To Your Health
How to Cure a Headache
6 things to try before you reach for the pills
Four in ten of us are afflicted with tension headaches, the most common type. A new study published in the American Academy of Neurology suggests something that people prone to headaches have long suspected: Rising temperatures and falling barometric pressure can trigger headaches.
Rather than suffer through the next heat wave, here’s how to cure headache pain.
Drink some water. A surprising number of headaches are caused by dehydration. By the time you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. It’s an old adage that it’s often the water you drink with a pain reliever that actually makes the pain go away.
Have a cup of coffee. If you’re a caffeine enthusiast and you’re short on coffee today, you can get a withdrawal headache. If so, a small dose – emphasize small — of caffeine may ease the pain.
Step away from the computer. Staring at the screen can make your head hurt. If you’re at work, take breaks regularly that are dedicated to dealing with paper or people – anything but your computer screen. Also keep away from other environmental factors that can make your head hurt: cigarette smoke, strong perfume, or any food you’re sensitive to.
Hit it with hot or cold. You’ll have to experiment to see which works better for you, but a cold compress or heating pad applied to your temples, head or the back of the neck can be soothing.
Learn to meditate. You don’t have to become an expert at Transcendental Meditations to banish a headache. Simple relaxation techniques can work. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic recommend setting aside time each day to breathe deeply, inhaling to a count of six, then slowly exhaling.
Consider acupuncture. A study at Duke University confirms that acupuncture can provide better headache relief than medications for various types of headaches: migraine, tension and cluster. Researchers theorize that the treatments cause the release of natural painkillers like endorphins and enkephalins.