According to US National Library of Medicine, headache is the most common kind of pain. Basically, there are four types of headaches, tension headaches, cluster headaches, sinus headaches and migraines. Tension headaches are the most common type, which occurs due to tightness in your neck, shoulders, jaw and scalp. It is a result of stress, anxiety or depression.
You can get relief from headaches like cluster headaches, migraines, tension headaches and sinus headaches by changing your lifestyle or pain killers. But, sometime these solutions don’t work and you look for something most helpful. So, how to get rid of a headache?
We have got you’re the best solutions of relieving headaches ta one place. Read on.
How to get rid of a headache?
Biofeedback is a process that uses electronic sensors to keep a track of your body functions like skin temperature, body muscles, blood pressure and heart rate. The collected data is fed back to you through computer and sound images. The goal is to explain people how to control these bodily responses. For example, easing tight muscles to avoid headaches.
According to studies, biofeedback can be an effective solution for tension headaches and migraine. Headache published an analysis, which suggested that behavioral therapies like biofeedback is more effective than prescription drugs.
Acupuncture is an aesthetic treatment process that involved insertion of needles under the skin to balance the energy flow in your body.
Cochraine review, an expert analysis , found that acupuncture can help avoid acute migraine attacks, along with drug treatments with fewer side-effects. As per evidence, acupuncture can help individuals with chronic or episodic tension headaches.
For a quick, temporary relief, rub your temples or get a neck, head, shoulder or back massage.
Annals of Behavioral Medicine published a study, which claimed that people having migraines had a six days weekly massage sessions and saw reduced frequency and severity of migraines. They experienced better sleep during those days and continued the practice for another three weeks,
You can try stretches to relieve headaches that ease muscle tension, which leads to pain. Add these to your daily workout regime or just bring them to use when suffering from a headache.
Here are three types of stretched you can try to get relief from headache:
- Neck range of motion: keep your chin forward, upward and move towards each shoulder
- Shoulder shrugs: shrug up, up and forward & up and back
- Neck isometrics: press plain into forehead and hold, press your hand on each side of the head
Do these stretches two times a day, giving 20 minutes for each session. Hold a stretch for 5 seconds, relax for the next five seconds and repeat each stretch for 305 times.
There are various meditation techniques that you can use to focus attention and relax your mind from distractions of such chronic pain.
Currently, there is no clear data to prove the effects of medication for migraines. Johns Hopkins School of Medicine involved researchers in a clinical trial that focused on addressing the effects of Vipassana, a traditional Indian meditation technique that focuses on mind-body connectedness. It can reduce the severity and frequency of migraines, improving the quality of life.
A small study of people having migraine issues, published in the journal of Behavioral Medicine, stated that spiritual meditation can reduce the frequency of headaches and improve pain tolerance better than muscle relaxation and secular meditation.
Have you ever imagined that getting into the camel pose can ease your headache? Yoga is a combination of meditation, physical postures and breathing exercises. It helps in balancing your body, spirit and mind and boosting relaxation, as per the National Center for Complementary and alternative Medicine.
In a small study published in Headache, two different groups of migraine patients were assigned three months of self care and yoga therapy. The yoga participants had less painful and less frequent migraine attacks.
Relaxing to music, deep breathing or a mental imagery can help you unwind after a hectic day and possibly relieve headache. However, it requires additional research.
A study conducted with 90 people having tension headache claimed that relaxation training encouraged good sleep, even more than acupuncture.
A medical director of the Michigan Headache Clinic, in East Lansing, Edmund Messian, teaches a 20 minute muscle relaxation technique. In this technique, the patient lies still, slowly breathing in and out, using a mantra that keeps their mind wandering. Following this, the patient contracts and relaxes their muscle, from toes to head. Dr. Messian says, “The idea is to consciously tense and relax your muscle groups.”
Heat and Cold compress
Anyone having problem of headaches can use this headache-relieving therapy, even a pregnant woman. Apply heat pack to the back of your neck to relax the tension in your muscles. For a severe headache, drop the heat and try the cold therapy instead.
The artery that helps in blood supply to the lining of the brain is located behind the temple’s thin bone. Reducing the blood temperature by using ice packs can relive the throbbing headache for most people.
Avoid nitrites and nitrates
Nitrates and nitrites in Mono-sodium glutamate and processed meats are linked to migraines. There are some heart medicines that also consist of nitrate.
Alcohol, caffeine, tyramine (in fermented meats, nuts, soy and cheese), aspartame (in several artificially sweetened foods) and phenylethylamine (in cheese and chocolate) work as headache triggers for some people.
There are some doctors who support taking magnesium, coenzyme Q10 and Vitamin B12 (riboflavin) for getting relief from headache. However, there not much evidence and they also have risks of side-effects.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation
As per research, sending magnetic pulses to the brain is one of the useful therapies for combating migraines. A study concluded that patents when treated for migraine using transcranial magnetic stimulation got better relief than the patients treated using a placebo device.
It is a non-invasive treatment that takes a couple of hours or less to provide relief from headache. The treatment is carried out at a clinic, placing n electromagnetic coil close to the head for delivering the magnetic pulses.
However, it is one of the experimental therapies to treat migraines.
If you are suffering from intractable headaches, you might need electrodes implants one day. In the process, electrodes are implanted in the brain or neck to render pain relief.
One Occipital nerve stimulation, a kind of electrode implants therapy promised the treatment of migraine and cluster headaches. Larger studies are needed to prove the point.
The treatment involves implanting an electrode at the base of your skull surgically. The electrode is close to the occipital nerve. Near your collar bone, a power source is implanted to send electrical impulses through an electrode wire.
What are the pressure points to relieve headaches?
Our body has some incredible pressure pints that can help relieve headaches. Some of them are explained below:
This point is on the web between your index finger and thumb. To get rid of headache:
- Start pinching the area with your index finger and thumb of opposite hand for around 10 seconds. Don’t put much pressure.
- Now, move your thumb in circular motions on the area in both clockwise and anticlockwise direction, each for 10 seconds.
- Repeat the process for the other hand.
This kind of pressure point treatment can relieve tension headaches and neck pain.
Drilling bamboo are pressure points located at the indentation on both the sides of the part of your nose that meets your eyebrows. Here’s how to use these points to get relief from headaches:
- Use index fingers of both your hands and press the points with firm pressure.
- Hold for around 10 seconds.
- Release and repeat.
- These pressure points relieve headaches caused by sinus pain air eyestrain.
Gates of consciousness
These are pressure points situated at the base of your skull in parallel hollow areas between both the neck muscles.
Here’s how to use these pressure points:
- Place your middle and index fingers of both hands onto these pressure points.
- Press gently upward on both sides at once for around 10 seconds
- Release and repeat.
You can get quick relief from headache using these pressure points.
You can find the third eye point right between the two eyebrows. The point where the bridge of your nose meets the forehead
- Use your index finger of either hands and apply gentle pressure to this area for a minute.
- Applying firm pressure to this pressure point can relieve eyestrain and sinus headache.
The shoulder well is a pressure point situated at the edge of the shoulder, in between the base of the neck and shoulder point. Here’s how to use this pressure point:
- Use your thumb of one hand and apply firm pressure in circular motion at this point for about a minute.
- Switch to the other side and repeat.
- Applying gentle pressure to the shoulder point helps reduce the stiffness in your shoulders and neck, which further decreases the neck pain and avoids headaches due to this type of sensation.
Even though there is not enough research on using pressure points for curing headaches, there are evidences when head and shoulders massage can help reduce headaches.
As reflexology is a non-pharmaceutical and non-invasive way of treating headaches, it is one of the safest methods. But, it is important to remember that it is only a complementary treatment. You should go for professional help from a medical expert, if the headache doesn’t go away permanently.
Some natural cures for headaches
So many factors can be responsible for headaches – arguments, deadlines, stress, traffic jams and many more. Even some of your favorite dishes can give you a bad headache, like ice cream. In common words, headaches are body’s response to emotional or physical stress. Stress can contract the muscles in your neck and head, developing tension headaches. In other cases, it can construct the blood vessels and expand later, producing vascular or migraine headaches. If you have infected or congested sinuses, headaches can be unbearable.
Thankfully, there are some natural remedies or DIY treatments that can help you relieve the pain and discomfort.
Use rosemary oil or thyme oil for head rubs
To relieve headache, take a 1-2 drops of rosemary or thyme essential oil and rub on each of your temple and on the forehead. Rub it gently and leave it for a few minutes. Allow it to absorb into the skin and let the remedy work.
In 2010, researchers discovered in a study that rosemary and thyme oils consists of an element acting like COX-II inhibitor, carvacol, which is similar to a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It woks much like ibuprofen.
You might not know but headaches can also be a result of your weight loss plan, where you make efforts to have a slim body. You can also have peppermint tea to get some relief from migraine pain.
Take magnesium as a home remedy
Researchers conducting studies on headache concluded that patients of migraines should have magnesium, an essential mineral, in their medicine box. They inferred that migraine patients, also called migraineurs by doctors, have low levels of the mineral in the brain during a migraine attack.
In fact, there were two placebo-controlled medical studies conducted that show the role of magnesium supplements in avoiding headaches. Medical experts reveal that taking 400 milligrams of chelated magnesium, slow-release magnesium or magnesium oxide in a day can help in relieving the symptoms of headache. You can get it over-the-counter at any drugstore.
Note: Some people might suffer from diarrhea due to magnesium intake. The mineral is high in mackerel, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate and dried figs.
Get more Vitamin B2
In a study, almost 59% of the participants saw reduction in migraine by half of their normal frequency after taking a daily dose of 400 milligrams of riboflavin (Vitamin B12) for almost 12 weeks. Volunteers on placebo see only 15% reduction. Foods rich in riboflavin include sesame seeds, certain fishes and some hard cheeses.
In a nutshell
Headaches are a common yet complicated health issue that is mostly a result of emotional or physical stress, diet changes or other health problems. There are different types of headaches such as tension headaches, migraines, vascular headaches, etc.
Try out these amazing ways on how to get rid of a headache and let us know what works for you best!