Almost every one of us faced a headache. It can be different: from a light dizziness to a feeling that the head is now exploding. Of course, for each type of pain in the head there is a separate method of treatment. But we suggest that you familiarize yourself with some universal methods that will quickly and permanently get rid of debilitating pain.
Quick ways to relieve the headache
- Take an anesthetic that is dispensed without a prescription. Most pain relievers begin to function in about 30 minutes, so you need to take the medicine as soon as you feel the first signs of a headache. Very effective ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naproxen or aspirin.
Do not take aspirin if you are under 19 years old. It is also contraindicated for children. Take an alternative analgesic, which will help to avoid the syndrome of Reye, a rare but deadly side effect of aspirin.
- Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can cause headaches, especially after you have thrown up or after drinking a lot of alcoholic beverages.As soon as you feel the approach of pain, drink a full glass of water, and then throughout the day, drink water often, but in small sips.Gradually the pain will recede. Also it is necessary to refrain from coffee, alcohol, sweet drinks – they also cause dehydration.Normal water is the best solution for a headache.
- Find a calm and dark place to rest. If possible, you should lie down and relax for at least half an hour. Close the curtains, turn off the light and focus on your breathing.
Take care of peace and quiet. In the event that you have to rest with other people, do not be too lazy to explain to them that you have a headache and ask to leave you alone and not disturb for a while.
Adjust the temperature in the room. Some people are able to relax only in a cool room, others prefer to relax under a large blanket and near the heater. When you go to rest, try to try several temperature regimes to choose the best for yourself.
Try to avoid the tension headache (a headache associated with stress). Make sure that the bed or sofa is comfortable enough, and the head is in a position that does not cause tension in the muscles of the neck.
- Use cold compresses. A soft and cold compress attached to the forehead helps the blood vessels to narrow, which will greatly relieve the headache. This method is quite effective if the pain is concentrated in the temples or sinuses.
Dampen the cloth with cold water and attach it to your forehead. Once the compress is warm, re-cool it.
Preparation of a long-acting compress. Put a wet compress in a plastic bag and place it in the freezer for 30 minutes. After that, put a compress on the forehead, the action of such a compress will last for a longer time, especially since a plastic bag will protect your skin from icy moisture.
- Massage your scalp, neck and ear lobes. Easy massage will not only distract from pain, but also improve blood circulation and relieve tension. The easiest way is to gently press your fingers on your temples and slowly massage them in a circular motion. However, you can use more advanced techniques:
Head massage. Take a shower and pamper yourself with a head massage, for this it is enough to make movements, as if you soap your hair with shampoo. Alternatively, you can put coconut oil or argan oil on your fingers and rub it into the scalp.
Take two tennis balls and put them in the sock. Lie on a flat surface, placing these two balls just below the base of the skull – on the occipital bone, relax. First of all, you can feel the pressure on the sinuses or even a little discomfort, but these feelings will quickly pass. This method is especially effective in sinus headache (headache in the sinuses of the sinuses).
If possible, you can get close neck and back massage. Literally a few movements made by a loving person will bring about the desired relaxation and release of tension. Particular attention should be paid to the nape of the neck.
Massaging the bridge of the nose is effective for sinus pain and migraine.
You can effortfully massage the biologically active points that are in the place where bones of the thumb and index finger meet (second metacarpal bone). It’s best if someone else helps you with the massage, so both hands can be massaged at the same time. However, if you do this yourself, then you need to massage the points in turn for 5 minutes each.
- Enjoy the sex. Making love not only removes stress and normalizes blood pressure, they also stimulate the production of the hormone oxytocin, which in turn helps to release endorphins, the natural anesthetizing human body.
- Practice relaxation techniques. Throughout the world, people use many tricks to avoid pain. When the headache reaches its apogee, do not worry about mastering new techniques – try not to leave your comfort zone. (You can read about new techniques of meditation at any other time, when well-being will improve). However, the following techniques can be used at almost any moment:
- Deep breathing.
- Listening to binaural beats.
Prevention of migraine
- Act immediately as the first symptoms appear. Preventing migraines is much easier than stopping. Take action immediately after the appearance of these symptoms:
Pain in the eyes;
Vision has lost clarity or a blind spot has appeared;
Stars or pulsating zigzag lines before the eyes;
Problems with concentration;
Difficulties in finding the right words.
- Take an anesthetic prescription. Do not forget that analgesics begin to act only after 40 minutes, so it is so important to take the medicine before the pain intensifies. Use ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naproxen or aspirin.Take analgesics containing caffeine. Most of the pain relievers who help with headaches or migraines include not only an analgesic drug, but also caffeine. However, if you do not have a drug at hand, you can combine an anesthetic with a cup of coffee or black tea. Do not take aspirin if you are under 19 years old. It is also contraindicated for children. In this case, use an alternative pain medication, which will help to avoid the syndrome of Reye, a rare but deadly side effect of aspirin.
- Relieve stress. Stress reduces the level of dopamine in the body, which can lead to migraine. Once you feel the approach of a migraine, use the following techniques to help you relax: Relaxation. Meditation, prayer, the practice of breathing exercises, or another familiar relaxation technique. Take it easy and do not worry about learning something new – use the ways that you know well. Write down what’s bothering you. When stress is due to a busy schedule or some important event, make sure to list the disturbing reasons. Just imagine that you have transferred all your worries to the paper and will deal with them when the migraine passes. Drawing up such a list will eliminate the need to constantly think about your problems. Resort to escapism. Run away from your difficulties for a short time. Watch movies, play games, read books, or try to find any other convenient way to abstract yourself from everyday life.
- Rest in a cool, dark room. If you have free time, then spend 30 minutes in such a room to relax and calm your migraine. Coolness will help to cope with nausea, and darkness will ease the symptoms associated with visual impairment.
- In time, ask for help from a doctor. Despite the severe pain and discomfort inherent in any migraine, it is not life threatening. However, you should know clearly when to use the services of a doctor. Immediately contact the hospital when:
You did not experience such a strong headache;
Pain increases in lying position;
The migraine began suddenly, without the usual symptoms;
Speech, vision or movement is severely impaired, especially if these symptoms are observed for the first time.
Natural remedies for headaches
- Stay up to date. There is a certain amount of natural remedies that can cope with a headache. However, special attention should be paid to the study of side effects and possible allergic reactions, in addition, it is important to take into account contraindications to the use of one or another remedy, for example, pregnancy or chronic diseases.
- Try to be treated by herbs. There are several herbs that will help get rid of the headache:
Pyrethrum: You can take pyrethrum not only in pills or capsules, but also make herbal tea or add it to food as a spice (just note that this herb has a bitter taste). The effectiveness of pyrethrum has not been fully proven, but its usefulness is indicated by the fact that this plant has been used for medicinal purposes for several centuries. Pyrethrum has no serious side effects. True, there may be pain in the tongue, mouth ulcers, nausea, digestive problems, or bloating. With prolonged use, the plant can cause sleep disturbances and cause headaches independently.
Additives with willow bark, magnesia, peppermint or lavender are also quite effective. However, it should be noted that the usefulness of such additives does not have a sufficient scientific basis. However, if you feel relieved after taking such drugs, then you should not abandon them.
Tea. A cup of tea from passionflower, rosemary or lavender will greatly alleviate the headache. But mint or chamomile tea will help to relax.
- Use aromatherapy. There are many drugs for aromatherapy, but some essential essential oils are indispensable for the treatment of headaches. These include lavender, marjoram, chamomile. These oils can be used with neck massage, inhalation or added during bathing in the bathroom.
To quickly remove the pain, mix 5 drops of rosemary oil, nutmeg, lavender together with massage oil. Massage the neck and upper back.
If you have an inhaler, add 7 drops of lavender oil and 3 drops of peppermint oil – and do an inhalation session. Alternatively, you can put a little peppermint oil on a handkerchief and several times breathe deeply through it.
- Use homeopathic remedies. If you trust homeopathy, then you can use certain drugs in order to relieve occasional headaches:
– Bryonia: an excellent remedy to relieve the headache caused by muscle overexertion.
– Ignatia: optimally suited to eliminate pain in the head due to emotional exhaustion.
- Eat right. Lack of food can also provoke headaches, so make sure that you eat right and enough. In addition, certain foods can even help relieve pain. Of course, there is no medical basis for eating these products, but they have helped many people, perhaps they will help you.
Eat almonds. This nut contains anesthetic chemicals that can relieve the symptoms of a headache.
Add cayenne pepper to the food. This kind of pepper is considered another stimulant for the development of endorphins, which will also help get rid of headaches. You can use this kind of pepper for food, but experts say that its local application is most effective. Therefore, it is not superfluous to consult a doctor (or a cook) about the local use of cayenne pepper.
Effective are acetic compresses (it is desirable that the vinegar is home-made, or at least apple).
Eat drinks with caffeine. It is the caffeine that narrows the blood vessels, which will also help relieve pain. However, excessive intake of caffeine can, on the contrary, provoke a migraine, so another cup of coffee should be replaced with tea. However, caffeine is also able to enhance the action of painkillers, so it is part of many analgesics.
Useful physical exercises for headache
- Stretching. If you suffer from tensile headaches (from stress), then you should regularly stretch the muscles of the neck and back to get rid of the pain. This is especially true with physical stress, for example, with aching shoulders.
- Yoga. The main purpose of yoga is to relieve muscle tension, which will reduce or completely get rid of pain. A simple neck workout or relaxing exercises will benefit.
- Walks in the open air. This method is especially effective if you spend a lot of time in a sitting position, and the head is filled with various thoughts. Physical activity will improve blood circulation, new landscapes will positively affect the perception of the world, and fresh air will awaken to action. By the time of returning home, the well-being will improve significantly.
Change your lifestyle
- Make your workplace ergonomic. Incorrect position of the body while working at the computer, can also provoke headaches. Make sure that the furniture and computer layout are right for your height.
Do not forget to take regular breaks during work and give your eyes a rest. Do charging for the eyes, focusing the view at certain points at different distances. In addition, every hour, get up and do a little workout.
- Change your diet. Changes in nutrition will not immediately remove the headache, but in the long term the source of pain may disappear. If you do not know how to properly organize your diet, then consult a doctor, nutritionist or naturopath.
First of all, find out if you have any food allergies and exclude these foods from your diet.
Reduce the intake of caffeine, because excessive consumption of it can cause headaches. However, a complete cessation of caffeine can also cause temporary pain, although after a while everything will return to normal.
It is also desirable to exclude from the diet products containing sodium glutamate, nitrites and nitrates (for example, sausages), tyramines (aged cheese, wine, beer and processed meat), sulfites (dried fruits, condiments and wine), salicylates (tea, vinegar and some fruit).
- Treat the musculoskeletal system. If you have problems with back or neck, poor posture, as well as muscle strain, then they can provoke headaches. Eliminate these sources of pain by using certain exercises – stretching, yoga or Pilates. It is extremely important to seek the advice of a specialist – physiotherapist or chiropractor, osteopath.
- Apply for help to professionals. Quite often the source of the headache may be problems in other parts of the head. In this case, it is necessary to consult a qualified doctor. For example, it’s worth to visit a dentist if you have a jaw bias, tooth decay, abscesses or a tooth extraction site has been infected. To the oculist should be consulted in case of visual impairment, it can also provoke headaches due to overwork of the eyes. In addition, the causes of pain in the head are diseases of the ear, throat, nose, so the visit to loroy should not be postponed.
- Calm down. Persistent anger, irritation or frustration can cause severe headaches. You should seek professional help from a psychologist who will teach several very effective ways to manage your emotions.
During emotional stress, we often contract jaws or clench our teeth. Try to make an effort and relax your face muscles. To do this, just yawn.
If stress situations such as exams, weddings or getting a driver’s license are anticipated in the near future, be sure to practice relaxation exercises.
Types of headache
Determine your type of headache. Mostly, a person suffers from a tensile headache or pain caused by lifestyle characteristics. In general, such pains do not bring much harm, except for severe discomfort. However, if you often experience headaches or if the pain is extremely severe and does not respond to pain medications, new symptoms appear, then you should immediately consult a doctor for examination and determine the correct diagnosis.
Below is a list of the main types of headache, which only confirms the variety of causes of its appearance, so it is so important to determine the type of headache in order to choose the most effective course of treatment:
- Tension pain is the most common type of headache. Basically, it appears after physical or emotional stress, but can last for hours or even days. Tension headache occurs as a result of muscle contraction. Often it is felt behind the eyes and in the forehead, but pain can arise anywhere in the head and even give in the back. Such pain can be blunt, and also relapsing, if its source has not been found. It can be accompanied by malaise, nausea, especially with anxiety or depression. In principle, this type of pain responds well to pain medications, rest or stress relief.
- Headache caused by excessive use of medicines: this type of pain is also quite common. It provokes the abuse of medicines. Most often, the headache arises as a symptom of withdrawal after prolonged use of analgesics. To stop the pain of this type, it is enough just to stop using the medication. This process will take a certain time, but as a result, the pain will stop. It is worth noting that the symptoms of this type of headache are very similar to the symptoms of tensile pain.
- Headache caused by a hangover: the pain is so real, how real is the use of alcohol the night before! Symptoms include throbbing pain, nausea and poor general condition. Do not forget to drink plenty of fluids and be patient.
- Headache caused by an allergy to foods: if you suffer from a headache caused by an allergy, you will suffer from a runny nose and watery eyes. This type of headache is considered seasonal, so you should consult your doctor about choosing antihistamines. For such pain, other symptoms are also characteristic – chest pain, burning sensation in the trunk, neck or shoulders, pulsation in the head. Nitrites and nitrates in meat can cause headaches of varying degrees of intensity. Also, if you quickly drink a cold drink or eat ice cream, then there is a risk of causing a “freezing of the brain”, a rather painful, but short-lived condition.
- Migraine: migraine is a throbbing headache, which is accompanied by severe nausea, sometimes vomiting. There may also be problems with sight – the objects of the surrounding world have an “aura”, they can start to flicker, in addition, vision can partially disappear. Some migraines cause numbness or weakness. The appearance of migraine could be facilitated by reaction to food, stress, hormonal changes. Some people suffer from migraine heredity. This type of pain requires special attention and it is necessary to consult a doctor to choose the right medicines, as well as other methods of therapy.
- Cluster headaches: this is a fairly common type of headache that spreads around the eyes or affects only one side of the head. They can be accompanied by omission (ptosis) of the upper eyelid, secretions from the nose, lacrimation. Cluster headaches are 4 times more common in men, especially in adolescence and middle age, and can be permanent. With cluster pain, it is extremely important to consult a doctor for advice and treatment. There are several medications and treatment courses that can alleviate the symptoms.
- Headache caused by stress in another part of the body: a headache can cause blocked sinuses, a cold, a virus, fever, cough, physical strain, hunger, eye fatigue, neck or back strain, arthritis, dental problems. In each case, you need to consult your doctor, because you need treatment of the body as a whole, and not just the elimination of headaches. In addition, pain can cause permanent wearing of certain things, for example, swimming goggles, as well as some types of hairstyle (tight tail) to eliminate pain, you need to give up uncomfortable accessories or change the way you lay them.
- Headache caused by the consequences of an accident: getting into an accident and trauma to the head while doing so can also cause headaches. It can be accompanied by concussion, fracture of the skull, internal bleeding, so it is so important to immediately seek medical help. Post-traumatic headaches can result from an accident or injury, they are extremely difficult to treat and may require the intervention of a psychologist or psychiatrist.
- Aneurysm: if you experience extreme pain, then perhaps it only imitates migraine or cluster headaches. It is characterized by stiff neck, double vision, loss of consciousness. In this case, the operation and stabilization of blood pressure is the main way of treatment.
- Headache caused by a tumor: this is a rare case, so when you have any suspicions, consult a doctor immediately. Some symptoms of a brain tumor can be expressed in the numbness or weakness of the limbs, slurred speech, visual impairment, epileptic seizures, personality changes, or loss of balance. It is very rare that a tumor manifests itself only as a headache.
- Headache caused by altitude sickness: when suffering from altitude sickness, pain can manifest either in the entire head, or only on one side. Often such a pain occurs in climbers who do not use oxygen. Precautions should be taken when treating altitude sickness.
- Other pain: There are many reasons for the occurrence of a headache, so the best way is to see a doctor. If there is any doubt, immediately visit the hospital.
Tips and cautions for headaches
- Do not be afraid to pause and take a break during the fun. If you stay and pretend that you are feeling great, then the headache will only increase. It is best to rest a bit and then join the company of friends again.
- If possible, leave the hair loose, discarding tails or braids.
- If you often suffer from migraines, then develop a treatment plan with your doctor. Avoid foods such as cheese or chocolate. Sleep and eat regularly – it is extremely important to eliminate migraine headaches.
- When suffering tensile pain, the availability of ready meals in the freezer will help – it will bring the desired relief. So, you will relieve yourself of stress without asking yourself the eternal question of what to cook for dinner. Instead of standing at the stove, you can safely rest after a hard working day.
- Keep a diary of your headaches. First of all, it will help to identify the patterns of pain. Do they appear after a particularly tense period at work, the use of certain products, the onset of menstruation, etc. As a result, you will be able to prevent a headache long before it appears.
- Try several methods to relieve the headache. Not every one of them is suitable, so it is so important to control those symptoms that can serve as a signal for immediate medical attention.
- In some people, CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) can cause headache, so these light sources should be replaced, if necessary, with conventional incandescent lamps or LEDs.
- Look at your way of life from the outside, trying to evaluate it as a whole. Identify areas in which you can reduce stress, provoking body tension and headache. In addition, protect yourself from certain foods, bright light, alcohol, heavy physical exertion, stress, cardinal changes in your life, problems with sleep. Thus, you can reduce the likelihood of headaches, stress, tension.
- Drink lots of cold water.
- Go to a dark and quiet room and focus on your breathing, while at the same time massaging your forehead.
- Sleep with a cold towel on your forehead.
- After taking an anesthetic, lie on your side on the bed or on a soft sofa. So you better transfer the time until the analgesic begins to act. Try to make sure that there is always a glass of water at hand, and there should be no screens (TV, computer) in the room. Turn off the light, close your eyes, breathe deeply and relax. This method will work much better when using comfortable and loose clothes. However, this method is not effective for everyone.
- Massage the palm between the thumb and forefinger. Exposure to nerve endings at this point stimulates the narrowing of the blood vessels in the head.
- Drink enough water. Very often dehydration causes headaches.
- Replace the coffee with tea.
- Rest in a dark room, where only natural sounds are heard.
- Immediately consult a doctor when observing the following symptoms:A severe headache, which had not been encountered before;
Headache quickly changes its character (from dull becomes acute);
A sharp or unusual headache;
The headache becomes stronger with each passing day and does not go away;
Combination of headache, pain in the neck and high fever (signs of meningitis);
Epileptic seizures, convulsions, vomiting, intolerance of bright light, rash, weakness, personality changes.
- Some medications can cause headaches, for example, birth control pills. Do not forget to consult your doctor about whether drugs can cause a headache. Often, pain in the head is either a side effect, or a signal that you need to pay attention to the general state of health.
- Seriously treat head injuries. With any damage to the head, you should consult a doctor, even if you do not experience symptoms of concussion or no pain.
- Be cautious with painkillers, over the counter. For example, an overdose of Tylenol (acetaminophen) is toxic to the liver. Do not take more than two tablets every 6 hours. Also, the combination of Tylenol and alcohol has a negative effect on the liver. Always read the instructions for any painkiller and follow the indicated dosage.
- Try not to resort to home treatment. Often it only gets worse. Therefore, it is so important to consult a doctor. If the headache worsens or new symptoms appear, contact the hospital immediately.
- Do not take NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) if you have an ulcer, stomach or bowel problems, and asthma.