Stopping a Headache Fast—5 Unique Methods
I don't think any one of us has escaped getting a headache at some point in our lives. Some of us experience more than others. There are different types of headaches: sinus headaches, tension headaches, and the more severe migraine. Tension headaches are probably the most common type, by the way. Here I'm going to give some tips to help get rid those nagging headaches.
First, for the formalities. As you know, headaches can be caused by many different things, and often we don't know the cause at all. A frequent, persistent, or severe headache can sometimes be an indicator of something serious going on. If you experience these you should be checked by your doctor to rule out any serious conditions. Also the tips provided in this article are for informational purposes only and should not substitute for proper medical care. You should always check with your doctor before taking any new medications.
Now, with that said, let's stop that headache! (Be sure and read to the end to see my personal favorite!)
If you experience frequent, persistent, or severe headaches, you should visit your doctor to rule out serious underlying conditions. Always check with your doctor before taking any new medications.
1. Massage Therapy
As I mentioned above the most common form of a headache is a tension headache. Have your spouse or a friend rub your shoulders and neck. This promotes the circulation and helps you relax. It’s even better with a little warmed up lotion or massage oil. The heat promotes further relaxation. If you don’t have available just try a real warm cloth around your neck for a few minutes after the massage to try to get your muscles even further relaxed. Getting rid of the tension can help get rid of your headache!
My personal opinion: This tip I usually use after I’ve already done some other things. It does help and is useful if you’re playing the waiting game while your medicine kicks in. We don’t always have someone right there or someone willing to give us a massage when we have a headache. So this tip is not always feasible but it does help.
2. Tongue in Cheek Method
Often times people keep their tongue pressed to the roof of their mouth. This can unknowingly cause more tension in the muscles thus giving you a headache. Try concentrating on keeping your tongue off of the roof of your mouth, suspended in the middle for as long as you can. Keep yours lips closed and notice how this forces your jaw and facial muscles to relax. You don’t necessarily want to put your tongue against your cheek (though I know that’s what the name implies, but what else was I going to call it right?) just keep it from the top of your mouth. This will help force your facial muscles to relax and can quickly stop a headache!
My personal opinion: This can be very effective but difficult to maintain. If your headache starts to fade after a minute or two and you don't concentrate on holding your tongue suspended, your headache can return easily. Sometimes though it can get rid of a headache completely in just a few minutes without medicine!
3. Hot and Cold Therapy
All right, these are going to be lumped together because though they can work good for some people you first have to figure out what is right for you. Hot works for some people and cold works for some people. It can be trial and error.
You can try a very cool washcloth on your forehead. Turn the faucet on and let the cold water run for awhile. When it gets nice and cool go ahead and wet the cloth. Then you can lay down and place it over your forehead or even over your eyes.
On the opposite side a warm cloth may work better for you. Don’t get the cloth so warm it’s uncomfortable though. You don’t want to add a burn on top of that headache either.
Another option, do a cool cloth around your neck and your feet in a warm bucket. In theory this will draw the blood more toward your feet thus reducing the pressure in your head (I’ve not tried this one to be honest).
Last but not least, a hot shower. You can get in to a nice hot shower and let the water spray over the top of your head. You can even turn and let it hit your shoulders and neck to help relax you.
(Keep in mind if you attempt any of these and it makes the headache worse stop right away).
My personal opinion: These work great to stop some people's headaches but the only one that gets rid of mine (other than the feet in bucket thing that I haven’t tried) is the hot shower. I get into a very warm shower when I feel a strong headache coming on and let the water hit me right in the forehead for about 5 minutes. Then I turn and let the water relax my neck and shoulder muscles. Presto, headache is gone! I’ve managed to ward off a few migraines with this trick too!
I know, you’ve tried it and often times they don't work to stop that headache. That’s why you’re here looking for tips. I’m adding this because it’s worked every time for me. Take your Tylenol with an over-the-counter allergy medication like Claritin. A doctor suggested to take two extra strength Tylenol and a Claritin with it, then lay down and rest for about an hour. Keep in mind you should not exceed 4 grams of Tylenol in a 24 hour period. Even less if you drink alcoholic beverages daily. Be sure and follow the directions for each medication that are present on the bottle.
My personal opinion: I have used this trick many times at work where there wasn’t anyone to give me a massage, I couldn’t get into the shower, and the boss wouldn’t be too happy with me if I were to relax with my feet in a bucket and a wet towel around my neck. As I said above it’s worked very well for me. Whether this tip will work well for you or not really depends on the cause of your headache, which most the time we don’t know. Personally, I usually start by doing this and then work on the other methods to get rid of my headache!
Consult Your Doctor
Be sure to check with your doctor before trying any new medications or medication combinations. You need to make sure there won't be any adverse reactions or interactions with other medications you might be taking.
5. Pressure Points (My Favorite Tip!)
Some of us know there is a pressure point in our hands, but did you also know it can help relieve your headache or migraine? Well it can! First to find the pressure point, take your dominant hand and use your first finger and thumb to feel around on your other hand. So if you’re right handed use your thumb and first finger of your right hand and vice versa if you’re left handed. You should feel around the fleshy area between your first finger and thumb of your non-dominant hand. You’ll know when you find the pressure point, it sends a mild jolt through that hand. Now you want to firmly but not painfully massage that area. The best bet is to have someone do this for you if you can (if only we all had our own personal masseuse). This can provide almost instant relief from a headache at times! Even if your headache is gone within a minute or two continue to massage this area for approximately 10 minutes to keep it away.
My personal opinion: This is the easiest most effective thing I’ve found. It really does provide almost instant relief with some headaches. The only down side to it is that I notice my headaches will come back after a few hours if I don’t do anything else to ward them off.