Headaches are the most typical form of chronic pain. All of us have had headaches at some point, and we can all agree that they are very unpleasant. They make your daily routine much harder to cope with, especially if you have to work, drive, or do any other action where you have to be focused.
There are a few types of headaches, the most common ones are called tension headaches, then there are cluster headaches which are more painful as they occur in clusters, and migraines which cause average or high amounts of pain.
Luckily, there are many ways to deal with all these types of headaches and if you read on you will find out how to get fast headache relief. We will talk about natural ways to get over headaches, healthy habits that keep headaches away and finally if none of that helps, the proper medication for headaches.
Types of Headaches
Tension headaches are not a result of any disease but rather muscle tension or a chemical imbalance in the brain. It is the most typical type of headache, especially in adults. They are not very painful and activity does not increase the pain. Here are the most common forms of tension headaches:
- Episodic headaches: these occur when you are under a lot of stress. These may occur once a month.
- Frequent headaches: defined as between one and fifteen times a month.
- Chronic headaches: often a result of depression or another mental disorder, they occur more than fifteen times a month.
Most people who suffer from cluster headaches in the US are male. This type of headache is not well researched, though it is often compared to migraines. It comes in waves which may last for weeks and even months. The patients feel pain on one side of their head and behind the eye, which can get teary and swollen. The best solution for this type of headache is to react quickly.
Migraines are the hardest to explain. Their symptoms are sharp head pain on a single side of the head, sensitivity to light and sound, as well as nausea. People with migraines have trouble getting through their daily routine because of the severity of the pain. There are multiple causes here, the main ones being emotions, hormones, diet, activities, and medication.
How to Get Fast Headaches Relief
There is not one answer if you are wondering how to get fast headache relief. Here’s how to maximize the use of everything that can help you to keep headaches away on a daily basis.
Rest and Relaxation
A good night’s sleep is a huge health factor and you should make it your priority. Pick a time when you are going to turn in every night and when you are going to wake up every morning. Sleeping 6 to 8 hours is considered optimal for adults. Avoid stress, heavy meals, caffeine, and blue screens before your bedtime.
Try to make your bedroom dark and cozy so you can have proper rest. If you get a headache during the day, lie down for a bit and relax. Quick naps are good. If you have the time, nap up to 30 minutes.
Hot and Cold Therapy
Depending on the type of headache you are having, you can ease it by applying a hot or cold pack to the back of your head and your neck.
If you have a tension headache, you’ll need something hot to relax your muscles, like a hot shower, or a heating pad for your neck. If it’s your sinuses, you should apply warmth to the place that hurts.
In case you have a migraine, you should take a cold shower or apply something cold to your forehead, like an ice pack, and press it to your head. If you are still in pain, you can rinse and repeat with ice after taking a break.
Drink Beverages with Caffeine
In moderate amounts, caffeine can help with headache pain. Coffee is not a bad choice, but tea will relax you better. Do not drink too much caffeine because that can cause a headache too and avoid drinking it late at night.
Water is much more important than caffeine. Drink at least 2 liters of water a day to keep headaches at bay! Dehydration often causes headaches, but it can be easily fixed. After drinking water, the headache should go away or subside soon. Avoid drinking alcohol if you have a headache because it dehydrates your body.
Massage and Acupuncture
You can massage your temples and your neck on your own, and it will help you relieve some pain. If you have a severe headache, you can visit a spa and get a massage from a professional.
Another great method of reducing headache pains is acupuncture. This ancient Chinese practice applies a great number of thin needles into your skin, supposedly at the points of energy, with the aim of helping you with stress and pain.
Any OTC painkiller can help to relieve tension headaches. These headaches are not so painful and they go away quicker. However, if you have severe migraines, cluster headaches or a chronic debilitating case of tension headache, you should visit your doctor. He or she can prescribe pain management with prescription painkillers like codeine, butalbital, tramadol, oxycodone etc. that are much stronger than the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that you can get on your own (e.g. naproxen/Aleve or ibuprofen/Advil).
Unfortunately, headaches have become a part of our everyday life, but it does not have to stay that way. If you incorporate the tips above into your daily routine, you will have a much easier way with headaches. For chronic headaches and migraines, the best solution is always to get a doctor’s advice. But if your headaches are not intense, you can deal with them on your own.
Staying out of stress’s way and getting plenty of rest and fluids might be your best shot.