A few hours into a migraine headache and most people will try anything that will make the pain and discomfort go away. Silence. Darkness. Hot, steamy showers.
Like pain medication, all of these things can help when you’re already suffering from a headache (though they don’t always work), but they don’t really do anything to reduce the number of headaches you suffer from overall. That’s why we decided to put together this list of seven lesser-known headache treatments that not only help to alleviate headache pain, but can also improve your overall quality of life.
Techniques to Make Your Headaches Go Away – and Stay Gone
Massage Therapy. A single massage session is a great way to temporarily relieve pain in any part of the body. However, if you want to reduce the frequency of migraines and headaches, you’re going to have to go back for more massages.
That’s not such a bad thing, though, because massage has been shown to reduce tension and stress, loosen muscles, and encourage blood flow to the areas that have been massaged.
Meditation. Meditation is a dual threat. Not only can it help to alleviate pain while you have a headache, it also works to reduce stress throughout your body, which can prevent headaches in the first place.
What do you do? Take some time to find a quiet space and focus on your breathing. If you are new to meditation, guided meditation apps, YouTube videos, and books are available to help you relax and focus.
Don’t want to meditate? You can still take some time to relax. Listen to soft music. Repeat a calming mantra. Put your work aside for 10 minutes, However you choose to relax, do it, because it can help to relieve stress that causes headache pain.
Biofeedback. If you’re not too sure about meditation but still want to get in tune with your body, consider biofeedback. Biofeedback is a type of behavioral therapy that uses electronic sensors to collect feedback about the muscles, the nervous system, and communication throughout the body.
Over time, biofeedback helps patients to get in tune with their bodily responses and prevent reactions that could cause headaches or migraines.
Take B12. Diet can greatly influence the body. For example, whether you swear by coffee to relieve migraines or you avoid it whenever a headache comes on, we have all experienced consuming a food or drink that can treat (or trigger) headache pain.
One thing you definitely want to make sure you get enough of in your diet if you suffer from headaches? B12. Different B vitamins have been proven to reduce both migraine symptoms and the frequency of migraines.
B vitamins can be found in animal products like eggs and poultry, but if you would like more B vitamins in your diet, they are also available in vitamin form.
Acupuncture. Acupuncture is an Eastern form of medicine in which small needles are inserted into specific points of the skin (trust us, they don’t hurt!). The process aims to direct and encourage the flow of energy throughout the body.
Not quite sold yet? How about this: studies have shown that people with migraines who regularly get acupuncture have seen positive results and experience less migraine pain.
Stretching. Another way to encourage the flow of energy and nutrients through the body (and alleviate migraine pain) is to stretch tight muscles. The great thing about stretching is that you can do it at your desk, on your couch – anyplace where you can sit up and sit still for a few minutes.
You can stretch your neck, but also consider shoulder and back stretches (both of these areas can have an impact on headache pain).
Yoga. Want to stretch, relieve stress, and get a good workout at the same time? Consider taking a yoga class. Yoga and similar workouts can help to relieve stress throughout the body through strengthening and stretching poses. If you are new to yoga, you can read more about how yoga can treat migraines here.
Hot and Cold Therapy. Start by using a warm compress to loosen up tight muscles in the head or neck. A warm compress can also expand the blood vessels and encourage circulation. Switch over to an ice pack or cold compress afterward to reduce inflammation. If your headache is a pulsing headache, skip the heat.
iChiropractic offers treatments like massage therapy and acupuncture for headache pain. We can also recommend exercise routines and diet plans to encourage an overall healthier lifestyle. Whatever your situation, our experienced professionals can assess the causes of your headaches and treat them appropriately.
About the Author:
Dr. Marc Browner is the Founder of iChiropractic and Wellness in Naples, Florida. A graduate of the University of Florida in 1991, he earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic in 1995. In private practice since 1998, Dr. Browner is a member of the Florida Chiropractic Society, the Florida Chiropractic Association, and he attends continuing education seminars, classes, and workshops to remain abreast of the most current treatment methods and technological advances in the field.