than once a week and if you continue to have migraines.
  • Do not take migraine medication too often over a period of a week, and do not take it for longer than 7-10 days without consulting your doctor. Overuse of pain relievers may cause your headaches to return. Using them over a prolonged period can make you dependent on them and cause headaches if you stop taking them.
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Step 2. Ask your doctor if you can take prescription drugs

If your migraine doesn't go away, either through taking medication or changing your lifestyle, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications. This could include naproxen, indomethacin, or piroxicam.

  • These drugs could cause side effects like bleeding or stomach pain and increase your risk of heart disease. Your doctor may tell you about side effects or complications before prescribing these medications.
  • If you suffer from chronic headaches or migraines, your doctor may prescribe a triptan for pain relief. Opiates and narcotics are rarely prescribed because of their side effects and the risk of addiction they involve.
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Step 3. Try acupuncture

Acupuncture is a technique that involves inserting very fine needles at specific points on the body. These needles are then stimulated by hand or with electricity. This helps increase blood flow to the areas around the needles and release tension or stress. Studies suggest that acupuncture may be helpful in relieving chronic migraines.

  • Acupuncture causes very little pain or discomfort and should only be performed by a certified acupuncturist. When done correctly, acupuncture has been shown to have results in relieving migraines.
  • Dry-needling is another type of treatment that involves acupuncture needles. However, this method is not based on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine like acupuncture is. It involves inserting needles into points that trigger stimulation of the muscles to relax them and decrease the tension caused by the headaches. It can be performed by trained specialists, such as physiotherapists, masseurs and doctors.
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Step 4. Consult a chiropractor

Studies suggest that a spine massage performed for a licensed chiropractor can help treat the tension caused by headaches, especially if they are chronic.

You will find on the Internet a list of chiropractors available in your area. Never consult an uncertified or untrained chiropractor in these techniques

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Step 5. Ask your doctor for advice on massage therapy

A medical massage is a little different from a massage that you may receive to relax you. Targeted neck and shoulder massages have been shown to be effective in treating headaches and reducing their occurrence. Ask your doctor for advice to recommend a specialist.

  • Your insurance company may not reimburse this type of massage. However, there is a better chance that she will do this if you have a prescription from your doctor. Talk to a representative of your insurance company to find out if this option could be reimbursed to you.
  • You can find licensed and certified masseurs on the Internet, and your insurance company may also recommend one that is covered for care.
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Step 6. Have your eyes examined

Eye strain is one of the most common causes of headaches. If you have frequent migraines (two or more per week), make an appointment with your eye doctor. Vision problems could be contributing to your headaches.

If you wear glasses or contact lenses, consider contacting your eye doctor to have you checked. Your vision may have changed and if your glasses are no longer what you need, you may put strain on your eyes

Method 2 of 4: Use home remedies

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Step 1. Rest in a dark, quiet room

Stress is one of the causes of the onset of headaches. Once you have migraines, you may become more sensitive to light or noise. To prevent these symptoms from appearing, sit or lie down in a room with dim light. Close your eyes and try to relax your back, neck and shoulders.

  • Turn off all sources of noise such as the television, computer or telephone.
  • You can also close your eyes and lay over the palms of your hands. Apply light pressure for 2 minutes. This should help you stop optic nerve stimulation and help you relax.
  • You can also try doing neck exercises in a dark, quiet room. Put your palm on your forehead. Use your neck muscles by gently pressing down on your forehead with the palm of your hand. Make sure you keep your head straight as you press your forehead.
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Step 2. Do a deep relaxation exercise

Deep relaxation exercises can help you relax and reduce the stress in your body, including your head. Breathe slowly and evenly, then try to relax.

  • Close your eyes and take several deep breaths.
  • Breathe out slowly, relaxing the parts of your body that feel tense. Imagine a pretty landscape, for example a sandy beach, a sunny garden or a country road.
  • Lean your chin towards your torso. Slowly turn your head to one side, then the other.
  • Take another deep breath and slowly breathe out. Continue to imagine the landscape you have chosen.
  • Repeat this exercise until you are completely relaxed.
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Step 3. Apply a hot or cold compress to your head

Hot and cold can help relieve pain and muscle tension in your neck and head.

  • Apply a warm damp towel to your neck or forehead. You can also take a long, hot shower, making sure to run the hot water over your head and down the back of your neck.
  • Wrap an ice pack in a towel and place it on the back of your neck or on your forehead.
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Step 4. Apply peppermint essential oil to your temples, forehead, and the back of your jaw

Peppermint essential oil can have a calming effect and can relieve any discomfort or pain.

  • Once you have massaged a few drops of essential oil, you should feel a cooling sensation in this area. Take a deep breath and find a quiet place where you can sit or lie down.
  • If you have sensitive skin, dilute peppermint essential oil in a drop or two of olive oil or water before applying.
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Step 5. Hydrate yourself with water or tea

As soon as you feel tension in your head, drink several glasses of water. You can also prepare some herbal tea to put your mind in a relaxed state. Dehydration could cause your headaches.

Avoid consuming caffeine or alcohol, as these can make you even more dehydrated

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Step 6. Massage your face, head and hands

Give yourself a targeted upper body massage. Use your fingertips to rub your neck and temples. Then gently massage the area below your eyes.

  • Gently move your scalp back and forth using your fingertips. Do not move it more than one centimeter.
  • You can also run your fingertips along the inside of your fingers and rub your palms together.
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Step 7. Try acupressure massage for headache relief

It is a simple acupressure technique that you can do yourself at home.

  • Place your thumbs near the base of your skull.
  • Find the depressions on either side where your skull attaches to your neck. They are found on the outer side of the thick muscle that runs through the middle of your head about an inch from the center of your head.
  • Using your thumbs, press down directing the pressure upward until you feel a slight pressure on your head.
  • Continue to press slowly with your thumbs and in small circles for one to two minutes.

Method 3 of 4: Change your lifestyle

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Step 1. Exercise regularly

Physical activity can help relieve stress or tension in your body and produces endorphins in your brain that help you fight pain.

Walk, bike, or run for 30 minutes at least three times a week. Be consistent in your exercise routine

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Step 2. Use the mountain pose to improve your posture

Good posture can help prevent tension from building up in your muscles. It can also help relieve the tension in your head. Certain yoga poses like the mountain pose can help you improve your posture and help you relax.

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Roll your shoulders back and put your hands to the sides.
  • Pull your abdomen and pull your tailbone towards the floor.
  • Tuck your chin towards your chest. Try to hold this pose for at least 5-10 breaths.
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Step 3. Use the ascending stick pose

This is another great yoga pose that helps you improve your posture and train you to breathe deeply.

  • Sit with your legs straight in front of you.
  • Bend your toes forward.
  • Roll your shoulders back and put your hands on the floor next to you.
  • Inflate your abdomen and pull the tailbone towards the ground. Lean your chin towards your torso. Try to hold this posture for 5-10 breaths.
  • You can also bend your legs if you don't feel comfortable keeping your legs straight.
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Step 4. Avoid foods that contain MSG or caffeine

MSG or monosodium glutamate is a flavor enhancer that is often found in Chinese cuisine. Some people respond to MSG by developing headaches, but there is no scientifically proven link between MSG and headaches. There are other foods that can cause headaches.

  • Chocolate
  • Cheese
  • Foods that contain the amino acid tyramine, for example in red wine, aged cheese, smoked fish, chicken liver, figs and some beans
  • Nuts
  • Peanut butter
  • Certain fruits such as avocados, bananas, and citrus fruits
  • Onions
  • Dairy products
  • Meats that contain nitrates like bacon, hotdogs, salami, and cured meats
  • Fermented or pickled foods
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Step 5. Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night

Regular sleep helps you ensure that your brain and body are free from anxiety or stress, two major causes of headaches.

Method 4 of 4: Avoid headaches

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Step 1. Keep a journal of your headaches

This can help you identify the source of your headaches and adjust your environment and habits accordingly to avoid them.

When you start to have a headache. Write the date and time when this happens. Also write down what you ate or drank in the hours before the headache. Also write down how long the headache lasted and what method you used to stop it

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Step 2. Practice relaxation and stress management techniques every day

You could do yoga exercises in the morning, 15 to 20 minutes of meditation or deep breathing before bed.

Exercise at least three times a week to control your anxiety and stress

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Step 3. Maintain a healthier lifestyle

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco. Get at least 8 hours of sleep a night and take care of yourself by avoiding stress both at home and at work.

  • Eat balanced meals that do not contain MSGs or other foods that cause headaches.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
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Step 4. If you have chronic migraine, talk to your doctor about preventative medications

Your doctor will examine you to make sure your migraines are just migraines and not a symptom of a more serious illness. If your headaches continue despite the pain relievers or therapies you are taking, your doctor may prescribe one of the following preventative medications.

  • Tricyclic antidepressants. These are the most widely used drugs to prevent headaches. The side effects caused by these drugs are weight gain, drowsiness and dry mouth.
  • Anticonvulsants and muscle relaxants such as topiramate. However, more studies need to be done to determine the effectiveness of anticonvulsants and relaxants for headaches.
  • Keep in mind that preventative medications can take several weeks to build up in the body and take effect. You should be patient and continue to take the prescribed dosage even if you notice improvements as soon as you start taking the medicine.
  • Your doctor will monitor your treatment to see if it is working for you.


If you work at the computer all day, try taking 10-minute breaks every hour. Get up and walk around the office for a bit, pour yourself a cup of tea, or have a quick chat with a coworker. You might also find a darker, quieter area where you can lie down for 10 minutes to rest your eyes and prevent headaches


  • If you suffer from painful and frequent migraines, you should see a doctor as soon as possible, especially if these migraines wake you up during the night or if they appear as soon as you wake up.
  • If the migraine is sudden, painful, and accompanied by vomiting, confusion, drowsiness, fatigue, or changes in your vision, go to the emergency room.

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