5 Things You Can Do to Combat Headaches
No one likes getting a headache. The problem is that everyone has one from time to time. For some people, headaches are not occasional problems but can be chronic conditions. For many people the question of how to treat headaches is a very important one. For some, headaches can be so severe that they are forced to go to emergency rooms or a skip the wait urgent care center. Luckily, there are things people can do to minimize the frequency and intensity of the headaches they get.
- Drink more water. This is so basic that it may seem too simple to work for as many things as it does. If you have routine headaches, you may want to try reaching for a glass of water before you reach for a medication. You can also go ahead and hydrate even if you are taking something for your headache. The good news about water is that, most of us are often dehydrated without knowing it so it is most likely something you already need. It has been found that many people are so used to ignoring thirst that a lot of the time when we think we are hungry, we are actually thirsty so drinking more water can help a lot of problems.
- Try meditation. For a lot of people, headaches can be caused by tension. Mindfulness meditation can help with that and in turn prevent or help alleviate pain in the head. Scientists at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have looked into the mind-body connection to see what impact meditation can have on migraines. Initial data show that people who practice certain kinds of meditation, specifically the Vipassana techniques, have fewer migraines and when they do have them, they are less intense. It is important to note that meditation takes some practice and the best thing to do when you start is to give yourself a break. Practice by sitting still and focusing your energy on your breathing.
- Try some yoga. In the same way that meditation can help, so can yoga. This is a kind of exercise that uses a combination of stretching exercises, postures, breathing and some meditation. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has found that practicing yoga can reduce the number od headaches they have and the intensity of those headaches. Yoga has also been found to reduce people’s anxiety level.
- Work on your flexibility. If tension headaches are a problem for you, working out the tension in your muscles can do a lot to relieve them. If you sense a tension headache is coming on, you can avoid going to a skip the wait urgent care center, or you can work on some range of motion exercises to relieve the tension in your neck. If you try stretching the muscles of your neck two times a day for about 15 tp 20 minutes, you can see a difference in your headache frequency and intensity. Here are three exercises that may help:
- Put your chin forward. Move it upward and then bend towards each shoulder.
- Do some shoulder shrugs. Shrug them up and forward, up and back and just up.
- Try isometrics. Place your palm on your forehead, press and hold it there. Place each hand on the sides if your head and press.
- Be careful with what you eat and drink. Alcohol, caffeine, nitrates, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and some other additives that are used to enhance the flavor of foods can also lead to headaches. Pay attention to what you had eaten when you have a headache. One good thing to do is to keep a journal of what you were doing or consuming before you have a bad headache. If you see a pattern, you can adjust your diet to prevent some tension or migraine headaches. Some common triggers are red wine, some kinds of cheese and Chinese food.
There are a lot of kinds of headaches that people can suffer from. For some, the best thing is to go to a skip the wait urgent care center (these skip the wait urgent care centers really can live up to their name) or a doctor’s office and if you are concerned or have a new type of headache, you should talk to your doctor.