Let's face it, when you have a headache, you'll do almost anything to get rid of it. Luckily, most people don't usually have to resort to anything extreme. If you have a headache that you just can't seem to shake, here are some unusual strategies that just might help.
Apply Heat and Cold
You can try applying heat and cold to the areas that are most affected by your headache, but not at the same time of course. Cold compresses can be ice packs, gel-filled cold packs. You can also toss a wet washcloth into the freezer for a quick application. You'll want to limit sessions to no more than 10 minutes, and make sure to use a towel or cloth to protect your skin from the cold temperatures. Follow the cold compress with a hot pack. You can buy them at most pharmacies, or make your own with a clean sock and some rice.
Acupuncture stems from ancient Chinese medical practices. it involves extremely fine needles being inserted into your skin at specific points throughout the body. It is well researched and has been shown to have positive effects on pain and inflammation.
Sip Herbal Tea
If your headaches are caused by tension, teas with relaxing properties may help to reduce your discomfort. Some popular options include peppermint, chamomile, and ginger. If your headache is more likely linked to a need for caffeine, look for a black tea or even a cup of coffee. Many people find that caffeine can both cause and cure headaches, so it might be a good idea to find out how it acts on your body.
Get Botox Injections
While many people are familiar with Botox, or botulinum toxin, for cosmetic purposes, they may not realize it is also a very effective treatment for chronic and migraine headaches. The toxin is injected into specific areas to dull the activity in your nerves, resulting in less pain. This is obviously not a do it yourself remedy, so make sure you find someone who has attended special dermal filler courses to learn how to properly use Botox for headache pain.
Opt for a Headache Diet
There are all sorts of diet plans out there, and now you can add the Headache Diet to the list. Experts agree that eating a well-balanced diet is key to helping control headache pain. However, there are also some foods that are associated with increased rates of headaches, called trigger foods. Avoiding the foods that trigger your pain may help you minimize the frequency, intensity, and duration of future headaches. Some common examples include aged cheeses, highly processed foods like hotdogs and bacon, alcohol, MSG, and nitrates.
To determine if there is a connection between your diet and discomfort, try keeping simultaneous headache and food journals. This can allow you to track if there are any common denominators between what you eat and when you pain starts or stops. Be aware that these do not consider other factors like the weather, activities, or stress, that can also impact your health.
No matter what type of headaches you experience or what causes them, turning to aromatherapy can be an effective method for alleviating the symptoms. It is important to use therapeutic grade essential oils since it is not actually the scents, but rather the plant compounds that work in aromatherapy.
Try rubbing a few drops of diluted peppermint oil on your temples to help relieve muscle tension and pain. It contains menthol, which is the same chemical that is in many popular pain patches and creams. Lavender and chamomile are both though tot help ease stress and help with pain and inflammation, and make a nice combination in a diffuser.
Find Your Zen
Meditation is becoming increasingly popular as a way to combat stress, pain, and inflammation. It can take on many forms and is accessible to nearly anyone regardless of physical ability. A good way to get started is with breath meditation. This relatively simple process can help you clear and quiet your mind and is a great way to learn the basic breathing process involved in more advanced meditation techniques.
Whatever the cause of your headaches, they can seriously affect your quality of life. If you don't want to head to the medicine cabinet for another pain pill, consider trying one or more of these techniques to help alleviate your pain and get your routine back to normal.