Do you know exactly what to do to cure headache? To get rid of it effectively? I use the word cure lightly, as it's really more like finding effective pain relief while the headache resolves itself.
Most of us will get a headache or two at some time in our lives. They can range from mild annoyances to disabling, skull crushing pain. Treatment then, will depend on many things: what type of headache you have, your health history, your choice of treatment be it medication or natural. So let’s take a look at what you need to do to stop the pain.
Now just so you know, there are a few different kinds of headaches meaning a few different kinds of treatments.
Here are some types:
Knowing what type of headache you have will help you find out the best way to treat your headache. So the first step is to jot down some notes about your symptoms and go see your doctor for a diagnosis.
Did you know you shouldn’t use the same medications for migraines as for tension headaches? It took many years for me to learn this, so let me share a little of my story in the hopes of cutting your learning curve into minutes!
I never get headaches, just migraine attacks.
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 did test it out for my migraines, but I would vomit for hours after taking Panadol, and it never reduced the pain one little bit.
Flash forward to a few years ago... I had this headache that lasted weeks and never stopped.
I was desperate to find some pain relief, but my normal migraine medication was just not working and I know that you can not use the same medications for headaches and migraines, but this pain was definitely migraine... or so I thought.
Please read this post - Migraine vs. Headache to see why the medications differ.
I suffered for over a week before I went to the doctor. It turned out that my headache was from shingles in the left side of my head. Shingles is very painful in itself, but who knew shingles could come through one side of your head?
Well now you know and here's a reminder...
Your very first step with any type of head pain is to see your doctor. Do not use the same medications for migraines that you use for tension headaches.
I was told to use paracetamol for this headache... and it worked. This OTC medication works for some people with their migraine abortive, so consider it as an option to cure 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, blurry vision, a stiff neck, nausea, feel faint, a high fever, paralysis on one side of your body, or feel extreme weakness.
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. To cure headache, you will have to use coffee like a medicine.
4. Dehydration can cause a headache. So make sure to drink enough water for your weight everyday. But to cure headache fast - drink a liter (4-5 cups) of room temperature, filtered water at your first warning signs.
5. Try some ginger slices in hot water (ginger tea), and drink more water.
6. Find a quiet, dark place to take a little nano nap for 30 minutes. De-stress and unwind.
7. Use a cold compress or an ice pack on your forehead and eyes. This can help your blood vessels constrict, which will reduce inflammation and then ease your headache pain.
If you know your headache is tension based, then a hot compress or a hot shower may be more effective.
8. Stretching out your tense muscles can help. Click here for some easy neck and back exercises.
9. Acupuncture is known to help. But when you can't get to the therapist during a headache, 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. I have a whole section on meditation for migraines.
If you want to start a regular practice, this is the best - What's The Best Home Remedy for Headache?
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, 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, 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 vasoconstriction and vasodilation properties plus it opens the sinuses to get more oxygen into the bloodstream.
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Try to avoid stress in your body by avoiding these potential food triggers. These are the most common culprits for headaches and migraine:
Use a food diary to keep track of your reactions to food triggers. It will help you find patterns and cure headache. I have an 8 week food and supplement experiment in my Migraine Pain Management Course... but you could start here with my free workshop...
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:
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.
So we know this...
Getting regular exercise will help reduce stress and improve your overall sense of wellbeing.
But experiment with finding the right exercises for you, as they can change over time and with age. So find what you enjoy the most and do it. And do it as often as you can.
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:
There's good evidence behind vitamin B2 and magnesium. CoQ10, however, is mixed about effectiveness. So it's up to your body! If they stop you know you are on the right track. Click here for the brand I recommend.
To cure headache you might have to do some detective work to discover what works. I use a medication tracker to keep track of my supplements so I can easily see which one works. You can download it for free when you subscribe to my monthly newsletter.
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