Headaches can be a real pain, but there are ways to get rid of them without having to take medication. From cold compresses to drinking water and electrolyte drinks, there are many natural remedies that can help alleviate the pain. Additionally, understanding how to cope with migraine pain and making lifestyle changes can help reduce the frequency of headaches. A cold compress is a simple solution for many people who suffer from headaches.
Applying an ice pack or other cold element to the head or neck can help constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling in the area. To make a cold compress, fill a waterproof bag with ice and wrap it in a soft towel. Apply the compress to the back of the neck, head or temples to relieve the headache. Dehydration is a common cause of headaches, so drinking water or an electrolyte drink is a great way to get rid of one without medication.
Choose an electrolyte drink without artificial colors or sweeteners, as they can aggravate the headache. Powdered beverage mix packs, such as those that are mixed with vitamin C, are good choices. If you have diabetes, it is important to carefully watch the sugar content of the drink. Stress is a major trigger for headaches, but other things can cause a throbbing in the head from what you eat to how you travel.
Too much or too little sleep can cause migraines, but maintaining a more regular routine can also help with occasional headaches. Certain smells like those from perfumes and cleaning products can cause certain people to develop headaches. Meanwhile, excessive use of pain relievers for headaches can interfere with the effects of preventive medications. Using electronic devices like computers, cell phones or tablets can also lead to headaches in some people.
To prevent this, take regular breaks from scrolling up and down on these devices. For people who are sensitive to headaches or migraines, even a small amount of alcohol can trigger a painful attack. Caffeine can also have a positive effect on headache symptoms as it improves mood, increases alertness and narrows blood vessels. If you experience headaches once a week or more, or if they occur with certain red flags, it is important to see a doctor.
A headache specialist should be able to identify medical treatments as well as lifestyle or behavior changes that can help ease your symptoms and reduce dependence on acute medications. To find out if a certain food causes frequent headaches, try an elimination diet that eliminates foods most related to headache symptoms. Finally, there is evidence that sex can relieve migraines and cluster headaches.