Almost everyone will have a tension-type headache at some point in their life and about 1 in 6 people will get migraines.
A lot of people also get sinus headaches and headaches from head and neck trauma. And this means that a lot of people are looking for headache relief.
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For some people, headaches are a rare problem. But for others, they have headaches often- sometimes even every day. The most common way to treat a headache is to take medication, either over-the-counter or prescription drugs.
I took both prescription and over the counter medication every day for the first fifteen years of my life.
And I still got way too many throw up and hope you pass out migraines anyway. From preschool through most of high school, I knew all the school nurses.
Taking an occasional ibuprofen or acetaminophen for a headache is unlikely to do any serious permanent damage.
But I was chewing Extra Strength Excedrin like it was gum. Gave me an ulcer, literally.
Any headache relief is a blessing but it's important to remember that symptoms are our bodies way of telling us when something is wrong.
By focusing on the alarm and ignoring the warning, we aren't learning anything that can help us get better.
Popular Headache Drugs May Cause More Headaches or Worse
If you suffer from headaches frequently, taking medication every day can be dangerous.
Life-threatening gastrointestinal bleeding can be caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin and Celecoxib.
Most NSAIDs increase your likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke. And an overdose of acetaminophen can result in liver failure which is deadly unless you receive a liver transplant in time.
Some people who suffer from chronic severe headaches may need opioids for relief. However, opioids can be addictive and lead to overdoses.
Overuse of medications meant to relieve migraines, like Sumatriptan, can actually cause more frequent and severe headaches.
Any of these drugs might lead to several other side effects, some even fatal. To protect yourself, it's ideal to discover how to get better instead of just taking more and more drugs without any lasting relief.
The best lasting headache relief method differs from person to person, and also depends on the type of headache you have.
The Tension Headache
A tension headache is dull, aching pain, which can be severe, and feels like a tight band around your head. It is usually accompanied by tenderness in your scalp, neck and shoulder muscles.
Emotional stress can often trigger tension headaches, which then cause the muscles in different parts of the head and neck to tighten even more.
Tension headaches can also be brought about by improperly rehabilitated neck injuries (whiplash), prolonged down looking posture, insufficient sleep or too much physical activity. All of these reasons can lead to the fatigue and spasm in the muscles of the head, neck and shoulders.
A tension headache can be relieved by resting, relaxing, stretching and massaging the muscles in the scalp, face, neck and shoulders.
Get into a comfortable position, be it sitting or lying down. Laying on the back with a small pillow under the neck and a large pillow under the knees de-stresses most people’s spines.
Turn your focus to your breath. Try inhaling deeply without moving your chest muscles.Your diaphragm should lower when you "fill the belly". Heaving the chest up with neck muscles triggers the stress reaction — QUIT IT! (joke)
Focus on slow, deep breathing and count if it helps you concentrate. Then, focus on any areas of tension in your body and send them love. (no joke)
I Don’t Know What To Think About Meditation
It’s normal to become distracted in your meditation. Most people struggle to think about nothing for more than a few seconds. Some even believe meditation is evil, for those I suggest prayer, if that brings you peace. That’s the only goal here, experiencing peace on demand.
So, if it’s not against your religion, imagine a snowflake gently floating through the clouds, and as guaranteed interruptions occur, calmly acknowledge and side step these worries, to refocus on your snowflake’s care free journey through the clouds. While you deeply and serenely belly breathe for a few minutes.
How to Relieve Tension Headaches
When the muscles in your neck and shoulders get tight, it can lead to headache pain.
Fortunately, there are some simple stretches that you can do to release the tension in your muscles and help relieve headache pain. Give these stretches a try next time you're experiencing headache pain:
1. Neck Rolls: Start by sitting up tall with your shoulders relaxed. Slowly roll your head from side to side,
keeping your chin up throughout each rotation.
Do 10-15 repetitions.
2. Shoulder Shrugs: Start by sitting up tall or standing with your shoulders relaxed. Slowly raise your shoulders up towards your ears, then release them back down. Do 10-15 repetitions.
3. Upper Back Stretch: Start by sitting up tall or standing with your arms crossed in front of your chest. Gently pull your shoulders back and down away from your ears, then hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat 2-3 times.
4. Neck Side Stretch: Start by sitting up tall or standing with your head level and eyes looking straight ahead. Gently tilt your head to the side, bringing your ear towards your shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then repeat on the other side.
5. Seated Forward Fold: Start by sitting up tall with your legs outstretched in front of you and your arms at your sides. Slowly hinge at your hips and fold forward, letting your head and shoulders relax down towards the floor. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then slowly come back up to starting position. Repeat 2-3 times.
Doing these simple stretches can help relieve headache pain caused by muscle tension. Be sure to do them regularly to keep your muscles healthy and headache-free!
Self massage can be a helpful way to relieve headaches.
There are pressure points in the neck and head that can be massaged to help reduce tension and pain. Experiment with different techniques and find what works best for you.
Self massage can also be beneficial in preventing headaches by keeping the muscles relaxed and free of tension. If you are prone to headaches, try incorporating self massage into your daily routine.
If you are experiencing frequent headaches, it is worth considering if you might be low on magnesium. This can often be the underlying cause of tension headaches. Adding magnesium-rich foods to your diet or taking a supplement can help to alleviate symptoms.
Applying magnesium oil topically is a quick and easy way to get relief from a headache. Simply massage the oil into your neck and shoulders for relief. You can also add a few drops to a warm bath for a relaxing and healing experience.
How to Relieve Migraine Headaches
Migraines feel like severe throbbing pain, usually on only one side of the head. They’re often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound.
There are many possible causes of migraines, including stress, hormonal changes, certain foods and beverages, and changes in the environment. Some people may be more susceptible to migraines than others.
There is no cure for migraines, but there are treatments that can help relieve the pain and other symptoms. And for some, prevent migraines.
I had migraines for the first fifteen years of my life, even with several medications. Once I found my cure, no meds and only a handful of migraines in 40 years, it changed my life.
Some migraines are caused by stress and muscle tension. In fact, many migraine sufferers also experience mixed headaches that share symptoms with tension headaches. The good news is that all of the interventions mentioned above can also be used with migraines too.
Folk Remedies That Can’t Hurt
Drinking a tea made of ginger, peppermint and cayenne (steeping for 15 minutes), a small cup of coffee, or grape juice may help some people with migraines.
It is easier to prevent migraines from happening in the first place rather than trying to stop one that has already started. To avoid migraines, stay away from aged cheeses, processed meats, aspartame, MSG and alcohol (particularly wine).
Some scientific evidence suggests that the herb butterbur may relieve migraines.
Butterbur has been used for centuries as a traditional remedy for migraines and other headaches. In recent years, studies have been conducted to examine the effectiveness of butterbur in reducing migraines.
One study found that butterbur was effective in reducing the frequency of migraines by up to 48%. Another study found that butterbur was able to reduce migraine severity and duration.
Stress is a common trigger for migraines, so it's important to learn how to manage your stress levels. There are a variety of stress-reduction techniques that can help, including the meditation, and deep breathing exercises mentioned above.
If you suffer from migraines, there are many things you can do to get rid of or prevent them.
If your migraines are severe, there are many healthcare practitioners who can help you learn how to relieve, reduce or prevent them completely. These professionals can provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to get your migraines under control. With their help, you can finally get relief from this debilitating condition.
As I mentioned earlier, I suffered with migraines for the first 15 years of my life. No matter how much medication I took, I still had daily tension headaches that would often explode into full blown migraines.
While testing for medical school in tenth grade, I went to a chiropractor for a neck spasm. He didn’t twist or crack my neck and long story short, he cured my neck spasm, tension headaches and eventually migraines. And I know that’s not possible but when you go from weekly migraines for fifteen years down to a few in a decade, that’s close enough.
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