Migraines or frequent headaches can happen to any of us—even those who are incredibly fit. This is because headaches can be caused by any number of reasons, including the following:
- Illnesses like colds, fevers, and other infections
- Mood disorders like depression and anxiety
- Changes in sleeping habits and patterns
- Hunger and thirst
- Poor posture
- Secondhand smoke
- Strong odors from perfumes or chemicals
- Certain foods
- Noise and air pollution
- Bad indoor lighting
- Sudden weather changes
And those are just some causes of headaches. If you don’t have underlying illnesses that may cause your frequent headaches, here are some ways you can ease the pain without having to reach for over-the-counter pain relievers.
Cold or hot compress
Try wrapping many frozen items like ice cubes or a bag of vegetables in a towel and use it as a cold compress to press on your head for 15 minutes. You can also try taking a cold shower instead of using a cold compress.
If you have more of a tension headache, use a heating pad or a warm cloth on the back of your head or your neck. A warm shower can also be a suitable alternative.
Massage specialists are trained to place pressure on areas of our body that need healing or immediate relief from pain. They can also prep your body for chiropractic care—which can also benefit those suffering from frequent headaches and migraines.
Every part and every cell of our body needs water—but our brains depend on it most of all. Water is necessary for us to function optimally. At the same time, dehydration is one of the leading causes of headaches, especially when we’re contending with hotter climates. Drink plenty of water and fluids when you find yourself having a migraine again.
While aromatherapy as a treatment plan still needs more research, at the end of the day, pain relief is all about how you feel, so if you think that certain essential oils are helping you feel better, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t diffuse one of those oils or rub lavender oil over your temples. You can also add a few drops to your warm bath and softly inhale the steam from it.
Caffeine—but not too much
Try drinking a cup of warm tea or coffee. Researchers call it caffeine monotherapy, and they found it can be useful in treating some forms of secondary or primary headaches. Just don’t drink too much because withdrawing from it might cause more headaches than when you started.
Try doing some relaxing activities like stretching, breathing exercises, yoga poses, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation. If your headache is caused by stress from work or other responsibilities, taking time to rest, breathe, and center yourself might be the best way to ease your migraines.
Ointments and creams
Some pain relief ointments and creams like Bengay can go a long way in helping soothe the areas in your body that hurt. It’s a suitable alternative for people who have kidney problems and don’t want to reach for over-the-counter pain medications every time they experience migraines. Just be sure to consult with your doctor before settling on one product.
Though it may seem impossible or counterintuitive to move around when you’re already in pain, taking a short brisk walk might do you a world of good. This is because physical activity helps get your blood flowing and can help reduce the amount of stress you’re feeling. It also boosts your body’s happy hormones.
If your headache is caused by terrible indoor lighting, getting some fresh air might help center and calm your mind. Getting some fresh air can also help you breathe in cleaner air, especially if your home has not been cleaned in a while. Just be sure to avoid doing so at noon when the sun is at its peak since the last thing you want is to expose your eyes to harsh lighting conditions when you’ve been spending time indoors all day.
Despite knowing all these things, your primary care provider is still the best person to advise you on alleviating your pain in the long run. You can enforce immediate relief, like these first aid tips, but frequent headaches won’t go away if more serious underlying issues cause them. Consult with your doctor about healthy habits you need to do to get rid of your migraines for good. This way, you can correctly address this condition and other possible issues.