Pain in the Head: Getting Relief From Headache Beyond the Counter

Posted by on Oct. 10, 2012

Pain in the Head: Getting Relief From Headache Beyond the Counter


Over 45 million Americans experience repetitive episodes of headaches during their lifetime. Of this number, about 28 million people get migraine headaches. Migraine is worse and more painful than other headache disorders, often to the point of debilitating the migraineur. A migraine episode could last from a few hours to 72 hours, and is often accompanied by other symptoms such as light and noise sensitivity, nausea, and extreme pain.

While over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can relieve the pain, what happens when you are allergic to the said drugs, ran out of prescription, or do not want to rely on medication? Below are some tips that could help alleviate headache without taking medication.

  • Soak. Taking a warm bath or shower provides relief from headache. The steam and warmth help relax muscles that could be causing the pain. In case the headache attack occurred outside the house, a warm compress on the neck and back may do the trick.
  • Inhale. Sometimes smelling lavender, peppermint, or other soothing scents can help cure headaches. However, while some scents may help other people, it could aggravate the pain in yours. It is important to know which scent would help you best.
  • Drink caffeine. This remedy is tricky, as with the scents, caffeine might help alleviate headaches in some people, but may cause the attack to worsen in others. It depends on your body’s reaction to caffeine. If you can drink several cups of coffee in a day without feeling any adverse effects, then drinking coffee may help your headache.
  • Relax. Oftentimes, headaches are caused by bad blood circulation and tight muscles. You have to relax. Get someone to rub your neck or back to improve the blood circulation, exercise your shoulders, stretch. Walk around. Get a massage. A massage often works wonders, as the combination of a darkened room, tranquil music, and soothing massage is very effective in helping a person relax.
  • Nap time. When all else fails, take a nap. Not getting enough rest often results to a headache. Sometimes when the pain is too intense, the best thing to do is to take a nap. Even a 15-minute power nap could provide respite from the most insistent headache. However, in case you’re experiencing severe headache episodes, then resting for a longer period of time could help you the most.

While OTC medications are often people’s choice for curbing headaches, it is not ideal as it may trigger product dependency. Now you have choices if you want to get respite from the pain without taking medicines.


[Photo Credit: HazPhotos on Flickr]

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