Headache is sometimes completely unbearable and can occur for various reasons: tension and stress, migraines, nasal congestion, infectious diseases, etc. The pain can be aching, dull, sharp, with a feeling of squeezing in the temples and tightness during the forehead, irritated by bright light or strong odours.
But whatever the pain, you want to get rid of it as soon as possible. Medications can help with this, but home remedies can also help relieve headaches.
Use a cold or hot compress
For radiating headaches (such as migraines) that start in one area of the head and spread to others, cold compresses can be applied wherever the pain occurs. Low temperatures cause slight numbness and constrict blood vessels, which can relieve discomfort. Making a cold compress is easy: place a wet towel in the freezer for about 10 minutes, or take an ice pack and wrap it in a dry towel.
But for tension headaches, which often appear as a dull, aching pain with a feeling of tightness in the forehead, it is better to use a hot compress. Tension headaches are usually caused by stress, and relaxing the stiff muscles in your neck and shoulders can help relieve them. Take a towel dipped in hot water and threw it over your neck and shoulders to relax your muscles and relieve pain.
Use relaxation techniques
Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises can also help treat headaches, especially cluster headaches (often present as a severe, sharp pain behind the eye). For example, the so-called rhythmic breathing (deep and slow breaths in and out with a count of five) copes well with cluster pain.
And yoga and meditation help with migraines and tension headaches because they relax the body and reduce stress.
Acupressure is applying firm pressure to certain parts of the body for a couple of minutes. It is most useful for tension headaches. It is pretty simple to perform acupressure for pain in the head.
On your left hand, find the space between the base of your thumb and index finger. This space is known as the LI-4 pressure point. With the thumb and forefinger of your right hand, press on this point. Slowly move your thumb in a circle, applying pressure. But don’t overdo it; you shouldn’t be in pain. Then find the same space on your right hand and do the same, but with the fingers of your left hand.
Drinking more water and cutting back on dehydrating drinks like alcohol or coffee can also help prevent headaches. On the other hand, caffeine works well for migraines, but when consumed excessively, it causes dehydration, which aggravates the ailment.
Change your diet
Foods containing phenylalanine and tyramine can increase the frequency of migraines. Phenylalanine is an amino acid commonly found in artificial sweeteners, monosodium glutamate, and foods containing nitrates. Tyramine is a compound produced by the breakdown of amino acids. It can be found in smoked or fermented foods, alcoholic beverages, and aged cheeses. If you are prone to migraines, do not go overboard on these foods.
NOTE: Although home remedies and over-the-counter medications can help with headaches, it is worth seeing a doctor to determine the root cause of the pain if they recur too often.