Headaches can range from distracting to downright debilitating. While an occasional headache can be treated with aspirin or ibuprofen, chronic headaches can trap you into a state of being constantly medicated. If you suffer from headaches, try these drug-free fixes first.
Exercise doesn’t sound like fun when your head is pounding, but it’s a great way to cure a headache. During exercise, your brain releases endorphins. These hormones are the body’s natural painkillers and may eliminate your headache. If your headache is intense, try walking or riding an exercise bike. Any smooth activity that doesn’t bounce you around can ease your pain without first aggravating it.
Dehydration causes headaches, so a glass of water may be all you need and should be your very first go-to remedy. If you suspect your blood sugar is low, opt for fruit juice or a sports drink rather than water. Coffee, tea and soda also ease headache pain. These drinks contain caffeine, which constricts blood vessels, reducing the pounding sensation caused by migraines. Though it is not a medication, caffeine is a chemical so use caution if you are particularly sensitive. A little caffeine stops a headache, but too much can cause dependency. Caffeine dependency, in turn, can cause more headaches.
See a Chiropractor
By keeping your spine, neck and shoulders properly aligned, your chiropractor can help eliminate your headaches or reduce their frequency. Proper body alignment relieves stress on your spine and neck that can trigger headaches. Chiropractic care has proven especially helpful in alleviating tension headaches. Proper body positioning also alleviates pressure on cramped blood vessels, helping reduce the frequency of vascular headaches like migraines and cluster headaches.
Have a Snack
If you suffer from frequent headaches, try stocking your kitchen with some foods known to ease them. Flax seed, for instance, is high in omega-3 fatty acids and helps with headaches caused by inflammation. Ginger root, too, controls inflammation and eases the nausea that accompanies severe headaches. Because they help balance the body’s pH, eating an apple can restore balance to your body and reduce headache pain. Almonds relax the blood vessels, which eases the throbbing sensation that accompanies some headaches. These foods are excellent headache fighters, but MSG is not. Be sure to avoid canned goods and other foods containing MSG when eating away your headache.
These remedies, along with plenty of rest, meditation and stress reduction, can cure your current headache. Remember, though, that you don’t have to wait until you’re in pain to try them. Practicing these habits regularly may reduce the number of headaches you suffer overall so you can live with less pain and more joy.