Headaches are becoming more and more common for many people in today’s busy world. Sometimes they’re the result of a medical condition, but more often they’re caused by stress, dehydration, or overdoing it late at work or at spin class.
There are many treatments available to reduce headaches, including ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and prescription headache medications, but they do not always relieve symptoms.
Although it may be tempting, the solution is not to exceed the recommended dosage. In fact, many common (and very simple) lifestyle habits can help reduce your headaches without medication.
- Massage therapy
Yes, massages may seem luxurious, but they are incredibly therapeutic. Sometimes headaches are caused by tension in the upper body due to poor posture or strenuous exercise.
In addition to reducing chronic pain, massage therapy can also ease muscle tension that can lead to headaches.
Take the time to research the types of massage (Swedish, deep tissue, shiatsu, etc.) and find a trusted practitioner who can effectively address your pain.
- Hot/cold consumption
Hot and/or cold compresses can provide relief for muscle tension headaches. For the cold part, put ice in a plastic bag covered with a thin cloth to avoid damaging the skin. Place an ice pack on your forehead and/or cheek where the pain is most intense.
Be sure to limit cold packs to no more than 10 minutes at a time.
For the hot part, you can buy a heat pack at most pharmacies or make your own with uncooked rice. Take a small pillow bag or cloth and fill two-thirds of it with uncooked rice. Sew or tie the open ends together.
If necessary, microwave the rice for one minute. Apply to the back of the neck or forehead to soothe heat.