Headaches and head pain are a chronic problem in the US. Headaches are among the most commonly reported ailment in the U.S. Almost one in six people report experiencing chronic headache pain. That is at least 45 million Americans each year, according to medical reports.
If you suffer from chronic headache pain it is helpful to identify causes and triggers of the pain. Once you identify and understand the underlying cause of pain you may be able to find reasonable and natural ways to help relieve headaches.
Common triggers, or causes, of headache pain include the following:
-Diet – cheese, msg, wine, and chocolate
-Change in use of alcohol, tobacco, or drugs
-Neck, shoulder, and/or back muscle stress or strain
Chronic headaches, excruciatingly painful headaches, long lasting headaches, and headaches of unknown origin should be reported to a physician and treatment sought from a licensed physician.
Natural Treatments for Headache Pain
Apply an icepack to your head to help relieve pain. Make a simple icepack using a bag that zips shut and a cloth to protect your skin. Apply ice directly to the area of pain, temples, or neck and shoulders.
One of the best ways to treat headache pain is to close your eyes and relax. Lay back, close your eyes, and breathe deeply. As you exhale try to calm your mind. Repeat relaxing words to slow and control your thoughts or imagine yourself in a relaxing location. This type of headache treatment takes practice but is extremely effective once the process becomes a habit.
Massage is a great way to relax and help ease the pressure and tension associated with headaches. Have someone gently massage your back and neck. Pay special attention to pressure points, or knots from which pain seems to radiate into your head. Release tension by applying a little extra pressure for a few seconds directly to the pressure point.
Acupuncture provides effective relief of chronic headaches. I have found headache relief through acupuncture. If you would like to try acupuncture find a licensed therapist who knows how to apply acupuncture or acupressure for the treatment of headaches. My preference is to see an acupuncturist who is a licensed medical physician in both Eastern and Western medicine.
Exercise is a safe and natural treatment for headaches. When you have a headache exercise may be the last thing you want to do, but it may be the best thing for you. Exercise helps increase blood flow through dilated blood vessels, which place pressure on your nerves.
Despite what you have heard, sex is a good exercise to help relieve a headache.
Use aroma therapy to help relieve stress and tension headaches. Candles and incense in relaxing lavender, or your favorite aroma, can help ease away the pain. Find an aroma therapy that helps you relax. Aromas range from fresh, stimulating peppermint to relaxing lavender.
A warm bath can also help relieve headaches. Relax in a warm bath using aromatic bath salts, bath oil, or body wash. Keep bath products on-hand for quick easy use when combating a headache.
Try natural headache remedies first.
Try one or more natural home remedies before reaching for over-the-counter medication to treat headache pain. If necessary, try acetaminophen or ibuprofen for headache pain relief. Both are available inexpensively.
If you have to resort to medication, you may find the caffeine in a cup of tea, coffee, or soda is enough to help relieve headache pain.
Natural methods of headache pain relief are, of course, preferable to OTC medications or caffeine. If headache pain persists or becomes unbearable seek attention from a physician.
Endres, Heinz G., et al. “Acupuncture for Tension-type Headaches: a multi-centre, sham controlled, patient and observer-blinded randomized trial, The Journal of Headache and Pain,” July 31, 2007.
Headache Causes, National Institute of Health
How Common are Headaches, Headache Statistics, info-med.co.uk
Migraines and Headaches Guide: Treating Your Own Headaches, Webmd.com