Headaches can be quite challenging can even change the course of your entire day.
You can’t be your best you when you’re dealing with pain and tension in your head, neck, shoulders, or jaw. If you don’t get headaches very often, it can sometimes be a bit more baffling as to what to do to help relieve that pain.
These are things that you can do pretty quickly and easily and should, in fact, help.
Double check that you’re eating and drinking enough.
It’s important to make sure that you’re eating and drinking enough water each day because dehydration is on the biggest culprits of headaches, according to Healthline.
If you haven’t had any water over the last few days or have skipped several meals, a snack and a glass of water might help kick that headache. Don’t just wait it out.
Sit in a dark room.
If you’re a person who experiences headaches, especially migraines, light and sound can be particularly offensive. If you’re looking for immediate relief, one of the best ways to help can be to remove yourself from that light and sound if you can, even for a moment, according to Migraine.com.
This method, combined with one of the others, like medication and rest can help relieve symptoms, but it can depend on what type of headache you have whether or not this method works for you. You should always talk to your doctor for the most personalised care.
Make sure you’re getting enough rest.
Getting enough rest is more than just going to lie down when you feel a headache coming on (though that can sometimes help things). Stress can make headaches a doozy as well, which means that you need to make sure that you’re doing your best to keep that in check as well.
“Many people find themselves with a headache because they didn’t get enough sleep the night before or they slept too much,” Darian Carrow, a consumer wellness investigator at ConsumerSafety.org, told INSIDER. “Change and commit to a sleep schedule that allows for the right amount of sleep. This could mean no more head pain the day after. The recommended amount of sleep adults should get every night is seven to nine hours. Getting more or less than this could result in a headache.”
Take an effective medication.
Sometimes you just have to go back to basics and a good pain reliever like acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen can help.
If you’re dealing with excruciating and distracting headache pain, taking a medication might be a good idea. It’s important to pay attention to the directions and other information on the box or bottle (like the notes about mixing pain relievers with alcohol) or talk to your doctor about if the medication is the right one for you.
Acupressure is another potential pain relief strategy that you can try when a headache or a migraine comes on. Knowing where to apply pressure is key for alleviating pain using this sort of technique. The skin between your first and second fingers is the spot that will help, Rebecca Park, a registered nurse and the founder of RemediesForMe.com, told INSIDER. Park added that this can also be done on your feet.
If you’re not confident about experimenting with acupressure on your own at home, seeing a professional, at least to learn more about how to do it effectively, might be helpful.
Use an ice pack.
You likely use ice when you’re dealing with other kinds of pain, but you might not have ever really thought about it when it comes to headaches.
“Temporal headaches, or headaches on the side of the head, respond best to ice therapy when rubbed in a downward direction from the top of the hairline to the ear on both sides because those blood vessels are close to the surface,” Dr. Jacqueline Darna, a naturopathic physician with a background in anesthesiology and the founder of NoMo Nausea, told INSIDER.
“Headaches originating from the neck usually sensed on the lower portion of the base of the skull, respond well to ice on the back of the neck when rubbed from top to bottom of the neck. These type of headaches caused by muscle tightening and pinching nerves in the neck help to decrease inflammation that usually causes the headache in the first place, hence why muscle relaxants and NSAID medications work.”
Or go with a heating pad.
If cooling off doesn’t do the drink, try heat.
Putting a heating pad on the base of your neck or the back of your head could help relieve the pain, according to WebMD. Sometimes even a hot shower will do the trick.
Try some ginger.
Park said that ginger is great when you’re dealing with muscle pain and inflammation and recommended mixing up a ginger tea using fresh ginger root. Ginger can also be used for nausea, which sometimes accompanies a migraine or other particularly bad headaches.
Ask your doctor about supplements.
Supplements like magnesium and vitamin B2 (aka riboflavin) might also help your head, Park noted. It’s important to check with your doctor before adding in a bunch of supplements, but if you’re not getting enough of these nutrients from the food you’re eating and you’re experiencing headaches, a supplement might be a good solution.
Take a break from the screens.
Too much time in front of a screen can also mean a nasty headache. Park said that ensuring that you’re taking breaks, preventing eye strain, and getting outside and into fresh air is important if you want to avoid screen-related headaches.
If you have to look at a screen pretty much all day, every day, implementing techniques that will help combat eye strain can, in fact, help.
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