How To Treat A Headache At Home Naturally 6 Tips
Headache is the common problem as 47 million people in America have affected by debilitating or a severe headache during the past three years. It is said that about 9% of U.S. population experience migraines alone and this disease may cost you one billion a year for medical expenses. There are many treatments for a headache you should use. For example, some patients with headache or migraines may find the relief after trying antidepressants, triptans, beta blockers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. However, if you want to choose these treatments, you should consult the doctors carefully in order to make sure that these treatments do not have any unwanted side effects. Fortunately, home remedies and effective techniques on how to treat a headache at home naturally will help you to get rid of uncomfortable symptoms without causing any side effects.
Overview Of Common Headache Types & Symptoms
Generally headaches can be separated into two main categories. There are primary headaches, where the headache is the condition itself and secondary headaches, which are caused by an underlying condition or some other factor.
Most people have probably experienced a temporary cold or flu at some point in their life, thus have probably experienced a cold-associated headache. This type of headache would be a secondary type of headache.
The most common type of headache is tension-type headache. Statistically, the vast majority of the population has experienced a tension-type headache at some point. Tension-type headaches are the type of headaches that feel like a band of pressure around your head or a kind of tightening or squeezing feeling.
The pain is usually located on both sides of the head at once. The quality of the pain is usually a sort of a dull, aching type feeling and is usually fairly constant.. In terms of intensity, we generally call these headaches mild to moderate, however some people can experience severe tension-type headaches.
Tension-type headaches typically last for a few hours. Unfortunately for some people, they can last all day or even for multiple days in a row. Often tension-type headaches are associated with tension or tightness in the muscles and neck, which is where they originally got their name.
A Cold Compress Or Ice Pack Can Help Lessen Pain
Although both ice and heat can be used to relieve pain, most people with migraine prefer cold, according to the National Headache Foundation.
Cold packs can be placed on the forehead and temples or on the back of the neck, if you prefer. Its best to keep a cloth between your skin and an ice pack if you use a commercial cold pack, make sure there are no leaks where chemicals could escape and potentially harm your eyes.
Recommended Reading: What Foods Get Rid Of Headaches
Placebo Responses To Medications
The placebo response tends to a negative reputation. It is often used to say something is not an active medicine, its just a placebo. The truth is every treatment contains some component of the placebo effect. Even with registered prescription medicines, theyll have some biological effect and a non-specific or placebo effect. This biologically active molecule will have an impact on your physiology which causes the specific effect of that treatment. Associated with the treatment are a whole range of contextual cues and expectations that create nonspecific treatment effects. It is the sum of whats happened to your biology, and those nonspecific effects that give you the end result.
That is part of the reason why one person might respond to one thing, and another person responds to something else. Or you respond on one day to something, and then you dont respond to it on another day. These may be small variances, but it is interesting to see that this has been clinically shown to affect treatment response.
Factors shown to influence the outcome or your response to treatment can be divided in to three categories. These factors:
- Relate to the patient
- Relate to the health practitioner
- Relate to the treatment
Theres also crossover between some of the other factors. For example if your health practitioner believes in the treatment that theyre giving you, its more likely to work for you.
Eat Small Frequent Meals
If you haven’t eaten anything in a while, that aching or fuzzy feeling may result from low blood sugar. In this case, eating something healthy right away could nip the nagging sensation in the bud. Research published in September 2015 in Nutrients suggested foods rich in the mineral magnesiumsuch as pumpkin and chia seeds, almonds, spinach, and black beansmay be especially helpful in alleviating headaches.
In general, Dr. Green advised his headache patients to graze on small meals throughout the day rather than three large ones at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. “This way your blood sugar stays more consistent, and you won’t experience those types of crashes.”
Recommended Reading: What Is Good For Headaches
What Is A Headache
A headache is when you feel pain in the head or face. There are different types of headaches with varying causes, such as:
- Tension headaches often feel like a dull, aching head pain and tightness across your forehead. These are often caused by stress.
- Migraine headaches feel like intense throbbing in one part of the head. These can also be caused by stress or by strong stimuli in your environment, like bright lights and intense smells.
- Cluster headaches often manifest as intense pain behind the eye and are similar to migraine headaches.
- Sinusheadaches often feel like pressure around your forehead, cheeks, and eyes. This is usually a sign that you have some nasal or sinus congestion, and may be a sign of a sinus infection.
The following are some simple strategies you can try at home to help relieve these types of headaches:
Natural Home Remedies For Headaches During Pregnancy
Many natural remedies work safely during pregnancy, but any treatment decision must be discussed with the woman’s obstetrician or midwife.
- Non-medication strategies help pregnant women get relief while avoiding both over-the-counter medications and herbs that may not be safe.
- Hydration is critical. Dehydration is common in pregnancy. A large glass of mineral water or electrolyte-replacement beverage can resolve dehydration.
- Blood pressure is often high during pregnancy and can be a cause of headaches. High blood pressure requires treatment.
- Relaxation, magnesium, and avoiding salt all help with headaches related to high blood pressure.
- Hydrotherapy, the therapeutic use of hot and cold, is helpful and safe in pregnancy. Apply a hot pack to the head and the back of the neck. This can be paired with a short application of an ice pack to maximize the relief.
Don’t Miss: Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Botox For Migraines
Natural Headache Remedies That Actually Work
When you have a headache, you want it to stop. And you want it to stop now. Sure, we can treat migraines and severe headaches with a specialized treatment plan , but if its late at night, or you want to reduce your medication intake, home remedies may be just what you are looking for. They are easy to do and have no harmful side effects. Of course, there are several different remedies available for headaches, and not all of them will work for everyone, but here are a few that are definitely worth a shot.
Found in abundance in dark chocolate, dried figs, mackerel, and pumpkin seeds, magnesium may be the answer to your headache woes. Most people who experience migraines or tension headaches have low levels of magnesium present in their brains at the time. Multiple clinical studies using placebos have proven that when more magnesium is ingested, headaches decrease. And dont worry if you arent particularly fond of figs or pumpkin seeds, you can get the magnesium you need through a supplement. You should aim for 400 mg per day of either magnesium oxide or chelated magnesium.
Soak Your Feet
This blog is written for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for actual medical treatment. Please contact the APM Augusta office to schedule an appointment if you are in need of medical care.
You Might Also Enjoy…
Go Easy On The Perfume
Conversely, some smells can actually trigger a migraine, so be careful about using heavily scented soaps or cleaning products and ask your partner to go light on the fragrance.
The bottom line, says Dr. Newman: Just because not pharmacologic doesn’t mean they’re not capable of working. On the flip side, if the non-pharmacologic therapies are not working, it doesn’t mean that there are not other options. Things are always changing, meaning don’t give up if you haven’t found something that’s working. There are doctors who specialize in headache, and they are willing to try whatever it takes to help a patient with migraine.
You May Like: Symptoms Of Migraines In Eyes
How To Treat Headache Naturally
Read through the entire list below and you will see right away how easily you can overcome your headache with some natural remedies at home.
1.Drink Plenty Of Water
Dehydration can be one of the main causes of a headache, especially when youve recently vomited or when you are hung over. As soon as you have a headache, drink a glass of water and then try to go on drinking small sips of water throughout the day. Gradually, you may feel that your headache starts to reduce.
For men, it is suggested to drink at least 3 liters of water per day and for women, drinking at least 2.2 liters of water per day is a must. You should even drink more if you do exercise frequently, live in a hot environmental condition, suffer from an illness that may cause diarrhea or vomiting, or are breast-feeding.
Also, do not drink too much cold water. This is because in some cases, extremely cold water can cause migraines. Room-temperature water is the best choice for you after all!
You can also read the list of 26 benefits of drinking water in the morning to see how amazing water can work for you!
2.Take A Break
When you have a headache, you should find a quiet and dark place to relax. If possible, try to lie down for at least half an hour. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. If you have to take a rest around other people, ask them to be quiet and leave you alone. If you would like, take a short nap or have some sleep.
3. Do Yoga
4. Take A Deep Breath
5. Improve Your Posture
6. Hot Water
Watch Your Medication Use
It may sound counterintuitive, but think twice before you pop a prescription or over-the-counter pill for a headache. When people take any type of medication for more than 10 days out of the month, they can get rebound headaches, says. Dr. Hindiyeh. Basically, your body gets used to the routine of taking medicineso when you stop, your brain can get frazzled and that can trigger another headache.
If youre getting lots of headaches and finding yourself turning to pills for help a lot, talk to your doctor about preventive drugs.
Also Check: Aspirin Vs Ibuprofen For Headache
Home Remedies For Cluster Headaches
Currently, there are few home remedies that are effective and no known cures.
Theres some limited scientific information on home remedies for cluster headaches that might be helpful, but theyre not proven with research.
A concluded that evidence for the use of alternative treatments in cluster headaches was lacking or required additional research.
Below, well explore some of the information thats currently available but not proven.
Apply A Warm Compress
If cold therapy doesn’t do the trick, try changing the temperature. Apply a warm compress to your forehead and the back of your neck to relax the muscles around your temple and scalp and stimulate blood flow around the area, which is helpful for a tension or stress headache, per the Mayo Clinic.
Once again, buying a heating pad or hot pack will most likely get you more long-lasting results than filling a bottle with hot water, and it’s safer. A warm bath or shower could help, too.
Try This Warm Compress
âDr. Jeff’s Hot + Cold Pain Relief Packâ
Read Also: Headaches At Night And In The Morning
Acupressure May Help Relieve Tense Muscles
Acupressure is used in traditional Chinese medicine and can improve tightness and tension in the neck and shoulder muscles, which can sometimes trigger or worsen a migraine attack or headache.
According to UCLA Integrative Medicine, acupressure sends a signal to the body to turn on self-healing or regulatory mechanisms. Its performed by applying firm pressure to stimulate each pressure point. You can do acupressure to yourself or have someone else do it.
A few common pressure points for treating headache include:
- Gallbladder 20 , also called feng chi, is located by feeling the mastoid bone and following the groove back to where your neck muscles connect to the skull.
- Triple Energizer 3, or zhong zhu, is found in the groove formed by the tendons of the fourth and fifth fingers, behind the knuckles
Apply A Cold Compress
It might seem a little old-school, but some research â including a July 2013 randomized controlled trial in âHawaii Journal of Medicine & Public Healthâ â has shown that cold therapy can be a good way to get rid of a headache.
Instead of wrapping up ice in a bag and lying still while you try to balance it on your forehead, it might be worthwhile to invest in a disposable gel cooling patch or compression cold wrap headband to pull out of the fridge as needed.
Try These Cold Compresses
- âBe Koool Gel Sheetsâ
- âSplashe Headache Hatâ
Also Check: Hypertension Headache Treatment At Home
Butterbur Is Sometimes Used For Migraine Prevention
Extracts from the leaves and roots of the butterbur plant have been used for the treatment of migraine.
A review of evidence on natural remedies published in March 2016 in Headache concluded butterbur was effective in helping prevent migraine. The analysis included a trial in which the supplement reduced the frequency of migraine by 48 percent, compared with 26 percent in the control group.
On the basis of those studies, the American Headache Society, the Canadian Headache Society, and the American Academy of Neurology all recommended butterbur for use in preventing migraine.
The American Academy of Neurology later retracted its recommendation because of concerns about liver toxicity.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, butterbur products that contain chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids may damage the liver, lungs, and blood circulation, and possibly cause cancer. Consumers should therefore consider using only products that are certified PA-free.
Butterbur is usually taken orally and, according to an article in StatPearls, the recommended dose is between 50 and 150 mg. Since butterbur can interact with certain drugs, its advised that you talk with your doctor before taking it or any other herbal supplement.
What Are The Best Natural Remedies For Headaches
The following headache remedies can be effective in relieving some of the pain or discomfort caused by headaches:
- A warm bath can help you relax and may also reduce any muscle pain that could be contributing to a tension headache.
- Stay hydrated by drinking water. Adding foods with high water content like watermelon, celery, and cucumber to your diet can also help.
- Meditation, including sitting in a comfortable position and regulating your breath until you feel relaxed, can help reduce tension caused by a headache.
- Progressive muscle relaxation could also offer some relief. Begin to deepen and regulate your breathing while seated in a comfortable position. Mentally review your bodys pain points, breathing deeply to loosen up those trouble areas.
- Listen to calming sounds, including music or recorded nature sounds. The rhythms and gentle melodies can help slow your breathing, promote relaxation, as well as help ease body pain or tension.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Migraine During Pregnancy
What Are Other Ways To Get Rid Of Headaches
If natural remedies for headaches are not working for you, consider any lifestyle factors that could be contributing. For example:
- Regular exercise promotes good circulation.
- Eat and sleep on a regular schedule.
- Your headache may be a result of overexposure to screens like smartphones, TVs, and computers. Give your mind a break by adding some screen-free time into your schedule.
- Your headache could be a symptom of strained eyesight. Figuring out how to get rid of a headache may be as simple as updating your eyeglass prescription.
- Stop smoking.
- Reduce the amount of alcohol you drink.
If none of these headache remedies work for you, visit your doctor.
Small changes in your daily routines may help relieve headaches naturally. By changing your diet, you may be able to pinpoint any food or ingredients that trouble your system. Even reducing your exposure to digital screens may offer relief.
Watch The Full Presentation Recording
This article was adapted from a presentation by Dr Jacinta Johnson, originally presented during Migraine & Headache Awareness Week 2019.
Jacinta is a credentialled Advanced Practice Pharmacist and Lecturer in Pharmacy within the School of Pharmacy and Medical Science. Currently, Jacinta also holds the position of Senior Pharmacist Medication Safety at Flinders Medical Centre . In Addition, Jacinta is a Board Director for the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia , sits on the Leadership Group for the SHPA Education and Educational Visiting Speciatly Practice Stream and is an active member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia SA/NT Early Career Pharmacist Group. Her current research is focused upon pain, opioids, addiction and harm minimisation.
You May Like: How Does Botox Work For Migraines
Top 15 Natural Headache Remedies
What can you do for a headache? Luckily there are several natural remedies that can show you how to make a headache go away fast without medicine. Try some of these natural ways to fight headaches.
Magnesium is one of the most successful headache remedies, first of all, because its much safer than taking a painkiller. People who suffer from serious headaches, like migraines, often have low levels of magnesium, and several studies suggest that magnesium may reduce the frequency of migraine attacks in people with low levels.
Those prone to low counts of magnesium include people with diabetes, heart disease, alcoholism as well as those on diuretics for blood pressure.
Magnesium may prevent the wave of brain signaling, called cortical spreading depression, which produces the visual and sensory changes that are common when experiencing a headache, especially a migraine. Magnesium can block the pain-transmitting chemicals in the brain, and it can improve platelet function, which will help your body react to injuries and prevent bleeding.
Taking 200600 mg of magnesium a day can reduce the frequency of headache attacks. Both oral and intravenous magnesium are widely available, extremely safe and inexpensive. Magnesium can be used safely by women who are pregnant. The most frequent side effect of magnesium is diarrhea, but lowering your dose or taking it less often can eliminate that issue.
2. Gluten-Free Diet
3. Peppermint and Lavender Essential Oil
7. Stay Hydrated