5 tips to relieve a headache without medication

The headache is very common, but it can be relieved without medication, through simple measures like putting cold compresses on the forehead, especially if the cause of the headache is stress, poor diet, tiredness or anxiety, for example.

Most of the time the headache passes only with these simple measures, however when it is constant, it does not improve over time or when it is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, malaise, vomiting, and excessive tiredness, it is important to go to the doctor so that tests are done to identify the cause of the pain and proper treatment can be started.

Some tips to help relieve headache without the need for medication are:

1. Put on cold or warm compresses

Depending on the cause of the headache, the use of cold or hot compresses may be indicated to relieve the pain. The compress should be applied to the head area where the pain is felt, on the neck or forehead, for example, for about 10 to 20 minutes.

The cold compress is usually indicated when the headache is typical of migraine, that is, when it is constant and, in some cases, it is accompanied by other symptoms. Thus, the compress with cold water helps to constrict the blood vessels in the head and decrease the volume of blood in the area, relieving pain.

On the other hand, compresses with warm water are indicated when the headache is tension, that is, triggered by stress. In this case, in addition to making the compress warm, you can also take a bath in hot water, as it helps to dilate blood vessels and relax the body, bringing momentary relief from headache.

Therefore, it is important that the cause of the headache is identified in order to know if it is better to do the cold or hot compress. Learn how to identify the types of headache.

2. Drink coffee

A cup of strong sugar-free coffee also helps fight headaches naturally, being useful even in case of a hangover. However it is important to know the person’s tolerance for caffeine, as in some cases drinking coffee can increase the headache, in the case of people who already have migraines, or have no effect.

It is also important to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, because the headache can also be a sign of dehydration.

3. Head massage

Head massage is great for relieving headaches, as it mobilizes the bloodstream, decreasing pain and helping to relax. The massage should be performed with the fingertips, massaging the forehead, neck, and side of the head. 

4. Get a good night’s sleep

Often headache is indicative that the body needs rest, so having a good night’s sleep can help relieve headache. For this, it is important to respect the time to go to sleep, avoid staying on the phone or watching television at the moment of rest and creating a dark environment, so it is possible to stimulate sleep and make it possible to reach the last phase of sleep, which is responsible for greater feeling of rest.

Check out other tips to get a good night’s sleep.

5. Drink tea

If the headache does not go away with the previous steps, you can drink 1 cup of ginger tea, as it has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, which help to relieve the headache. Just place 2 cm of ginger root in a cup of water, boil for 5 minutes, strain, cool and drink. Check out other home remedy options for headaches.

When to go to the doctor

It is recommended to go to the doctor if the headache does not get better or is more intense after following the mentioned tips, if it lasts more than 3 days or if the person has other symptoms such as runny nose, sore throat, general malaise, nausea or vomiting, for example.

In these cases, the doctor may order tests to try to identify the cause of the headache and guide the appropriate treatment, which can be done with painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs or antibiotics, if necessary.

Some foods can also make headaches worse and should be avoided, as in the case of ready-to-eat foods, due to excess additives, and pepper. On the other hand, others help to relieve, as in the case of fish, seeds and nuts

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