What to do When headache won’t go away: Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Paracetamol: Many over-the-counter medications promise to make a painful, bothersome headache go away, but repeated use of the pill can do the exact opposite of getting rid of an ailment of the head.
“This can cause headaches related to overuse of medication, where too much of the medication causes more headaches and makes the patient resistant to other treatments,” said Lawrence Newman, MD, neurologist, and director of headache division at NYU Langone Health in New York.
It most often happens when chronic headaches or migraine sufferers take over-the-counter medications more than a few times a week. Still, even occasional, everyday tension headaches can benefit from a more holistic approach. For example, drinking more water or even adjusting your sleep pattern can legitimately help avoid a throbbing head.
Just be aware that you should always see a doctor if you have a headache once a week or more or accompanied by certain warning signs (more details below). With that in mind, here are some things you can do at home to prevent and reduce headaches:
Table of Contents
1. Rethink your sleep schedule.
To prevent migraines, Dr Newman encourages his patients to follow the SEEDS reminder: sleep, eat, exercise, drink, and reduce stress. “The migraine generally gives us an overactive or hypersensitive brain,” he says. “Because of this, any change can cause migraines.”
For example, too much or too little sleep can lead to migraines, but a more routine can also help relieve headaches.
“Tension-type headaches differ from migraines in that they are less severe, have no nausea, no vomiting, and are not sensitive to light, noise or smell,” explains Dr Newman. “But these healthy lifestyle tips work for everyone.”
In any case, that means that you don’t sleep on the weekend or vacation (sorry!) And stick to a consistent bedtime and wake-up time.
2. Eat regular meals every day.
If you haven’t had your breakfast yet, now is the time to start. Energizing your body from sunrise to sunset can also prevent headaches. “If you can’t eat three meals a day, eat at least small, healthy snacks like almonds or raisins during the day,” advises Dr Newman.
3. Try a workout.
Beating your head doesn’t sound ideal, but listen to this: “Exercise can help because exercise releases endorphins, which are natural pain relievers.”
Do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity for a week, advises the US Department of Health. These include hiking, swimming, biking, jogging, or your favourite class at the gym.
4. Stay well hydrated.
Dehydration is a well-known migraine trigger, so make sure you’re drinking enough water.
How Much Water Should You intake every day?
Maximum of us need to drink at least eight cups a day, advises Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, and that number rises when you factor in heat, sweat, medication, and changes in our bodies. Humidity. “Start your day with a small refreshment in the form of 16 ounces of water – right now,” she says. It helps to have a 16-ounce container of water on your bedside table or to have a drink before bed to fill your kitchen in the morning. ”
5. Keep stress under control.
Progressive muscle relaxation can help loosen up tight muscles contributing to your headaches, says Noah Rosen, MD, director of the Northwell Health Headache Center in Great Neck, New York. Here’s how it goes, according to the Cleveland Clinic:
Focus on a specific muscle group, such as the one in your hand. Then, inhale and squeeze, clench your fist as tightly as possible for about 8 seconds.
Release the tension by exhaling quickly and opening your hand. Feel the muscles relax, and the tension ease.
Repeat with various muscle groups in your body, starting with your feet and working your way up to your face.
Mindfulness techniques like guided imagery can also help you forget about the pain. “By finding a way to teach somebody not to deal with the problem, it can reduce the impact.”
6. Have a coffee.
If you usually drink a few cups each morning and miss them that morning, this is probably the cause of your pain.
“There is good evidence that when you drink caffeine, you need to keep the dose stable, as a significant reduction in it can trigger withdrawal headaches.” Since drinking many caffeinated beverages can cause headaches for some people, you should try to consume less than 150 milligrams of caffeine per day (about two 8-ounce cups of coffee) on average, he adds. -he. -he.
7. Reach for an ice pack or a hot pack.
Which one you choose is up to you, but both can help with migraines and headaches. “Ice packs work because they numb the area.” “Hot compresses work because they increase blood flow to that area.” When you get home, try getting into the shower and letting the hot water hit your head.
8. Get a massage.
Tension headaches also lead to increased muscle tension in some people so that loosening trigger points might help. “Let your partner or friend tighten the trapezius muscles in your shoulders,” he advises. Pressure on the temples or ears can also help loosen tight muscle ligaments.
9. Find a dark, quiet room.
“One of the main symptoms of migraines is sensitivity to light.” “Light and noise can be directly harmful.” By moving away from anything that makes your pain worse, you can come back 100% faster. If you can’t get over it, try closing your eyes and relaxing for a moment.
10. Take a break from screens.
According to the American Optometric Association, headache is one of the most common symptoms associated with computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain. Whether it’s a computer, smartphone, or tablet, scrolling up and down can be a headache for some people, says Dr Newman. To avoid discomfort, the AOA recommends following the so-called 20-20-20 rule: pause for 20 seconds to see something 6 meters away every 20 minutes.
11. Try a vitamin B2 supplement.
“It has been proven that maximum doses of vitamin B2 reduce migraines,” says Dr Newman. For example, ingesting 400 mg of the nutrient – also called riboflavin – per day is beneficial for adult migraineurs, according to a 2017 review in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.
12. Quit smoking.
Nicotine from cigars, cigarettes, and even secondhand smoke can cause headaches, especially migraines and cluster headaches. The compound triggers the narrowing of blood vessels and decreases blood flow to the brain, leading to a headache. But, according to the Cleveland Clinic, quitting cigarettes or avoiding smoky places can prevent pain in the first place.
13. Keep a diary to identify triggers.
A journal can not only help you track symptoms that may indicate the onset of headaches or migraines, but it can also reveal the foods and drinks that trigger them. The exact culprits can vary from patient to patient, but aged cheeses, foods with MSG, and artificial sweeteners are some of the most common. In addition, black alcohols like red wine, whiskey, and bourbon are also more likely to cause migraines than white wine, gin, or vodka.
When should I consult a doctor if I have a headache?
Don’t just worry about regular headaches. See a doctor if you have headaches once a week or more or if they interfere with your daily life. In addition to prescribing medications, healthcare professionals can identify a possible underlying medical condition. The main red flags include:
Headache with an explosive onset (“head lightning”)
Headaches that occur during certain activities (for example, lifting weights, coughing, straining, having sex)
Headache with fever or stiff neck
Headaches related to cognitive changes
Headache with weakness or numbness
Headaches that start after 50 years
Play it safe and always seek professional help if you are concerned about your health. The American Migraine Foundation has resources on talking to your doctor about a headache to help you find the best course of action.
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