Headaches are annoying and very discomforting. As the name imply it is an ache in any region of the head. The pain can be mild or severe and can be acute or chronic.
It is not your brain feeling the pain because it lacked pain receptors but the skull, muscles, veins, arteries and nerves of the head are the ones that can be affected. It is a symptom of several diseases.
In Africa the most commonest being malaria. It is so common that when people develop the headache symptom they just treat themselves for malaria.
Headaches are rampant and we need to learn how to manage them in isolation because we need to limit the drugs we take so as to limit the burden on our liver which processes most drugs and it’s a non-complaining organ.
There are lots of over the counter analgesics, pain killers that we can purchase to relieve the the headache the most common being acetaminophen commonly sold as paracetamol and panadol.
I have a friend that suffers from migraines and tension headaches and she works through the episodes. She has a lot of drugs she take and it is not good for the liver.
This article hope to give you alternatives that you can try that can relieve you of the pain.
10 ways you can get rid of a headache fast.
If the cause of your headache is dehydration, you can easily get relief from the pain by re-hydrating your body.
You will know this if the pain starts during an exercise or you feeling exhausted, weak and you feel like drinking water
– Simply drink a glass of water at the first sign of a headache and continue taking small sips throughout the day.
– Along with water, you can have sports drinks. The electrolytes present in sports drinks can treat headaches caused by tension and dehydration.
When suffering from a headache, stay away from drinks like alcohol that can dehydrate your body. It is imperative that you don’t take it at all in any form.
This may seem odd because of the kind of temperature. Applying heat on the back of your neck can relieve headaches caused by stress. Heat relaxes tense muscles, thus alleviating the throbbing pain.
– Simply apply a hot water bag to the back of your neck or take a hot shower directing the water onto the back of your neck.
– Another option is to fill a tub with bearable hot water and put your hands in it for 10 to 15 minutes. This will improve blood circulation and thus give you relief from the headache.
– If you suffer from chronic headaches, you can dip your legs in a bucket filled with hot water for 10 minutes before going to bed.
Most of us will be used to this because it is quite common. It gives you an instant relieve although mostly not a permanent one depending on the cause of the headache.
Placing a cold compress like an ice pack on your forehead will numb the pain, help shrink the blood vessels and improve circulation to the area.
This particular remedy works well for headaches due to stress or sinus problems. It can totally eradicate that kind of headache.
– Wrap some ice cubes or crushed ice in a thin towel. Hold it against your forehead for a few minutes. A bag of frozen vegetables can also serve as an icepack. Never apply ice directly on your skin as it can damage the skin.
– Alternatively, apply a cold cloth on your head and temples for 10 minutes and repeat the process for some time until you get relief.
This method is used to crash the body temperature generally.
Lemon is a very effective and powerful ingredient to treat headache because it is refreshing and relaxing. Plus, it helps maintain the acid-alkaline balance in the body.
– Drinking warm water mixed with juice squeezed from one-half of a lemon will reduce the intensity of a headache. This particular remedy is beneficial for headaches caused by gas in the stomach.
– Another option is to apply lemon crusts, pounded into a paste, on your forehead to immediately relieve pain.
Both apples and apple cider vinegar can be used to fight off a headache. They help restore the acid-alkaline balance in the body. Furthermore, simply the smell of green apples can help reduce migraine headaches.
– When you wake up in the morning with a headache, eat a piece of apple sprinkled with some salt. Then drink some warm water.
– Alternatively, fill a large bowl with steaming hot water and add 3 to 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to it. Hold a towel over your head and take in the steam for 10 to 15 minutes.
– Another option is to add 2 teaspoons of some apple cider vinegar to a glass of water. You can also add a little honey and lemon juice. Drink it 2 or 3 times a day.
Ginger has got anti-inflammatory properties that can help in easing headache pain.
At the same ginger helps in relaxing the blood vessels in the head and reduces swelling in the brain and activates natural opiates in the brain which helps in lessening the pain associated with tension headache.
– When having a headache, you must drink ginger tea three to four times a day to reduce inflammation in the body.
– However, it is important to take ginger tea at the very beginning of a headache. This will help the ginger to act quickly and lessen the headache.
Massage Your Scalp, Neck and Ear Lobes
Doing some light massage can distract you from the pain, as well as improving circulation and relieving tension.
For a basic massage, gently press your fingers over your temples, and move them in slow circles. Or, try these more advanced techniques:
– Do a scalp massage. Hop in the shower and treat yourself to a long scalp massage as you shampoo your hair. Or, for a drier version, pour a little bit of coconut or argan oil on your fingers and rub into your scalp.
– Find two tennis or racquet balls and put them in a sock. Lie on a flat surface and place the two balls just below the base of your skull, on the occipital bone, and relax.
You may feel sinus pressure or minimal discomfort at first but it will go away. This is especially helpful for sinus headaches.
– Have someone else massage your neck and back if possible. The simple touch of someone else who cares about you can relieve a lot of tension instantly. Have them focus on the occipital region as well.
– Gently massaging the bridge of your nose can help relieve sinus and migraine headaches.
– Massage the soft part of your hand in between your index finger and thumb. Nerves in that spot allow your blood vessels in your forehead to constrict.
– Firmly massage the acupressure point on each hand where the thumb and index finger bones meet (second metacarpal bone).
It’s best if somebody does this for you, so both hands can be massaged simultaneously, but if that’s not possible, massage one hand for five minutes, then massage the other hand.
Stretch, relax, and breathe
Our lives are fast paced, busy, and filled with more than a little stress. Our overworked minds and bodies react to this by tensing and knotting up muscles, usually in the upper back, neck, and shoulders.
Thanks to a little something called referred pain-pain felt in an area other than where the actual painful stimulus is-we end up with tension-type headaches. To help head these buggers off, try some of the following tips.
Yoga will get your mind focused, stretch out your muscles, and get you moving in ways that can help you drop the tension-and if you drop the tension, you can drop the tension-headache.
Just doing a few moves when the pain starts up can help, but the best thing to do is a set aside a few minutes each day to practice regularly and prevent headaches before they happen.
You may think your breathing alright, but if your head is pounding you’re likely not getting the most out of the oxygen you take in.
In general we take breaths that are too shallow, and when we are experiencing pain or stress, we definitely breathe to shallow.
Make a conscious effort to take deep, full, breaths that start in your diaphragm and fill up your lungs.
This will get your plenty of fresh oxygen circulating through your blood and will also help relax your mind and body.
Drop your shoulders:
This is one I remind myself to do about 5 times a day. Make yourself aware of how you carry your shoulders.
When you think of it, tell yourself to drop them down. You’d be surprised at how often we carry them hunched up too high, resulting in soreness and, of course, headaches.
This was actually the method that got me through headache episodes while I was in school. #
An aching head does not inspire one to get active, but getting up and moving-outside in fresh air if possible- can help loosen up tight muscles causing a headache.
It also gives you something to focus on to take your mind off the pain.
Good exercise also releases endorphins, which can dull the uncomfortable sensation caused by a headache. To get the most out of your activity, keep in mind the following tips.
Exercising only when you feel like it is less likely to prevent headaches then exercising on a regular basis.
Routine also gives your body just that-routine. Routine helps us function, at least physically, better than we might if we didn’t have any.
Warm up and cool down:
Take your time getting yourself warmed up and properly cooled down. Jumping into strenuous activities and then abruptly stopping is more likely to cause a headache then stop it.
Enjoy the outdoors:
If possible, exercise outside. The invigorating fresh air and change in scenery does something that just makes our bodies and minds feel good.
Use your imagination
Mental imagery has been shown to reduce headaches, whether mild or severe, by helping people relax and loosen up the knots that may be causing the pain.
There are guided imagery coaches, but you can also do this on your own. Imagery exercises create a “mental scape” that is calm, peaceful, and pain free-your happy place, if you will.
To work on your ‘scape, try the following.
Find a quiet place to close your eyes and use your mind to fill your head with something other than pain. Picture rolling hills or waves lapping over sand, even just creating a landscape of soothing colors can be helpful.
Try adding a quiet soundtrack to this exercise; be it sounds of nature or just a soft song that calms you down. Breathe and be patient. Also, be patient. And then be a little more patient.
Don’t get worked up because your headache isn’t gone after you spent 30 seconds impatiently picturing a tree, this stuff takes practice and some dedication (and patience) but it’s worth it.