Headaches are one of the most common types of pain a person can experience. Most headaches are a mere annoyance and not a serious health concern. There are times, however, when you really need to play it safe and see a doctor – either your primary care doctor or an ER physician.
Statistically, headaches are usually painful and disruptive, but not truly dangerous. However, a headache can also be a symptom of another more serious condition that may require immediate medical care, and it’s always better to take precautions. If you only experience headaches occasionally and want to stop them before they stop you, below are some great options to try.
Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or naproxen at the first sign of pain to keep a headache in check, but be wary of those that contain caffeine. While caffeine can be effective, it can also result in a rebound headache, leaving you feeling worse than you did in the first place. If you reach for pain medication more than once or twice a week, consult your physician immediately.
Yoga experts recommend breathing exercises when headaches strike. Breathe in deeply and exhale slowly for a cycle of six breaths; repeat as necessary. If you practice yoga, avoid poses where your head is lower than your heart when you have a headache.
Lavender not only smells great, it’s also a useful home remedy for headache pain. Lavender oil can be either inhaled or applied topically. Two to four drops for every two to three cups of boiling water is recommended when inhaling lavender oil vapors as a headache treatment.
Hunger and dehydration are often the culprits of headache pain. Drink six to eight glasses of water and eat four small, low-carb meals, spread evenly throughout the day.
Stress headaches may be eased by relaxation. Try taking a short walk around the block. Get the recommended amount of sleep at night, and if possible, take a 30-minute nap to stop the pain before it ruins your day.
One of the most useful remedies for reducing headache pain involves changing your diet. Certain foods have been shown to affect the frequency and severity of headache pain, including: dairy; chocolate; peanut butter; certain fruits, such as avocado, banana, and citrus; onions; meats containing nitrates, such as bacon and hot dogs; foods containing monosodium glutamate (MSG); foods that contain tyramine, an amino acid found in red wine; and fermented or pickled foods. Keeping track of these trigger foods and your reaction to them should help you keep your headaches under control. W