Headaches are something that happens to nearly everyone at some point in their lives, and for some, it happens almost daily.
There are countless reasons you may be experiencing a headache, and most of them are very benign. Daily headaches can occur at anytime through out the day and below are some of the best ways of how to get rid of a headache. The question to point out is why you are getting headaches. A few reasons may include:
-stress and anxiety
-chronic fatigue syndrome
-neck or back pain (which radiates or ‘refers’ pain to your head)
-Temporomandibular Disorder (TMJ)
-overexertion through exercise or daily activities
-lack of restful sleep or insomnia
-sleeping in a ‘weird’ position
-too much sleep
-food sensitivities (particularly to caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, and cured meats)
-earache or infection
How To Get Rid of A Headache
Whatever the cause, headaches interfere with your daily routine. They can range from mildly irritating to incredibly painful, and when they come on, all you want is for them to go away. So the questions is: how to get rid of a headache?
One of the first things most people reach for when figuring out how to get rid of a headache is an over-the-counter medication. Pain relievers like Tylenol or Ibuprofen are the most common choices. Excedrin has a pain relief medication designed specifically for headaches, and another good choice is naproxen, or aspirin. Never give aspirin to a child, however, and always check with your doctor if you have any preexisting health conditions which might put you at risk when taking a pain reliever.
While a pain reliever is great if you have a typical tension headache, sometimes you may need to reach for an antihistamine, like Benadryl or Zyrtec. This is because a lot of headaches stem from issues in your sinuses. If your headache is paired with a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, puffy bags under your eyes, or a sore throat, reach for an antihistamine instead.
What if you are wondering how to get rid of a headache caused by the common cold or flu? The best thing to do in all cases is treat the source. By using Emergen-C, saline sprays, Zycam, Alka-seltzer, Tylenol Cold, or other medications specifically designed to ease symptoms of the common cold, you will also be helping to ease your headache.
It is important to note that over-the-counter medications are not efficient in treating migraines. Those with migraines should speak to their doctor about getting medications specifically designed to treat this form of headache.
If you’re trying to figure out how to get rid of a headache that is caused by stress or overstimulation (to light, or sound), relaxation techniques may be beneficial. Try one of these relaxation techniques before reaching for an over-the-counter medication:
-aromatherapy (lavender is particularly useful)
-a warm, relaxing shower
-a brief, slow walk in an area with limited noise
-laying in a dark, silent room with a cool cloth over your eyes
– put on some quiet, calming music and dim the lights
Another good idea is to practice breathing techniques. Breath in deeply, filling your lungs. Hold for a count of three, and slowly exhale until your lungs are completely empty. Do this for at least ten counts (i.e. inhales and exhales). This technique has been shown to help your body get back in alignment with itself when you are stressed, including when having an anxiety or panic attack. Ease the stress, and your headache might just go away.
If you’re trying to figure out how to get rid of a headache and you’ve already tried relaxation techniques or massage therapy but don’t want to use over-the-counter medications, there are a whole slew of herbal natural remedies you could try. Herbs found to show relief from headaches include:
-White Peony Root
-White Willow Bark
-Feverfew (*this is one of the most commonly used in folk medicine)
-Coffee (*specifically for headaches caused by caffeine withdrawal)
It is important to note that although these herbs are generally safe for consumption, anyone who is pregnant, breastfeeding, is prone to allergies, or has a medical condition should speak with their doctor before using any herbal remedies.
There are many times when massage therapy is appropriate for curing a headache. Headaches caused by TMJ, for example, can be lessened by gently rubbing the area where the jaw connects. It is located just in front of your ear, and can be felt protruding when you open your jaw.
Tension headaches often respond to gently rubbing the temples in a circular motion. Other forms of headache may actually stem from poor back alignment or neck issues. When this is the culprit, a deep tissue massage can work wonders – not only helping your current headache, but also limiting the severity or amount of future headaches.
When To See A Doctor
While headaches are often benign, there are times when you may want to seek medical condition. If any of the following applies to you, please be sure to either see your doctor right away or go to the nearest emergency room.
-If your headache is sudden and feels like a “thunderclap.”
-If this is the “worst headache of your life.”
-If this headache is different from any other one you have had.
-If you experience sudden high fever, nausea, dizziness, or are having difficulty seeing.
-If your headache is accompanied with vomiting blood, or blood coming from your nose or ears.
-If someone you love has complained of a headache, and now seems to have memory issues (can’t give you their name or address, for example), call 9-1-1.
-If the headache follows any trauma to the head, such as a fall.
If none of these apply to you, however, you can feel safe on figuring out how to get rid of a headache with the options listed in the article above. If you are ever doubtful if one of these applies to you, however, always seek medical attention, as it is always better to be cautious.