4 Ways to Get Rid of a Headache Quickly

There’s a reason why everything that’s a nuisance is called a headache. An actual headache is irritating at best and extremely painful at worst.

When you’re dealing with one, it’s tempting to grab some pain reliever and see if it helps. But unless you know why you have a headache, you could be masking something serious or treating the wrong condition.

Luckily, there are a few ways you can get rid of the pain of a headache while you try to determine the cause of it. The next time you feel one coming on, try these four tricks to stop it in its tracks.

Get Rid of a Headache Quickly

1. Drink More Water

Probably the most overlooked cause of headaches is dehydration. It’s also the most straightforward fix.

When you’re not drinking enough water, the lack of fluid can cause your brain to contract. This shrinkage is temporary, but when it happens, the brain pulls away from its place of attachment to the skull. Just as it sounds, this is painful.

To know if you’re getting enough water, take your weight and divide it in half. That’s approximately how many ounces you should be drinking per day. When you rehydrate, your brain will quickly feel the effects, and your headache should go away.

2. Use Heat Pads or Cold Packs

Sometimes, headaches are from migraines, pressure, or swelling around the painful area. A heating pad or cold pack reduces the symptoms, which relieves the pain.

If you have a temple or front of the face headache, use cold packs. To make your own, use a baggie with a few ice cubes in it and wrap the bag in paper towels to catch the drips. Frozen veggies will do the trick, too. Leave the cold pack on for 15 minutes, take it off for 15 – 30, and repeat.

Hot packs help headaches that stem from the back of your head or shoulders and sinus headaches. Put a hot pack on your neck and lay down with your eyes closed for 15 minutes. Run hot water and wet a towel, then wring it out if you don’t have a moist heating pad.

Note: Never put ice or heat directly against your skin.

3. Find the Right Meds

Many of us grew up on Tylenol as the answer to any pain. It’s a general pain reliever made from acetaminophen. This active ingredient works by preventing your brain from releasing the substances that cause you to feel pain. But it doesn’t reduce swelling and inflammation.

When it comes to getting rid of a headache, you need medication that is specifically designed to target the cause of the problem.

Is It a Migraine, or Something Else?

For instance, meds for migraines, such as Excedrin Migraine, often include both aspirin and acetaminophen. Excedrin for migraines also includes caffeine, which makes it extra effective.

In fact, the three ingredients together are considered the triple cocktail of migraine relief. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it narrows your blood vessels and reduces pain. Together, they’ll knock out most migraines within minutes. But if all you have is a pain reliever, take it with a caffeinated beverage for faster relief.

Research studies have shown that substances like cannabis and psilocybin are able to relieve and prevent migraines.

Chronic migraines and other serious headaches may need a prescription-strength medication. Even if you don’t have migraines, if your headache doesn’t go away, see your doctor. It could be a secondary symptom of a primary problem, like high blood pressure.

Talk to your doctor if nothing you’ve tried over-the-counter has worked. You could benefit from a medication you don’t know exists yet.

4. Stretches and Massage

Relaxation works wonders for every ailment. But for headaches, the poses that help you relax also relieve the pressure you’re feeling.

Gentle stretches, like those used in yoga exercises, work physically and mentally. They help tense muscles relax, and if you’re in a quiet environment, your body reduces its stress level at the same time.

Massage is another excellent way to get rid of headache pain and calm the body. If you don’t have a massage therapist on hand, take a few minutes to rub your forehead at the temples or knead your shoulder muscles.

You can also push back against a frozen bottle of water or a tennis ball to loosen the tight areas up that could be causing the headache.

Conclusion

Headaches are rarely the primary problem unless you have migraines. To eliminate the pain for good, the cause has to be fixed at the source. Whether it’s dehydration, tension, or something more serious, it won’t go away for good if you only treat the symptoms.

Until you figure out what’s causing your headaches, use these four tips to get rid of the pain so you can get through your day.

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