How to Get Rid of a Headache Without Medication 13 Natural Headache Remedies

how to get rid of a headache without drugs

Aromatherapy that uses some essential oils may also relieve symptoms of a headache. The 2018 review in Children noted that inhaling lavender essential oil for 15 minutes reduced the severity of headaches, according to one study. A review published in the Journal of Headache and Pain notes that caffeine alone may help reduce symptoms of a tension headache or migraine. Caffeine relaxes the blood vessels, which may support circulation and ease tension. A cold compress may be a simple headache solution that many people have on hand.

  1. People with a family health history of headaches are more prone to headache disorders too (6, 7, 8).
  2. That’s because they block an enzyme in the body connected to the production of prostaglandins—molecules involved in pain and inflammatory responses.
  3. Pain researchers from Missouri State University found that rats deprived of deep sleep showed changes in key proteins that suppress chronic pain.
  4. Typically, headaches do not cause debilitating pain and can be managed with over-the-counter medication.

Dark alcohols like red wine, whiskey, bourbon are also more likely to cause migraines than white wine, gin, or vodka, Dr. Newman says. Because people experience negative effects from frequent headaches, it’s important to find natural and effective treatment options. While having an alcoholic drink may not cause a headache in most people, studies have shown that alcohol can trigger migraines in about one-third of those who experience frequent headaches (17). A study noted that B vitamins, including vitamins B-6 and B-12, may all play a role in preventing migraine headaches or reducing headache symptoms.

It may help to rest in a dark or dimly lit room while recovering from a headache. This may be a ponytail or bun that is too tight or a hat or headband that has been on too long.

For instance, if the headaches persist even after eliminating the food for a few weeks, then you know it’s not the culprit and you can keep it in your diet. That’s because they block an enzyme in the body connected to the production of prostaglandins—molecules involved in pain and inflammatory responses. Vitamin B₂ (aka Riboflavin)The American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society are impressed with the research for this vitamin.

When to See a Doctor

Lisa also testified before Congress and the Food and Drug Administration about her work on drug costs and drug safety. She lives in a DIY tiny home, where she gardens during the day and stargazes the Milky Way at night. Migraine and cluster medications will require specific medication to be treated effectively. Compared to a migraine, a cluster headache lasts for a relatively short amount of time. Tensions headaches may also be referred to as “hatband” headaches because the pain of a tension headache feels as though you are wearing a hat that is too tight. This causes pain around the forehead, temples, and the back of the head.

Medication overuse and infections of the central nervous system can cause headaches as well (6). Massaging the neck near the base of the skull may also help release tension. Herbal tea may be a useful way to add water to the diet while enjoying the benefits of other natural compounds. Mindfulness techniques like guided imagery may also help you take your mind off the pain. “By finding a way to teach someone not to attend to the problem, it can reduce the impact,” Dr. Rosen explains.

Take a break from electronics to rest your eyes.

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. Thorne Research CoQ10 (previously Q-Best 100), which provides 100 mg of CoQ10 per 1-gelcap serving, is a good option for people who experience migraine. Some B vitamins may also have a protective effect against headaches.

Many herbal supplements can interfere with common medications and aren’t safe for everyone (68). Relaxing in a dark room, using a cold compress, smelling some peppermint or lavender essential oils, drinking some caffeine, cognitive behavioral therapy for relapse prevention and avoiding loud noises may also help reduce headache severity. Alcohol intake is also a risk factor for tension headaches and for cluster headaches, which are among the most severe types of headaches (17, 18).

Relaxation techniques include practices such as deep-belly breathing, guided meditations, and actively focusing on relaxing the muscles. Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine, where practitioners place small needles into the skin’s surface. The aim is not to cause pain but to stimulate the body’s own energy.

how to get rid of a headache without drugs

Headaches can vary in intensity from mild to severe, and there are several different types of headaches that you may experience. However, keep in mind that these remedies may not be effective for everyone. Effective treatments depend on the type and cause of the headache you’re experiencing. Taking pain relievers such as ibuprofen can also help reduce headache pain (67). Caffeine improves mood, increases alertness, and constricts blood vessels, all of which can have a positive effect on headache symptoms (43).

Applying an ice pack or another cold item to the head or neck may help constrict the blood vessels and reduce inflammation. Not only can a journal help you track symptoms that signal the onset of a headache or migraine, but it may also reveal the foods and drinks that trigger them. The specific culprits can vary from patient to patient, but aged cheeses, MSG-containing foods, and artificial sweeteners are a few common ones.

Alternative Treatments

There is some evidence that people who regularly experience headaches or migraine may be more likely to have low magnesium levels. One 2018 review of research published in the journal Children noted that too little exercise cannabis marijuana national institute on drug abuse nida may influence adolescents’ headaches. Regular, moderate exercise may help, such as brisk walking or riding a bike for 30 minutes daily. Fueling your body from sunup to sundown can also help keep headaches at bay.

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Although caffeinated beverages aren’t dehydrating, caffeine pills can be. The symptoms of a tension headache may worsen when you look into the light or hear loud noises. A headache is a painful sensation that can be felt anywhere on the face or head.

Get rid of a headache by taking time to chill

“Tension-type headaches are different than migraines in that they’re not as severe; they don’t have the nausea, vomiting, and light, sound, and smell sensitivities,” Dr. Newman alcohol and seizures can alcohol or withdrawal trigger a seizure says. You can drink a caffeinated beverage or take a caffeine pill such as No-Doz. If you do take your caffeine in pill form, be sure to drink plenty of fluids with it.

Stress is a huge trigger for tension headaches, the most common kind headaches, which are characterized by dull pain and tightness, a study in Neurology finds. You can’t make traffic stand still or control your micro-manage-y boss, but you can commit 10 minutes of your day to chilling out. Quiet time, even if it’s just a walk down the street or playtime with your pup, can help stave off stress, and in turn, those nagging cymbals banging in your head. The pain from a headache may range from dull to sharp and can affect different areas on the head and face. If you are experiencing a headache, it will likely subside over time and can be alleviated with the help of pain-relieving medications. If your headaches are persistent, a healthcare professional will be able to help you identify what type of headache you’re experiencing and advise the best treatment options.

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