woman with headache pain massaging temples

HEAL

How to get relief from headache pain

Headaches are one of the most common sources of pain we deal with. Causes of headaches are variable but can include triggers like caffeine, food additives, light exposure, schedule changes and even hormones. The good news is you can get relief from headache pain by understanding what triggers your headaches. Here are some lifestyle changes that can help you avoid headache pain and natural remedies that can offer relief.  

Manage headache triggers with lifestyle changes

  • Get good sleep: Make sure you are getting a solid 7-9 hours of sleep each night. 
  • Avoid food triggers: Certain food can trigger a headache, such as red wine, dark beers, aspartame, MSG, caffeine, some nuts and onions. 
  • Do moderate activity: 30 minutes three days a week can help with headaches – keep the workouts light! A brisk walk can also relieve stress.
  • Manage stress: Worry, emotional changes, and anger can all create tension and trigger a headache. Take some time each day for deep breaths and mental clarity. 

Natural relief for headaches

Here are some natural remedy suggestions that I recommend to my patients.  As always, talk to your provider before starting a new therapy. 

  • Fish oil: A must for good nutrition and an anti-inflammatory, fish oil delivers the omega 3 fatty acids that we need in our diets.
  • Ginger: 250 mg at the first sign of a migraine can sometimes stop it from progressing.
  • Magnesium: 300-400 mg with evening meal can help with sleep and decrease incidents of headaches.
  • Tea: A calming cup of lemon balm tea, peppermint or chamomile tea may take the edge off a headache.
  • Essential oils: Drop 1-2 droplets of peppermint or lavender on a tissue and breathe into it.

Some headaches need medical attention so it is important that you are consulting with your primary care physician to understand what type of headache you are having.  

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