Using cold compresses can be an effective way to reduce headache symptoms. Applying heat to the head, neck, or hands and feet can help relieve tension headaches or migraine pain, according to the Mayo Clinic. You can use a low-temperature heating pad, hot water bottle, warm compress, or warm towel. A hot bath or shower may also be beneficial, or just letting warm water run over your hands and feet.
Ice is recommended for the first 48 to 72 hours, then heat can be applied. Heat can be applied with hot showers, hot compresses or a heating pad. Make sure you don't fall asleep with a heating pad or ice pack in place to avoid skin injury. Holding a hot water bottle (not containing boiling water) or a hot compress against your forehead or neck can relax your muscles and relieve pain.
A cold compress can also be used to constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling in the area. Massage can also help relieve muscle tension and sometimes headache. Gently massage your temples, scalp, neck, and shoulders with your fingertips, or gently stretch your neck. Triptans are selective serotonin receptor agonists that are thought to stimulate serotonin in the brain to reduce inflammation and contract blood vessels, which in turn stops headache or migraine attack, according to the National Headache Foundation. Strong odors such as those from perfumes and cleaning products can cause some people to develop headaches.
Understanding how these problems connect makes it easier to see how to relieve headaches caused by neck pain. If you have frequent headaches, you may take acetaminophen to get rid of them quickly. While traditional methods such as medicines are often necessary, there are many natural and effective ways to prevent and treat headaches if you're looking for a more holistic approach. Migraine headaches often occur along with other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light and sound. Indocine (indomethacin), an NSAID that is only available with a prescription, is generally used for arthritis but can also be very helpful as a headache treatment.
To find out if a certain food causes frequent headaches, try an elimination diet that eliminates foods most related to headache symptoms. Butterbur extract in doses of 50 to 150 mg has been shown to reduce headache symptoms in both adults and children (4). The information is produced and reviewed by more than 200 medical professionals with the aim of providing reliable and unique information for people with health conditions. One study suggested that neck pain was a symptom of headache and not a cause of the headache itself. In other cases such as with tension headaches where the muscles are too tight, a warm compress can help relax these muscles and relieve them.