How to Manage Headaches

Headaches are a source of pain in and around your head. It is not a condition on its own (unless chronic) but rather an indicator of another health issue. Headaches can be caused by a number of things including trauma to the head, environmental factors, allergies, illness, lack of sleep, stress, and more. 

Here are ten ways to help relieve headaches:

  1. Drink more water. Some headaches are caused by a lack of hydration. Drinking lots of fluids can help replenish your body and relieve headache tension. 
  2. Take a nap. Lack of sleep can have adverse effects on the body, including causing headaches. Light and sound can also cause strain on a headache and make you feel worse. Consider taking a quick nap to eliminate environmental factors and help alleviate your headache.
  3. Use essential oils. Essential oils, such as lavender and peppermint, are known to help the body and mind relax and ease headache tension. By diffusing essential oils or applying the oils to your forehead, you can help relieve some of the tension. 
  4. Apply a cold compress. Severe headaches can make your head feel warm, and it’s possible that if your body is overheated, then that’s what caused the headache. Lay down with a cold compress, applying directly to the forehead region. Leave it there for approximately 10 minutes. This should help your body cool down and help with any throbbing you may have felt as a result of your headache.
  5. Take a pain reliever. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are known to help alleviate pain and suffering from headaches. To learn more about pain relievers, check out this article on NSAIDS
  6. Have some caffeine. Feeling sluggish, tired and bothered by a headache? Your body and mind may need a wake-up call! Try consuming a little caffeine to get your body energized
  7. Get a massage. Massages are an important part of a healthy lifestyle. When we are stressed, that stress can actually build up in our necks and shoulders, causing irritation to the muscles and nerves around our head and in turn, causing a headache. Regular massages are a good option for headache prevention, but acting quickly can offer some headache relief. 
  8. Try acupressure or acupuncture. By locating pressure points on your body, you can directly target certain muscles and nerves that may be causing your headache. 
  9. Engage in relaxation techniques. Sometimes stress is the source of headaches. Engage in some relaxation techniques, such as yoga, deep breathing, and meditation, to help alleviate a stress-induced headache. 
  10. Evaluate your diet. Your diet may be to blame for chronic headaches. Processed foods and foods high in sugar can trigger headaches. If you are experiencing frequent headaches, try keeping a diet journal and tracking what foods you eat throughout the day. Then, consult with your primary care physician about what foods may be the cause and how you can alter your diet to help alleviate your chronic headaches. 

Now that you understand what causes headaches and how to treat and prevent them, you can be on your way to a healthy, headache-free life. Remember, headaches are an indicator symptom, so if you experience frequent headaches, talk to your doctor. 

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