Are you one of the millions of Americans who suffer from headaches? What is the best way for you to make them go away? Do the old home remedies really work? Read on to find out how you can make tomorrow a better day!
To start treating your headache, it’s important to know what type of headache you’re having and what is causing your pain. By knowing this, you can treat the headache properly with natural methods.
Types of Headaches
Tension headache is one of the headaches that can cause a constant ache. It’s felt at the back of the head, neck and at your temples. This type of headache doesn’t cause any nausea or vomiting, but when a tension headache becomes severe, it can morph into any of the following types. Tension headaches respond to many natural remedies and are the most common and treatable type of headache.
Cluster headaches are a recurring type that can cause a severe stabbing pain on one side of your head. Cluster headaches are rare, and their causes are unclear, but natural treatment options can cut their duration and severity.
Sinus headache has symptoms similar to a migraine. Patients with this type often treat their condition with medicines that are intended for migraine headaches. They’ll be relieved, but not for a long time, as the treatment does not target the real cause of the headache. Treatment should concentrate on reducing pressure in the sinus cavities of the head.
Rebound headache happens when you overuse your medicines. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and other drugs can lead to a rebound headache. This is one of the reasons it’s best to embrace natural ways of getting rid of the headache instead of prescription drugs or over-the-counter meds.
Migraine is a type of headache that affects 9% of people in the U.S. Patients with this condition often take prescription medicines, but they don’t work all the time. For that reason, many sufferers have shifted to natural treatments to get rid of their migraines.
There are many things that can trigger pain in the head. Your headache may occur as a reaction to something you ate or blood sugar irregularities. It could also be caused by not having enough sleep. Posture plays a major role, as repetitive motion activities and head forward posture create added stress on the muscles near the base of the skull. This is a major contributing factor in tension headaches.
Be careful in the gym that you are not increasing load on the upper shoulders, as these muscles originate from the skull and upper cervical spine. Exercises that involve overhead motions like military press, lateral raises, shrugs, and dips can all create headaches. Dehydration and overexertion are also common triggers of headaches after a workout.
Taking a break from your routine may also challenge the head, causing a mild to severe headache. For instance, staying up late instead of going to sleep at your regular time may lead to a headache the following day. Likewise eating foods that you’re not use to and taking in more sugar or caffeine than usual can spark nasty rebound headaches. Ease this condition by sticking to your normal routine to avoid unnecessary headaches.
There are many other triggering factors for headache attacks. This is why it is so important to find out what’s to blame so you can treat it accordingly. The following home remedies are very effective in treating headaches, but a conversation with your chiropractor might prove to be the best way to find the cause of your headaches. Many times a short conversation has led to the alleviation of years of headaches simply by identifying the cause of the patient’s headache. As Ben Franklin said, an ounce of prevention is a pound of cure.
Get Rid of Headaches Quickly and Naturally
There are plenty of natural remedies that can effectively treat headaches. Some are even more powerful than over-the-counter medicines.
Here are the top 10 most effective:
It may be a spicy herb, but it’s well-known in the naturopathic world to be effective in treating pain and inflammation. It’s the capsaicin of cayenne that treats the pain on your head, regardless of its type. Capsaicin inhibits a certain substance in your brain that lets you feel the pain. Thus when that substance is depleted, you won’t feel the pain in the head. However, this natural remedy may not be for every sufferer. This is especially true for those who are allergic to cayenne.
How to treat a headache fast with cayenne:
Mix cayenne powder with warm water.
Get a clean, unused swab, and soak it in the solution.
Make sure that the swab is covered with the powder.
Apply it gently to the inside of your nostril.
Expect to feel a burning sensation, which can be unpleasant. But this remedy works. The pain will subside in a few minutes. Your headache may not be totally wiped out within a few minutes, but the pain will become mild. Eventually, you’ll feel better.
Most importantly almonds help to stabilize blood sugar. Between meals or when you have skipped a meal, your blood sugar will drop quickly. This creates increased tension in the muscles behind the eyes and in the back of the head. Almonds can reduce the sugar level drop and prevent the headache.
Additionally, almonds and other real nuts contain salicin. It’s a substance that’s considered to be a natural pain reliever. In fact, it’s used as one of the ingredients of over-the-counter pain relievers. The salicin in the nut will be converted into salicylic acid, which is also known as the result of aspirin metabolization. In addition to the natural pain reliever, nuts are rich in magnesium, which encourages muscle relaxation, easing the pain.
The Netti-pot or other sinus rinses are fantastic for reducing the sinus pressure that creates many sinus and/or frontal headaches. During the upcoming winter months or during allergy season, your body produces mucus in the nasal cavities to coat the membranes for protection from the dry air, pollen, or harmful viruses. This increase in mucus increases pressure in the cavity, creating a dull headache. A neti-pot can flush out the mucus, reducing the internal pressure in the cavities and resulting in an instant reduction in pain.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
ACV is a common natural remedy that can treat any type of pain, including a headache. It’s being used by millions of people worldwide to treat or relieve almost anything, from hay fever to scurvy to acne. There are several scientific studies conducted to prove its effectiveness. Researchers are impressed with the results.
How to get rid of headaches naturally with ACV:
Prepare a cup of ACV, three cups of water, and a cup of cool water.
Boil the water.
Transfer the boiling water into a large bowl.
Add the ACV to the bowl.
Allow your face to be near the bowl, just enough to inhale the steam. To trap the steam, you may want to place a towel (form a tent) over your head.
Breathe the steam in and out for 10 minutes, or until the water starts to cool down.
Pat your face dry.
Another way to use ACV is to drink it straight up. But don’t drink its undiluted form. Instead, add one tablespoon of ACV to a glass of warm water. Mix them well. You may also add honey to taste. Drink the solution to relieve the pain.
The amount of ACV will depend on your tolerance level. You can start by using one teaspoon and increase the amount when necessary. Increase the dose when migraines and other types of headaches attack.
5. Fish Oil
It’s more of prevention than treatment. Nevertheless it can reduce the severity of the pain. Fish oil is considered to be useful and beneficial, not just to your heart, but also to your head. The omega-3 fatty acid in fish oil is what makes it an effective natural treatment for any type of headache, but it’s usually taken for migraine attacks.
It’s said that inflammation in the head can cause a headache. Fish oil’s fatty acid reduces inflammation, thereby relieving the pain. Taking fish oil regularly will help you relieve the headache. But as mentioned earlier, fish oil is better used as a prevention rather than a treatment. When you regularly take it, it prevents blood vessel constriction, which is usually the reason for the migraine type of headache.
Ginger can inhibit the production of prostaglandin. Your nerve endings are very sensitive to this chemical. When it’s produced and released, the nerve endings respond by transmitting pain to the brain. As a result, you’ll feel pain. Ginger helps to inhibit synthesis of prostaglandin, so when a migraine or headache attacks, the pain is reduced or minimized. Ginger also reduces nausea, which often happens during a migraine attack.
How to soothe a headache fast with ginger:
Boil two cups of water.
Remove the water, and transfer it to a mug.
Add three slices of ginger root (quarter size).
Cover the bowl, and let the slices of ginger root stay there for 30 minutes.
Sip the mixture slowly.
This is also great when your acid reflux attacks while you’re suffering from a headache. It can alleviate two conditions in one drink. You may need to drink three cups of this mixture each day to further alleviate the pain. If you can’t swallow the taste of pure ginger root tea, you may add honey to the mixture. Make sure that it’s pure honey. Some honey products contain sugar, which may worsen your headache.
7. Peppermint Oil and Eucalyptus Oil
Peppermint oil is known to ease the discomfort caused by a headache. It can also help clear your mind. Because of its versatility, many individuals have it in their medicine cabinets.
How to cure a headache fast with peppermint oil:
Mix a few drops of peppermint oil and a carrier oil (coconut, avocado, grapeseed oil, etc.).
Massage the oil onto your temples.
Include the back of your head and neck.
As soon as you apply the oil, you’ll feel the cooling sensation of the peppermint oil. You’ll soon get relief. If you don’t like to apply it on your forehead or temples, you can just inhale it. Place a few drops of peppermint oil in an oil diffuser, and place the diffuser in the room you are in. These are great to use in the office, bedroom, or even car. This remedy isn’t only great for treating a migraine, but it’s also useful in treating a sinus headache, as it clears up congestion.
Another oil that can get rid you of your headache is eucalyptus oil. It’s especially useful if the pain is triggered by stress. Despite the lack of scientific studies, it’s been used for thousands of years in alleviating pain, including headaches. The oil in this plant reduces swelling of the blood vessels, thereby reducing the pain. And when you have sinus headache, you just need to reach out to this oil to clear the sinus congestion so the pain on your head will go away.
How to get rid of headaches fast with eucalyptus oil:
Find a place where you can lie down and relax.
Massage your forehead and temples with the diluted form of eucalyptus oil (mix 5 drops of eucalyptus oil with 1 ounce of coconut oil).
Do this for 30 minutes. Through its soothing and calming effects, you’ll feel sleepy while massaging your head. It’s natural and it’s expected. Don’t fight it. Let yourself drift off to sleep. When you’re back up, you’ll feel a lot better.
You can combine the eucalyptus with peppermint oil to use the combining effects of these oils. Simply place them both in a diffuser or in coconut oil to help relieve your headache fast.
It’s a fantastic natural remedy for various ailments, including headaches. When you try to obtain it in a supermarket, it’s sold as a stick or ground. No matter what form you’re using, this herb is an excellent way to treat your headache. Cinnamon is a great source of manganese, iron, calcium, and other minerals that can help in treating migraines and other types of headaches. This is especially useful if your headache is triggered by unstable weather conditions.
How to stop a headache fast with cinnamon:
Boil one to two cups of water.
Add cinnamon, either stick or powder, to the boiling water.
Allow to boil for additional two minutes.
Remove it from the heat.
Strain and use the water as a tea.
Add honey to taste.
Drink it twice a day.
Your headache should be gone the following day.
Another way to prepare this herb is to make a rub. Apply 5 drops of cinnamon oil to 1 oz. of straight coconut oil. Rub on your temples, being careful not to get it into the eyes. You can also apply this to the neck for a relaxing warming sensation.
This remedy is quite different from the natural methods discussed above. Acupuncture is more expensive than the home remedies listed above, but it provides lasting effects. Traditional Chinese acupuncture is a natural treatment that has a history of helping those who haven’t been cured by other natural remedies available to them.
I have personally seen many patients who have found a great reduction in headache pain with acupuncture when they thought their condition was going to be permanent. Depending upon the type of headache, acupuncture needles are placed in and around the head, hands, feet, and upper back. These common points can help to both alleviate muscle tension and stress and balance the nervous system. Many people have used acupuncture as a way to get rid of their headaches while using other natural treatments to further alleviate their condition.
Research has shown chiropractic to be the most effective natural remedy for headaches. As many headaches have a muscular component to the cause of the headache, chiropractic can be the most effective tool to reduce the head pain. Chiropractic not only can reduce the muscle tension in the head, neck, and shoulders, but can also improve posture, increase blood flow, help to regulate blood pressure, and reduce the effects of emotional stress.
A chiropractic adjustment should be the foundation of any headache treatment protocol when the pain starts. Likewise, regular chiropractic adjustments can reduce the increase of stress and pressure on the head and therefore prevent future headaches. Personally, going through chiropractic school was the cure for my chronic tension headaches. The regular adjustments ended my reliance upon pain medications to rid the frequent headaches that I suffered.
If you have a loved one or friend who suffers from headaches, please share this information with them. Many people try to mask and hide how much their headaches control their life and are unaware that they do not have to be held captive by this pain. Encourage them to use the above remedies and to seek professional advice on how to best combat this problem. We’d love to see them in our Roanoke, Virginia office for a conversation and for chiropractic and acupuncture treatment. There is hope for those who suffer from this common condition.
Dr. Daryl Rich, D.C., C.S.C.S.