Taking painkillers for a headache is not always the best way to alleviate the pain. Try other options which tend to tackle the cause of the headache rather than dulling the symptom.
Many headaches can be caused by stress and anxiety, painkillers will only alleviate the pain, but will not deal with the underlying causes. There are different types of headache, for example, tension headaches are caused by muscle contractions in the head and neck. Migraines are caused by the constriction and expansion of blood vessels in the head and often cause a throbbing pain. Cluster headaches can be triggered by drinking or smoking and come in groups, hence the name. So how to relieve these painful and sometimes debilitating episodes?
A simple exercise which can be done anywhere is based on the LIG4 area of the hand, the webbed skin between your thumb and forefinger. Massage this area with firm, circular movements for several minutes and then swap hands. Acupressure experts believe this area to be where many headaches originate. It may help you relax and take a few minutes away from a stressful situation which may be contributing to the headache.
If you are at home with a headache, soaking your feet in hot water will help you feel better. By drawing blood to your feet, the hot water helps to reduce pressure on the blood vessels in your head. If you suffer from severe headaches, add some mustard powder to the water.
For tension headaches press a hot compress on your forehead or the back of your neck, this will help relax the neck and head muscles and disperse the tension.
If you don’t like too hot water and prefer cooler remedies, using cold water presses in the same way can also help. Wrap some ice cubes in flannel or small towel and apply to the head or neck. Cold constricts blood vessels, stopping the pressure on sensitive nerves.
For the brave a reckless, soak your hands in iced water for as long as you can stand it. While your hands are submerged, open and close your fists. The cold will dilate the blood vessels easing the pain.
Tying and headband or scarf around your forehead and tighten it just to the point where you can feel the pressure will reduce blood flow to your scalp and help reduce the pain. If you are at home, soaking the headband in vinegar may help bring relief sooner. Vinegar is a traditional headache remedy.