Headaches are common in today’s busy life. The pain can be mild to severe. Anybody who has endured the pain knows how discomforting that can be. But how to get rid of a headache?
People who get headaches occasionally usually try to find easy ways on how to get rid of a headache without understanding the underlying cause of the pain.
Nowadays we live a very hectic life. We are continuously balancing our work life with your family commitments. Late-night shifts, early hours of work, emotional stress, and unhealthy lifestyle are the root causes of headaches.
Before finding out how to get rid of a headache, let us first understand the main causes of headaches.
Types of Headaches and Their Causes
Check out the different types of headache causes:
Tension is the most common cause of headaches. These headaches are more common in women over 20. The symptoms are characterized by the stiffening of the muscles in the scalp, shoulders, and neck area. The pain can be dull or aching and can be recurrent.
2. Cluster headaches
These headaches can cause excruciating pain or a burning sensation on the sides of the head or the eyes. You will get tears in your eyes that may cause nasal congestion or runny nose (rhinorrhea). The pain can last for a few weeks and occur more than once in a day.
Migraine headaches are most common and can cause a severe throbbing sensation in the head along with dizziness, blurred vision, or nausea. The pain can be mild to severe. Migraines can occur several times in a month. Migraine can also occur with no head pain especially in older people. They may experience other symptoms.
4. Rebound headaches
These are generally caused due to over-use of medications that are used to treat headaches. You may get rebound headaches early in the morning and the symptoms may last all day. Pain medication may improve the symptoms but they may come back after the effect wears off. Symptoms include neck pain, irritation, nasal congestion, and sleep depravity.
5. Thunderclap headaches
These headaches can be fatal and usually occur due to some injury, intracerebral hemorrhage, aneurysms, meningitis, or other medical conditions. The pain usually occurs with full intensity and may last for several minutes. If you experience such pain, you must take immediate medical advice.
6. Cough headaches
These headaches occur due to nasal congestion, frequent sneezing or coughing. Cough headaches usually subside within a day or two. If the symptoms persist, visit a doctor for medical advice.
7. Activity headaches
Headaches due to strenuous activity or exercise. These headaches occur due to some strenuous activity like swimming, running, or vigorous exercise.
8. Sinus headache
Sinus headaches. An infection of the sinuses or sinusitis can trigger sinus headaches. Symptoms may include throbbing of the head and pressure in the forehead or eyes.
9. Hormonal headaches
Your hormones can play a major role in causing headaches. Women going through menopause, pregnancy, menstruation cycle, or some hormone replacement therapy are prone to headaches.
10. Brain freeze
Many of us might have experienced a sudden trigger of stabbing head pain while having ice-cream or frozen foods. Brain freeze is a common term used to describe such headaches. It is a temporary condition and subsides after a few minutes.
11. Anxiety headache
Anxiety and stress are the most common causes of headaches. Stress in the workplace can often infuse recurrent headaches. Working in the same posture and continuous exposure to the glare of the computer can also trigger headaches.
12. Lifestyle problem
Sedentary lifestyle. Sleep depravity, eating disorders, lack of exercise or physical activity can induce headaches.
Did you know that a quick sip of a glass of water can relieve your headache symptoms? Dehydration occurs when there is a lack of fluid in our body. We often neglect the signs of dehydration. Our body loses water daily while urinating, strenuous activity, and sweating. We often fail to replenish our body fluids by taking enough liquid. This causes dehydration and may trigger migraines or dull headaches.
Excessive alcohol intake. Alcoholism is a clear trigger to headaches.
Natural remedies for headaches
There are a lot of over-the-counter pain medications available in the market that can give you instant relief from headaches. But chances are that the headaches may recur within a few hours.
Long-term use of pain medications can have side effects and can harm your health. This is a reason why some people do not prefer pain medications.
Here is the good news. Thankfully, nature is bountiful and has gifted us a host of natural remedies for headaches which are simple and do not need a trip to the drugstore.
If you are looking for ways in how to get rid of a headache, your search ends here. Our comprehensive list of natural remedies is simple, works fast, and is readily available at our home.
1. Hydrate your Body
Dehydration may cause headaches. Drinking lots of water is not only good for your health but gives instant relief to severe headaches.
Recent studies have shown that chronic dehydration can cause irritation, tension, headaches, and migraines. The remedy is simple. Quickly hydrate yourself by drinking a few glasses of water. You will get relief within 30 minutes or an hour.
Eat fluid-rich foods and drink plenty of water especially during the summers to prevent dehydration-induced headaches.
2. Reduce Alcohol Intake
Alcohol is a vasodilator. It opens up the blood vessels and allows more blood flow. Vasodilators can cause headaches in some people. This is a common reason why blood pressure medicines which are vasodilators cause headaches.
Some people may also experience headaches due to alcohol intake. Alcohol can induce migraines and severe pain. It also causes frequent urination and may cause temporary dehydration. The loss of fluid due to frequent urination may cause headaches.
Limit your alcohol intake to a minimum especially if you experience frequent headaches after having alcohol. Overconsumption of alcohol can cause headaches and is injurious to health.
3. Sleep Depravity
Sleep deprivation can cause headaches. Research shows that people who get less than 6 hours of sleep on an average may get headaches.
Proper rest and sleep are essential for your body to relax and rejuvenate. Doctors recommend a minimum of 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily to avoid the symptoms of headaches.
4. Caffeinated Coffee or Tea
Caffeine is a mood booster. It rejuvenates, increases alertness, relaxes, and strengthens your energy. Caffeinated beverages like tea or coffee help reduce headaches.
If you are experiencing excruciating pain, a sip of your favorite coffee or tea can relax your nerves and make you feel better. The aroma of the beverages can play a trick and soothe your senses.
However, regular use of caffeine in large quantities can induce headaches if suddenly stopped. The person may experience caffeine withdrawal symptoms like head pain.
5. Peppermint Oil
Thinking of how to get rid of a headache? Why not use some peppermint oil? Essential oils like peppermint and lavender have natural ingredients and are aromatic. You can inhale or apply some oil on the forehead or the upper lip. The thick aroma of the oils will soothe your muscles and give relief to your head pain.
Peppermint can be eaten, inhaled, and applied as a muscle relaxant. It has menthol which regulates and increases the blood flow and improves circulation. Breathe in some peppermint aroma in a cool dark room and you feel relaxed in no time. Also, you can mix a few drops of peppermint oil with almond oil and apply it on your forehead.
Herbal peppermint tea is rich in antioxidants. Add some peppermint leaves in a hot cup of tea. Cover it up for a few minutes. Strain the tea and drink it slowly. It will work wonders.
6. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil has a beautiful aroma. Many beauticians use it for aromatherapy. The fragrance of the oil relaxes your senses, reduces stress, and promotes calmness.
You can simply pour a few drops of lavender oil in a handkerchief or a tissue paper and breathe in for a few minutes. It will help you calm down. You can also take the steam of lavender oil. Take a bowl of hot water and pour a few drops of the oil and breathe in the steam. A lavender foot bath will relax you and the hot water will release the tension from your veins.
7. Ginger Tea
Believe me, this is probably one of the best ways to get rid of a headache. Ginger is a home remedy that gives instant relief to chronic head pains.
Ginger has numerous health benefits. The ginger root opens up the blood vessels and reduces inflammation and pain. It helps in digestion and reduces cold and cough symptoms.
Here is a magic recipe that you can quickly prepare at your home. Make a paste of ginger or take some ginger powder and mix it with water to form a thick paste. Apply it on your forehead. You will get quick relief.
Alternatively, make some light ginger tea with a dash of lemon juice. The recipe works wonders especially if you have headaches due to common cold.
8. Basil Tea
Basil leaves is an analgesic and muscle relaxant. Take a few basil leaves and heat it in water. Let the mixture simmer for a few minutes. Add some tea leaves and a teaspoon of honey. Take a few sips of the freshly minted tea. It will give relief of headaches due to tension and anxiety.
Basil has a strong aroma and it relaxes your muscles. Take a bowl of boiling water and add a bunch of basil leaves to it. Take the steam for half an hour. You will feel instant relief.
Did you know that cloves are a natural pain reliever? The spice has an ingredient called eugenol that numbs the nerves and reduces the pain. Dried cloves are commonly used in toothaches.
Severe tooth pain can also cause headaches. Crush some cloves and put it in a dry handkerchief and slowly inhale the smell until the symptoms are relieved. You can also add some clove oil in a few drops of coconut oil and gently apply it on your forehead and temples. It is a good remedy for pain.
10. Cold Compress
Still looking for how to get rid of a headache? Here is an easy remedy. Take a cold compress. An ice pack reduces inflammation tightens the blood vessels and helps to reduce pain.
Take an ice pack and cover it with a soft towel and apply the compress on your forehead or at the back of your neck. It is helpful during severe migraine attacks and will reduce pain.
Have you tried all the tested ways in how to get rid of a headache, and still no result? Do you know that acupuncture is one of the earliest ways of pain relief? The ancient Chinese tradition locates the pressure points for headaches and inserts thin needles into those areas.
Acupuncture stimulates the nerves that trigger the hormones. It increases the circulation of the blood and helps to reduce the pain from headaches and migraines. Acupuncture claims to provide holistic wellness by increasing positivity and removing negativity from the body.
12. Yoga and Meditation
Still not convinced on how to get rid of a headache? Here is one of the best ways to get rid of that stubborn pain that has been bothering you for years. Yoga originated in India. Yoga and meditation not only help in your headaches, they may prevent recurrence of the symptoms and also is beneficial for the overall wellness of your health.
If you are new to yoga, try out some gentle techniques that help to relax the muscles of your body. You can start with deep breathing along with some light meditation. It will help you relax. Avoid rigorous yoga or difficult postures. This might trigger the pain even more. Talk to your yoga instructor about the history of your migraines. Many instructors prefer “hatha yoga”. This is gentle yoga and works well with beginners.