Headaches happen. The good news is there are several simple things you can do to ease the pain without having to reach for aspirin or ibuprofen. When you suffer from a headache try these tips and get to feeling better fast.
Causes of Headaches
Headaches can be a symptom of all kinds of conditions, from allergies to migraines. Some common headache causes include:
Migraines: While medical science doesn’t know for sure what causes migraines, a number of things that may trigger their onset including certain foods, hormones, stress, and sunlight.
Allergies: Food allergies can trigger migraines. They can also cause sinus headaches due to congestion, as well as painful cluster headaches according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
Stress: Not only can stress trigger migraines, but being stressed out can cause tight muscles. These muscles may squeeze nerves leading to the head, causing a headache. Stress also releases stress hormones such as cortisol, which can unbalance hormone levels in the body leading to headaches.
Go Hot and Cold
If you have a migraine, place a cold pack on your forehead. Ice cubes wrapped in a towel, a bag of frozen peas, or even a cold shower should lessen the pain. Keep the compress on your head for 15 minutes, then take a break for 15 minutes.
If you have a tension headache, place a heating pad on your neck or the back of your head. If you have a sinus headache, hold a warm cloth to the area that hurts. A warm shower might also do the trick.
Tips for to Avoid Headaches
The food we eat may be a cause for our headaches. Try adjusting your diet. You may be able to minimize the number of headaches you have by trying the following.
Avoid foods that trigger migraines- some of the most common foods found to cause headache include:
- Smoked or cured meats (especially those containing nitrates)
- Dairy products, especially cheese
- Food additives including MSG, caffeine and artificial sweeteners
- Canned soups
- Red wine
Avoid common allergens. The most common allergenic foods include:
- Dairy products
Get plenty of sleep by following a regular sleep schedule
Stay hydrated– Pay attention to what that yellow pee is telling you and drink up!
Tips for Headache Relief
Since headaches have very different causes and are such a common symptom, what works for one person may not work for another. Before you reach for that aspirin to fight your headache, however, you may want to try the following:
- Listen to (calming) music
- Drink some ginger tea – Steeping some grated ginger in hot water and drinking it will reduce inflammation and may provide relief.
- Eat some pumpkin seeds – Studies have shown that magnesium sulfate can relieve all types of headaches. Raw pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, so they may be worth a try.
- Exercise Even a brisk 10 minute walk around the block releases endorphins, which have natural pain and stress fighting properties.
- Meditate – Sit in a quit, comfortable place, close your eyes and pay attention to your breathing. Try visualizing relaxation throughout your body as you do this.
- Massage your neck -If your headache is related to tension or stress, this can help relax the muscles and relieve your pain.
- Lie down in the dark – Sometimes minimizing sensory input is the best way to stop your head from pounding. Take ten minutes in a dark, quiet room. This may be one of my favorite ones! Just chill out and tune out.
Hope this helps you and your head to feel your best! If you try any of these and they work let us know! Or if you have another tip please share it as well.
Source: WebMd, NIH