5 Ways To Lose A Headache Without the Use of Drugs

older man holding his head in his hands trying to relieve a headache

It is very rare to find an individual who has never suffered from a headache. From sinuses to tension headaches, and even migraines, millions of people are affected by headache pain on a regular basis. For most people, when a headache occurs, they turn to medication for help, such as over the counter pain relievers. But what do you do if you are a former drug addict or you are working on your drug addiction? Finding options that relieve the pain without medication are a must.

Learning how to deal with pain without medication makes it easier to remain sober after recovery. Groups that offer holistic addiction treatment can recommend ways to deal with pain or other issues without having to take medication. Below are a few examples of how you can deal with a headache without having to rely on any medication to relieve the pain.

Hot and Cold

Using both hot and cold sensations on the affected head area can be beneficial in removing the pain of a headache. Try placing a cold ice pack on your head in the area of pain. You can use anything cold, such as a cold bag of veggies from the freezer or ice wrapped in a towel. Keep the cold pack on your head for 15 minutes, then take a fifteen-minute break. If cold doesn’t do the trick, try heat. A heating pad can be placed on your neck or the back of your head to provide relief.

Migraines tend to respond better to cold while a sinus headache and tension headache respond better to heat. With a sinus headache, it is best to place a warm washcloth over your face or head to soothe the pain.

Avoid Tightness of the Head

Females tend to get headaches after wearing their hair up for an extended period of time. Men can also begin to have a headache when they wear a hat. It is important to not have anything on the head that will create an external compression headache. Such headaches can be created from wearing swimming goggles, a headband, hat, or ponytail.

Many times, just removing the item will help to lessen the pain. With women, take your hair down when a headache occurs when wearing a ponytail as this can help. Take breaks from wearing a hat after long periods of time to avoid the compression issue.

Avoid Bright Lights

Bright or flickering lights can also be the culprit of headaches. Even a computer screen can cause headaches over time. If you are prone to headaches due to lighting, cover the windows of your home with special curtains during the day and be sure to wear sunglasses when outside. Light fixture bulbs can be changed out to use daylight-spectrum fluorescent bulbs in order to provide specialty lighting in the home.

Head Massage

Headache pain can also be relieved via head massage. By using your thumb and index fingers, you can gently apply pressure to the area of your head that is in pain. From the temple to the forehead or base of the skull, pressure can be used to remove the pain. Use a rotating motion with light pressure to help relieve the pain.

Don’t be afraid to ask your partner, family member or friend to help you. In most cases, they will be willing to help alleviate the pain. If you are able, scheduling a professional massage can also be helpful.

Napping for Relief

Another option is to go to sleep. If you take a nap, for an hour or longer, you should see a headache ease or possibly disappear. Find a quiet place where it is dark and lay down to relax. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Take deep breaths in through your mouth and let the air out slowly through your nose.

Let go of any tension in your shoulders, neck, and back and try to relax. Count down from ten to one as you breathe, focusing on falling asleep. As you drift off, you will begin to relax and hopefully let go of any tension or pain felt from the headache.


These are just a few ways that headaches can be relieved without the help of pain medication. Former addicts or individuals focusing on losing dependency on drugs should look for other treatment methods to avoid using any type of painkillers.

Using painkillers for a headache can be a trigger to using other medications which can lead to the former addict reverting to the old behaviour. When a headache occurs, try each of these methods to see which works for you. In some instances, you may find sleep works best, while a cold pack might work in another scenario. Having a few methods to use helps to ensure success.

Author Bio

Adam Durnham is a freelance blogger that specializes in addiction, mental health, and recovery. He is particularly interested in writing about holistic methods in dealing with these particular issues.

An avid runner and traveller, Adam Durnham is currently excited about the next Annual Free Press Marathon in October.

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