We all hate that painful and distracting headache that just won’t leave us. You could take aspirin or any other medications to treat it, but did you know that taking pills more than twice every week, can make the matter even worse?
Due to our hectic lifestyles, headaches have become quite common. While some days we can get relief by taking a power nap, other days might not be that easy. But first, let’s understand why do headaches happen at all? How to get rid of a headache?
Most of us have experienced headaches at some point in our life. But have we ever thought what causes it? Usually, a headache is a sign of stress, depression, or anxiety. People who are suffering from chronic headaches might find it very difficult to attend office, college, or university daily.
There are various ways to define a headache.
- Primary Headaches – These types of headaches are stand-alone diseases that are caused by overactivity in the structure of the head. It might also happen from the disruption in the brain’s chemical activity. Some examples of primary headaches are migraines, tension, or cluster headaches.
- Secondary Headaches – These kinds of headaches happen because of the pain-sensitive nerves of the head and other different factors like – brain tumors, hangover, blood clots, dehydration, panic attacks, influenza, and stroke. Consult a doctor immediately if the frequency of headaches is more severe or painful.
- Tension headaches – This headache is one of the most common examples of a primary headaches. It usually begins slowly and can spread from the neck. It could be episodic or chronic. The episodic ones generally stay for a couple of hours while the chronic ones could happen for 15 days to a month.
- Migraines – A migraine can cause you an awful head pain usually accompanied by nausea or vomiting. This pounding headache lasts for a few hours or sometimes even for days. Be that as it may, migraine is significantly more than only the pain. Different phenomena can fluctuate from individual to individual, however, you may see spots, have obscured vision, or smell peculiar scents. You may be touchy to light, feel debilitated to your stomach, and even want to vomit.
Why Do You Get Headaches?
Although we don’t have enough answers to understand the causes of headaches or a perfect solution for how to get rid of a headache. It’s known that the blood vessels in the head and neck can cause pain. Also, the teeth, sinus, scalp, and muscles can also lead to pain.
How to Get Rid of a Headache
You can take care of headaches by simply following the medication that is suggested by your doctor. But what if the headache is extremely painful to bear? Should you go for prompt medical service? What are some warning signs?
Let’s take a look at the warning signs –
- An unusual and severe headache
- Abrupt headache that keeps you up at night
- Headaches with painful red eye
- Disruption in mental or brain function
- Headaches that are getting worse gradually
- Headaches with fever, weakness, seizures, stiff neck, numbness
- The ones that come with pain and tenderness
- Headaches that creates blockages for your normal life
The Major Triggers that Can Cause Headaches or Migraines
- A shifting weather such as increasing heat
- Not having enough sleep
- Emotional distress
- Any kind of sensory triggers
- Food triggers
Fun Fact –
Did you know that you can eat something cold and get an ice cream headache?
You get ice cream headaches or brain freeze due to the consumption of cold food or beverages quickly. The pain is felt near the temples or the forehead. This lasts for five minutes more or less. Cold-stimulus headaches are pretty common, and the signs are harmless. How to get rid of a headache? Well, have your cold foods slowly.
What to Do When the Headache Won’t Go Away
Is there a way to fool our brain’s pain? Yes, there are a handful!
The first step is to remove the triggers. Keep a journal to note down your triggers, every time. Every month try to do these –
- Write down about the time when every headache started or ended.
- The acuity and place of pain
- Symptoms that gave you a warning about the headache
- Activities that you were busy with before the headache occurred
- Treatment that was helpful and effective in lessening the pain
Now maintain this journal and consult with your doctor to examine the triggers carefully. If that’s not enough, you may ask for medications from your doctor. Want to know more about how to get rid of a headache? Keep on reading.
There are two approaches –
Acute or Abortive Therapy
These kinds of treatments are effective in lessening the pain or nausea, but you have to take them initially to receive the benefits. These treatments are –
- Pain Relievers like NSAIDs, aspirin, ibuprofen, Mortin, Advil, acetaminophen for extreme migraines. Combine it with caffeine like Excedrin Migraine.
- Triptans – frovatriptan (Frova), rizatriptan (Maxalt), zolmitriptan (Zomig), naratriptan (Amerge), and sumatriptan (Imitrex).
- Antinausea drugs like prochlorperazine (Compazine), similar drugs, and metoclopramide (Reglan) can ease the pain.
Preventive Treatments or Therapy
These helps in reducing the frequency and extremity of headaches. You have to be very regular while taking these kinds of medications. These are ideal for people who suffer from frequent migraine attacks or headaches. Also, it’s good for those who have tried other remedies as well, but they haven’t worked out for them yet.
These treatments consist of –
- Antidepressants – venlafaxine (Effexor), amitriptyline (Elavil)
- Antiseizure medicines— divalproex sodium (Depakote), sodium valproate (Depacon), topiramate (Topamax)
- Blood Pressure drugs—beta-blockers or calcium-channel blockers
It is essential to comply with the specialist’s recommendation because the over usage of the medication can bring back pain over and over again. The treatment of such headaches includes the lessening of discomfort medicine. In rare cases, a short emergency stay at a clinic might be expected to manage it securely. There are also natural ways on how to get rid of a headache.
There is a wide range of natural remedies for headaches available. Before making any decision to undergo any major treatment, consult with your doctor.
These forms of treatment may include:
Originated from ancient Chinese medicine, acupuncture requires to insert very thin needles into the pressure points in the human body. It restores the flow of positive energy in the body by removing the negativity that is causing pain. There are a couple of pressure points for headaches. Since this treatment involves a lot of needles, expect to experience a lot of fatigue, bruising, and soreness after your first acupuncture session. If the session is done with substandard equipment then one might face serious health issues. Therefore, it is recommended to do a little study about your therapist before you buy your first session. Leave the session immediately if you feel very uncomfortable. Make sure the needles that are used, are new and sterile. Ask a lot of questions to be sure about the process and experience. Get more knowledge about the pressure points for headaches.
Still wondering about how to get rid of a headache? In case you’re keen on continuing your treatment or therapy with alternative medicine, there are a plethora of choices. Essential oils and exercise may bring you quick relief from discomfort. Lavender oil has been known as a viable and safe treatment for intense pain. Studies found out that embracing a vigorous exercise routine may be another choice. Exercise may improve blood circulation, lessen the pressure, and increase your lung limit, in addition to other things. Individuals with headaches are frequently urged to start an aerobic exercise routine as an approach to reduce their headaches.
Natural Remedies for Headaches
When you get a headache, the easy way out is always to pop a painkiller or sip on some calming tea. But how to get rid of a headache without a medication? Natural remedies are also one of the best ways to reduce your excruciating headache. Curious? Here’s a list of home remedies that works like a magic!
Soothe your headache with scent. Peppermint is especially helpful in opening up the congested blood vessels which cause headache. The refreshing scent of the oil regulates the blood flow in the body. In a cool and darkroom, burn some essential oil in a diffuser and breathe in the beautiful scent. Alternatively, you can mix three drops of Peppermint oil in some carrier oil like coconut or almond oil. Now add some water into it and massage this magic potion on your temples or nape.
You can also make a special tea by adding dried peppermint leaves to your choice of tea. Let it simmer for 10 minutes. Now add honey and sip it slowly. Likewise, you can also use Lavender oil. The beautiful and soothing scent of it can alleviate your headache. Before sleeping, drop some oil on your pillow cover and inhale it. Add two drops of the essential oil to three cups of boiling water and inhale the steam to enjoy its amazing aroma. You can also mix it with almond oil and massage it on to your forehead to have instant relief. Draw yourself a bath mixing the lavender and peppermint oil.
An Apple A Day Keeps the Doc Away
Did you know that apples and apple cider vinegar can be used to ease off headaches? Because they restore the acid-alkaline balance in your body. You can mix half cup of apple cider vinegar with half cup of water and boil it in a covered pan. Now after removing, cover the head with a towel and inhale the steam from the pan. This can give you instant healing from headaches. Woke up with a headache? Have a piece of apple with some salt sprinkled on to it and drink a glass of lukewarm water afterward.
Ginger is known as an elixir for headaches because of its ability to reduce inflammation of the blood vessels in the head. This eases your pain and gives you instant relief. It also stimulates digestion and it results in lessening your nausea. Thinking of how to make the most of this herb? Get some ginger roots from the market. Now mix it up with lemon juice and drink it up. This can be consumed twice a day. Alternatively, you can put also put some ginger on your forehead to have quick relief.
Cinnamon is one of the miraculous natural remedies for headaches. It is one of the most effective home remedies for headaches. But how to use it? Very easy! Just grind a few cinnamon sticks or get cinnamon powder from the local market. Now add some water to form a thick paste. Apply this mixture on the forehead and relax for the next ten minutes. Now wash off with warm water.
It is known for treating headaches without medications. In general, Hydrotherapy is a usage of hot and cold, which can be very helpful. Just apply a hot pack to your head and the nape area to get relief.
Hydrating yourself is very important. Drinking plenty of water can prevent frequent headaches and lessen their intensity. Dehydration is one of the causes that create headaches. Drinking enough water will always make you feel better, think and function without a headache. Carry a bottle and keep sipping throughout the day. Maintain a liquid diet as well by ensuring you’re having lots of fruits, smoothies, or soups on a regular basis.
Heal with Yoga
Yoga practitioners always claim that it’s one of the best ways to relax and decrease your headaches. Incorporate yoga to relieve your stress and improve your quality of life. This can also reduce the frequency of your headache. Many studies found that yoga therapy can have a profound impact on chronic migraines. People who received yoga therapy regularly were able to cure the intensity of their headaches and chronic migraines. Practice it for three months initially to have a significant impact on your severe headache frequency.
Avoid Any Strong Smell
Perfumes or cleaning products that have a strong odor, must be avoided in order to reduce the headaches. Those strong odors can trigger headaches. This is called osmophobia and it’s very common in people who have chronic migraines. Avoid any strong perfume, cigarette smoke or food to lessen your chances of getting a headache.