Headaches happen to everyone. Their severity can run from mild inconvenience to day-ruining agony, but either way, when you get a headache, the first thing you want to do is end it as soon as possible. If you suffer from migraines, you know just how bad headaches can get. Some might turn immediately to medication for relief, but there are a variety of natural headache remedies you can try that may work better than drugs. Let’s explore them.
Chronic dehydration is one of the leading causes of migraines and tension headaches. The solution here is simple—drink up. Studies have shown that drinking water can lessen headache symptoms in as little as thirty minutes. Dehydration also has many other negative side effects like irritability and an inability to focus, so you’ll be doing yourself a favor in more ways than one.
Use a cold pack or hot pad
Cold packs are a great way to relieve migraine symptoms. If you don’t own a designated cold pack, a bag of frozen vegetables or ice cubes wrapped in washcloth fulfill the same purpose. If you are suffering from a tension or sinus headache, heat tends to work better. Try a warm washcloth or a hot shower.
Ease pressure on your head
Too much external compression is another common cause of headaches. This can be a problem for people who work jobs that require hats, especially hard hats. However, even a too-tight ponytail or a headband can cause pain. Remove whatever is compressing your head for a little while to see if pain is relieved.
Limit your alcohol consumption
We all know that alcohol can cause headaches in the form of hangovers, but chronic alcohol use can lead to consistent cluster and tension headaches, even when it isn’t the morning after a binge. Alcohol can also induce migraines in about one-third of people who frequently suffer from them.
Caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea constrict blood vessels, which offers pain relief. It helps to drink some as close to the beginning of the headache’s onset as possible. Caffeine also improves mood and alertness, which offer further relief. Just be careful not to become dependent on caffeine, as withdrawals can lead to headaches as well. Caffeine has a complicated relationship with headaches and migraines. If you change any habit suddenly, you can get withdrawal symptoms.
Allow yourself to relax
The psychological aspects of headaches are understated. Yoga, meditation, or simply lying down in a comfortable bed can all provide relief. One study found that pain frequency and intensity were both reduced in chronic migraine sufferer when yoga was combined with conventional care.
Turn off the lights
Bright lights can exacerbate headache symptoms, particularly in migraines. Spending some time in a dark room can ease your pain. If you must go outside, sunglasses will help prevent the worst of the symptoms.
Sometimes, natural remedies don’t cut it. A slew of common non-prescription drugs are designed for just this purpose, including acetaminophen, naproxem, and ibuprofen. If you want to avoid drugs, there also exist migraine remedies which combine natural ingredients for maximum benefits. Our Headache and Migraine Defense formula combines modern science with Traditional Chinese Medicine for evidence based pain relief.