A not-so-merry band of dwarfs took up residence in your skull. There, they bang away at your temples with tiny malign hammers. Unfortunately, plenty of things can exacerbate a headache. Does the office coffeemaker make more racket than a hibernating bear with sleep apnea? Does the light from your computer screen feel like daggers in your eyes? How can you reduce your headache pain?
More importantly, how can you prevent the agony? Depending on the source, a few simple tips can help. Take a look at the following suggestions:
1. Practice Deep Breathing
Have you noticed your headaches increase in frequency and severity when you’re under stress? You’re not alone. While this phenomenon might be common, that fact doesn’t help when you’re hurting.
When you’re under stress, your blood vessels dilate as your body prepares for fight or flight. While this increases blood flow to vital organs, it wreaks havoc on your head. Get in the habit of taking slow, deep breaths several times each day, even when you don’t feel tense. This practice helps your body relax naturally and ward off headaches.
2. Consider Your Teeth
Often, head pain originates in your mouth. Bruxism occurs when you grind your teeth, usually unconsciously. If you practice mindfulness, you can become aware of when you clench your jaw during the day. However, you might do this in your sleep.
See your dentist. They can fit you with a specialised mouthguard to prevent grinding at night. You can also try applying a warm washcloth to your jaw and massaging it to release tension. Avoid chewing gum during the day, as this may trigger the same muscles to contract in your sleep.
3. Take A Supplement
Migraine patients want you to know their disease is more than a headache – it encompasses a spectrum of symptoms, including nausea, partial paralysis and possible coma. However, whether you have this disorder or head pain alone, a combination of magnesium and riboflavin can help.
One recent study indicated a combination of these supplements with coenzyme Q10 reduced the severity and frequency of migraine attacks. Check with your doctor if you take medications – certain supplements can hinder drug absorption. Exercise caution with magnesium by increasing your dose gradually – too much too soon can leave you running for the restroom.
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4. Try Some Tea
Turmeric and its active ingredient, curcumin, work as natural anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling. The herb also lends a light, chai flavour to coffee. Try grinding some into your morning brew to prevent headaches.
Other herbs may help in the treatment or prevention of headaches, too. Manufacturers derive aspirin from white willow bark, a natural resource. However, many herbalists believe the raw thing works better than a chemically-modified pill.
5. Try An Elimination Diet
Sometimes, headaches spring from undiagnosed food allergies. You can try an elimination diet to determine if particular menu items set off your agony.
Common trigger foods include chocolate and red wines. Some people react adversely to animal products. Since going vegan offers other health benefits, you might give such a diet a try.
6. Inhale Delicious Scents
Aromatherapy can alleviate headache suffering. If you suspect your pain originates due to stress, use essential oils such as lavender or chamomile in your diffuser. These scents help reduce tension.
Peppermint essential oil also eases headaches and stomachaches. You can buy a roller applicator and massage the concoction directly into your temples. If you have pets, do your research first, as some scents are toxic.
7. Invest in a Wearable Pack
Tension headaches often respond well to heat therapy. A hot water bottle or heating pad can bring relief. However, if you experience throbbing or pulsing pain, cold may work more effectively. An ice pack constricts blood vessels, easing head pain.
If you’re working, how do you keep that pesky pack balanced? Invest in a wearable cap or icepack with ties you can secure in place. This way, your hands remain free to type or pick up the phone.
8. Get Adequate Sleep
Headaches can spring from lack of sleep. Keep electronic devices out of your bedroom at home. The blue light from screens disrupts melatonin production and makes it hard to catch those Zzzs.
Practice positive sleep hygiene by hitting the hay and rising at roughly the same time each day. Invest in earplugs or a white noise machine if your partner’s snoring keeps you up at night.
Reduce Headache Frequency And Severity Naturally
Headaches can make your life miserable. Fortunately, following a few simple lifestyle guidelines might be able to help you find comfort quickly. Sip some hot tea. Invest in a mouthguard to prevent unconscious teeth grinding. You can also use a hot or cold pack for instant relief. Find what works best for you and start easing your pain today!