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How To Relieve Headache Quickly
1. Try a Cold Pack
If you have a migraine, place a cold pack on your forehead. Ice cubes wrapped in a towel, a bag of frozen vegetables, or even a cold shower may ease the pain. Keep the compress on your head for 15 minutes, and then take a break for 15 minutes.
2. Use a Heating Pad or Hot Compress
If you have a tension headache, place a heating pad on your neck or the back of your head. If you have a sinus headache, hold a warm cloth to the area that hurts. A warm shower might also do the trick.
3. Ease Pressure on Your Scalp or Head
If your ponytail is too tight, it could cause a headache. These “external compression headaches” can also be brought on by wearing a hat, headband, or even swimming goggles that are too tight.
4. Drink water
Inadequate hydration may lead you to develop a headache. In fact, studies have demonstrated that chronic dehydration is a common cause of tension headaches and migraines.
Thankfully, drinking water has been shown to relieve headache symptoms in most dehydrated individuals within 30 minutes to three hours.
What’s more, being dehydrated can impair concentration and cause irritability, making your symptoms seem even worse. To help avoid dehydration headaches, focus on drinking enough water throughout the day and eating water-rich foods.
5. Get Adequate Sleep
Sleep deprivation can be detrimental to your health in many ways, and may even cause headaches in some people. For example, one study compared headache frequency and severity in those who got less than six hours of sleep per night and those who slept longer. It found that those who got less sleep had more frequent and severe headaches.
However, getting too much sleep has also been shown to trigger headaches, making getting the right amount of rest important for those looking for natural headache prevention. For maximum benefits, aim for the “sweet spot” of seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
6. Avoid Strong Smells
Strong odors like those from perfumes and cleaning products can cause certain individuals to develop headaches.
A study that involved 400 people who experienced either migraine or tension headaches found that strong odors, especially perfumes, often triggered headaches.
This hypersensitivity to odors is called osmophobia and common in those with chronic migraines.
If you think you may be sensitive to smells, avoiding perfumes, cigarette smoke and strongly scented foods may help decrease your chance of getting a migraine.
7. Try massage therapy
Yes, massages may seem luxurious, but they’re also incredibly therapeutic. Sometimes headaches result from tension in the upper body due to muscle strain from poor posture or a rigorous workout routine. Massage therapy may be able to reduce chronic pain as well as ease muscle tension that causes headaches.
Take the time to research types of massage (Swedish, deep tissue, shiatsu, etc.) and get reliable referrals for a practitioner near you who can effectively address your specific pain points.
8. Do breathing exercises
Yes, breathing. You know, that thing you do all the time already! It may sound silly, but tension-related headaches can sometimes be relieved with regular breathing exercises that help focus your mind and ease your muscles.
Start by finding a quiet place with a comfortable chair in your home, office, or other location where you will not be distracted. Next, take slow, rhythmic breaths, breathing in for five seconds then out for five seconds. As you relax, your muscle tightness reduces.
You can also try a progressive relaxation technique by focusing on each major muscle group in your body. Start from your toes and work your way up.
9. Sip Some Ginger Tea
Ginger root contains many beneficial compounds, including antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances, that can relieve headache. One study in 100 people with chronic migraines found that 250 mg of ginger powder was as effective as the conventional headache medication sumatriptan at reducing migraine pain.
What’s more, ginger helps reduce nausea and vomiting, common symptoms associated with severe headaches. You can take ginger powder in capsule form or make a powerful tea with fresh ginger root.
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