Do you know what medication to use to cure headache? Did you know you shouldn’t use the same medications for migraines as for tension headaches?
I just had the longest headache ever that lasted six weeks. I had to use a different medication to get some pain relief. Finding the most effective medication was so tricky.
I never get headaches, just migraines, so I’d like to hear what you do to cure headaches successfully. Scroll down to fill me in on the form below.
Many years ago when I went back to visit Canada, my Panadol (paracetamol) got confiscated at the airport and I have been reluctant to use it ever since.
I moved to Australia way back when and they use it here for many things including headache. I would vomit for hours after taking Panadol, so I have never taken it in over twenty years. It never reduced the pain anyway.
But this time I was desperate to find relief. My normal migraine medication was just not working and I know that you can not use the same medications for both. It is the wrong action in the body. Read this post on migraine vs. headache for the details.
My headache was from shingles in the left side of my head, which, let's face it, is painful in itself. I’d show you the pictures of the welts on my face, but they are just too ugly. I don’t want that all over the internet. Yuck! Who knew shingles could come through in your head?
Leave it to me to be unusual. I eventually realized I could try paracetamol for this headache …. and it worked. I wrote about it on this post How Not To Get Rid of Headache.
Experiment to see which combination of these work for you.
1. Take an over the counter pain reliever like: aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naproxen. Some of my clients use capsaicin spray and it works well for them. Please see your doctor for help on this one, you don’t want to overdose when medications aren't working.
2. If it persists or you get other symptoms, see your doctor immediately or call the emergency services if you have: trouble walking or talking, nausea, feel faint, get paralysis, or if you can’t function normally seek professional help.
3. Try having a coffee, caffeine can help stop a headache. If you already drink coffee every day, this may not work.
4. Drink a liter (4-5 cups) of room temperature, filtered water.
5. Try some ginger slices in hot water (ginger tea), and drink lots of water.
6. Find a quiet, dark place to take a little nano nap. De-stress and unwind.
7. Use a cold compress or an ice pack on your forehead. Unless you know your headache is tension based, then a hot compress or a hot shower may be more effective.
8. Do these neck and back exercises.
9. Try these migraine pressure points.
10. Practice relaxation techniques like: meditation, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided visualizations, a body scan, yoga or just listen to some of your favorite music.
Feverfew and flaxseed oil are also great natural remedies to cure headache. Another popular combination is feverfew and white willow, which has similar properties to aspirin.
Butterbur, ginger, and coriander can also help.
Different people find relief for mild headaches with home remedies like: lavender oil, peppermint or basil oil.
Now keep in mind that in some European countries ingesting essential oils is prescribed by practitioners, but that is illegal here, so I am only talking about inhaling them or applying them to your skin topically.
Now lavender and peppermint make sense to me, but basil oil was a stretch. It is supposed to work as a muscle relaxant being more helpful for tension headaches and tight muscles. I found magnesium oil more helpful for this.
If you want to try inhaling lavender oil, put two to four drops into two or three cups of boiling water, just like you would Vicks vapor rub. Then put a towel over your head and relax and breathe in the steam until it cools.
The same can be done with peppermint oil. Although I prefer to put it straight onto my temples and lower back, and neck. I mix the two oils, but make sure you test your skin for an allergic reaction first.
Peppermint oil helps open and close blood vessels – it has vaso-constricting and vaso-dilating properties plus it opens the sinuses to get more oxygen into the bloodstream.
The first place to start is by avoiding stress and any potential food triggers.
These are the most common culprits for headaches and migraine:
• phenylethylamine in chocolate, cheese, raw soy beans, raw nuts and raw legumes, salami made with pork and eggs, just to name a few
• citrus fruits, mostly oranges
• avocado, banana, onions
• meats with nitrates, such as salami, bacon and hot dogs
• foods containing monosodium glutamate (MSG)
• foods containing tyramine, found in red wine, nuts, fermented meats, cheese and soy
• aspartame or any artificial sweeteners
• aged, fermented or pickled foods.
Use a food diary to keep track of your reactions to food triggers. It will help you find patterns and cure headache.
If you are getting regular headaches, you may naturally become more aware of what you are eating.
If you avoid the above foods, and drink a lot of water, your next step might be to try these foods high in magnesium:
Almonds, bananas, avocados and cashew nuts.
Some people eat hot spicy foods, and loads of leafy green vegetables like spinach.
According to health.com “There are the obvious choices for zapping the pain, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Motrin and Aleve, for example). People with migraines often take beta blockers or antidepressants to prevent headaches, and triptans, such as Imitrex or Relpax, once symptoms start.”
With a persistent and intense headache like this one I had, medication was the only thing I could think of.
Here are some other ideas and articles to read to cure headache and treat it more effectively:
According to the National Pain Foundation regular aerobic exercise like: brisk walking, biking, or swimming, can reduce migraine intensity and frequency significantly.
Ok, you still sitting here? .... Get up, run around your house and come to read the rest of the post.
In addition to all of the above, some doctors support taking different supplements as part of a headache relief strategy. The most common ones are:
riboflavin (vitamin B2), magnesium, and coenzyme Q10.
The evidence is mixed about effectiveness, but I like to be proactive, it's your choice.
To cure headache you might have to do some detective work to discover what works. I use this medication tracker to keep track of my supplements so I can easily see which one works.
If they stop you know you are on the right track.
Can you stop your headaches? If so, what do you do? Tell me your diagnosis, and the 2 or 3 things you use to stop your headache.
Do you use stress-relieving strategies to help reduce your pain and stay calm? Do you take medications?
What benefits have you gained or you think others could gain by implementing these strategies.
Just click in the white box and type away.
Here are more tips to cure headaches for us all to experiment with:
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I get headaches, headaches and yet more headaches. In order NOT to take pain killer medications I am making different lifestyle choices. My best stress …
Come back and visit soon,
How I Cure Headache