Headaches can range from mildly irritating to severe and debilitating. Knowing how to battle a headache is half the battle. Bad or nagging headaches can ruin your day, and your productivity too. Today we’re going to give you that knowledge of how to get rid of a headache so that the next time it happens, you’ll know what to do right away.
How To Get Rid Of A Headache – Pain Relief
My first step for how to get rid of a headache isn’t very original. I go straight for the over the counter pain medicine.
I tend to go for medicines containing Paracetamol ( that’s Acetaminophen for you people from the USA.) Generally, two 500 mg tablets will do the trick with a glass of water. You can’t take any more for another 4 hours, and can only take a maximum of 4 grams in a day well spread out. Taking more than this puts your liver at serious risk, and is not worth it! It won’t provide any additional relief.
Fast acting, melt in your mouth tablets and dissoluble ones will act quickest for more immediate relief. Also look out for those containing caffeine. Caffeine can really help relieve a headache, especially if you missed your morning coffee, but these tablets will also stop you sleeping at night.
Paracetamol/ Acetaminophen is also excellent if you also have a fever, as it will act to reduce the fever.
Other common pain relievers for a headache include Ibuprofen and Aspirin. Aspirin is not recommended to be used frequently, as it can be harsh on the stomach. It also should not be used in children under the age of 16.
Some people use codeine containing medicines, but I would stay clear of these. They are habit forming in their own right, and there isn’t much evidence that the OTC dose of codeine really provides much pain relief for a headache.
If you are on other medications or have any illness, always check with your pharmacist first before buying or taking any OTC medicines for a headache.
How To Get Rid Of A Headache- Watch Out For Caffeine
On that note, let’s talk about caffeine. The cause of, and solution to, many of life’s headaches. A quick cup of Joe can quickly get rid of a headache, but in the long term, it can lead to more headaches in future as you become more dependent. Yes, caffeine dependency is real!
Really you ought to use caffeine as a treatment for headaches no more than twice a week. If you find you are drinking coffee more than twice a week to stem off headaches, then really that is a sign that it is time to begin the difficult process of cutting down your intake.
Caffeine dilates the blood vessels in your head. Eventually, your body becomes used to this effect and dependent on the caffeine. When you don’t have your fix, the blood vessels in your brain contract, often leading to a blistering headache.
Caffeine can also leave you dehydrated – another very common cause of headaches. If you get frequent headaches it is best to avoid taking caffeine completely.
How To Get Rid Of A Headache – Stay Hydrated.
Dehydration is a major cause of headaches. This is especially true for the dreaded hangover, or if you have vomited from sickness.
When you begin to notice a headache, then drink a tall glass of water immediately. Take a bottle with you throughout the day, and continue to take small sips from this.
If you’ve lost fluids from diarrhea, then mix oral rehydration salts with your water. You can get these at any pharmacy. They help replace lost electrolytes and allow your gut to take in water more easily when you are sick. Just make sure to follow the instructions carefully, because the amount of liquid you use to make your dilution is very important.
Drinking water is a very practical solution to getting rid of your headache. It may not have as immediate an effect as an OTC medicine, but is more long lasting and has other beneficial effects.
Don’t rely on your thirst to tell you when to drink. Instead, try and follow the following guidelines.
- 13 cups of water or 3 liters per day for men.
- 9 cups of water or 2.2 liters a day for women.
- Alternatively, you can drink between 0.5 and 1 ounce of water for each pound that you weigh.
Room temperature water is the best, as ice cold water may trigger a headache.
How To Get Rid Of A Headache – Massage Tense Areas
Often when we are stressed out, or working hard, we carry tension in our bodies without knowing it. Eventually, this leads to what is known as a tension headache. This is another really common cause of headaches.
If you feel a headache coming on when you are working, try to step back from your work and take a breather.
Firstly, massage your neck and shoulders. To do this sit-down and place your hands on your shoulders with your fingers pointed at your shoulder blades.
First, you need to exhale and relax your neck allowing your head to fall backward. Move your fingers in small deep cyclical movements and work out any tense areas or knots.
Massage the Face and Scalp
Along with the shoulders, your face will also carry a lot of tension. Especially if you have been staring at a computer, or driving into the sun. Massage helps improve circulation and relieve this building tension.
Place your thumbs on your temples and move them in small circular movements. You may feel a tender, not of tension, try to slowly work this out like putty.
Massaging the bridge of your nose will relieve tension from the sinus and afterward massage your scalp, perhaps with a little coconut or argan oil to relieve any remaining tension.
Know you know how to get rid of a headache you are better equipped to get rid of them in your daily life. Focus on hydration, massaging your tension and use painkillers when necessary. A little self-care and love go a long way to easing the nasty headache!