Headaches can be a great nuisance, but most of the time, they can just be simply relieved through painkillers. The most common types of headaches that lead people to seek medical attention are migraines, tension headaches, and cluster headaches.
If not severe, these headaches can be treated naturally using home remedies and other non-medical methods. Be more aware of what triggers them too so that you can avoid the frequency of their attacks.
Migraines, the Debilitating Type
With migraines, you experience throbbing pain on one side of the head, numbness, partial loss of vision, sensitivity to sound, light, and smell, vomiting, and nausea, etc.
This kind of headache tends to be recurrent, usually lasting up to three days. Worse, migraines for many people would stay throughout their lifetime.
Triggers include hormonal changes, stress, anxiety, skipped meals, sleep disruptions, bright lights, loud noise, dehydration, and certain medications and foods.
Tension Headaches, aka the Stress Headache
There’s not yet a definite reason for tension headaches. People usually get them when the muscles behind their scalp and neck tighten up. And it’s not even genetic.
Tension headaches will make you feel pressure, tightness, or dull pain around the back of your neck and head or the forehead, lasting up to thirty minutes or a few days.
Specifically, with this headache, you experience extreme tiredness, trouble focusing and sleeping, irritability, mild sensitivity to noise and light, and muscle aches. A mild to moderate headache will then occur later in the top, front, or sides of your head.
Triggers may include hunger, skipping meals, dehydration, anxiety, emotional or mental stress, fatigue, low iron levels, getting inadequate rest, caffeine, alcohol, smoking, jaw or dental problems, and a cold, flu, or sinus infection.
Cluster Headaches, the Seasonal Type
Cluster headaches usually afflict people at the same time of the year, which is why they’re almost always mistaken as a symptom of hay fever. They may be also mistaken as symptoms of work stress or other allergies.
Experts cannot yet point out what causes a cluster headache, but one thing they know is that it usually occurs among smokers and it involves a nerve in the face—more specifically the nerve pathway on the base of your brain.
When the nerve is triggered, it can cause piercing pain or intense burning around or behind one eye. Other symptoms would be swollen eyelid, agitation or restlessness, runny or blocked nose, watery eye, and sensitivity to sound and light.
How to Treat Headaches Without Medications and Reduce Their Frequency
The types of headaches above usually lead people to seek medical care, but there are actually natural ways that work both in treating them or reducing their frequencies. Here are some tips you can try before getting your painkiller or calling your doctor:
When a headache starts to erupt, check first if you have had enough water for the day. Dehydration is the most common cause of headaches, specifically migraines and tension headaches.
It can even impair your focus and make you irritable, so make sure you drink enough water each day. Dehydrated people experience headache relief between thirty minutes and three hours after getting hydrated.
Relax through massage
A scalp massage can greatly relieve tension headaches, reducing their duration, intensity, and frequency. Spas offer massage that targets the neck and entire skull. The massage can feel so soothing and relaxing, more so when essential oils are used, which can have very relaxing aromas.
While a massage can greatly increase circulation, acupuncture decreases inflammation and pain, accelerate the process of healing, and can work into the muscles much deeper.
Acupuncture is proven to be effective for migraines. This traditional Chinese medicine technique involves inserting thin needles into the skin at specific acupuncture points. This method is shown to be safer than the medications used for migraines, such as Topiramate.
Drink your tea or coffee
Ginger tea’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidants substances make it effective at reducing migraine symptoms, such as pain, vomiting, and nausea.
A 250 mg of ginger powder can work the same way as headache medications. You can also make a tea out of a fresh ginger root or in a capsule form.
You may also opt for caffeinated tea or coffee. Caffeine can increase alertness, improve mood, and constrict blood vessels, which is why it’s a great headache reliever.
But make sure your headache isn’t caused by caffeine withdrawal. If so, be mindful of your caffeine intake, whether from tea or coffee.
Different types of headaches have various triggers and causes. Once you notice that certain situations, foods, beverages, etc. can cause you a specific type of headache, take note of it and avoid the triggers.