Many of us have experienced the excruciating, painful, and distracting agony of a headache. There are several forms of headaches; tension headaches, cluster headaches, and migraine are some of the most prevalent forms of a headache. Almost everyone has experienced the occasional headache.
The type of headache you are experiencing will influence factors, such as duration, intensity, and the affected area of the head.
A dull, aching sensation is commonly associated with a tension headache. Additionally, soreness or sensitivity in the neck muscles, forehead, scalp, or shoulders can also be felt.
Closely associated with the tension headache is stress headache that can affect anyone, and are almost always triggered by stress.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache and are caused by agitated and stiffened muscles. The pain is focused at the center and crown of the head, and it may seem as if a rigid elastic band has been wrapped around that area.
Professionals who work at stressful jobs, like nurses, are prone to experiencing tension headaches. Nurses have to consistently put in long shift hours, especially when they are overburdened with countless numbers of patients in need of care.
In times where the pressure is unbearable, it’s one of the Qualities of a Great Nurse Manager to encourage the team to pull through despite the odds stacked against them.
But exhaustion and burnout are real, and nurses have to contend with frequent occurrences of headaches that are induced by their nature of work.
Therefore, it is important to make a nuanced distinction between the forms of a headache before the remedial measures could be applied.
Different forms of headaches are treated in different manners. Treatment options might range from basic changes in diet to extensive treatments conducted by a medical expert.
Even with the same sort of headache, some may respond better to certain treatment than others, and treatment options should always be followed after consultations with a doctor.
Here are some basic remedies that can help you get rid of headaches instantly.
- Stay Hydrated:
Dehydration may cause you to experience headaches. Research shows that persistent dehydration is the prevalent cause of tension headaches and migraine. Fortunately, dehydration-caused headache is easily preventable. Such headaches get better within 30-minutes to three hours after drinking water. Dehydration also impairs our ability to pay attention and causes feelings of angst and irritation.
To minimize dehydration-caused headaches, you should drink plenty of water during the day and consume water-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables.
- Magnesium Intake:
Magnesium is a mineral required by our bodies for carrying out a variety of functions, including blood sugar regulation and facilitating communication between the nerves.
It is not surprising then to know that taking magnesium is also a safe and effective headache treatment option. Evidence shows that a lack of magnesium is more common in migraine headaches than in any other type.
Taking 600 mg of magnesium citrate orally twice a day can help reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine headaches, according to research.
However, taking magnesium supplements might produce digestive problems, such as diarrhea, in some individuals, and it’s strongly recommended to start with lower doses of magnesium when treating headaches.
- Adequate Sleep:
A chronic lack of sleep has detrimental health consequences. Research comparing the frequency and intensity of headaches experienced by people who slept for less than six hours a night with those who slept more than that found that the former had more frequent and intense episodes of headaches.
On the other extreme end, getting too much sleep also leads to headaches. Aim for 7-9-hours of sleep every night to reap the benefits.
- Drink Caffeinated Coffee or Tea:
When you have a headache, sipping on a caffeine-containing liquid, such as tea or coffee, may provide relief. Caffeine elevates mood, enhances alertness, and tightens blood vessels, all of which help alleviate headache symptoms.
It also improves the efficacy of conventional headache-treating drugs, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. However, you should follow this tip with caution as caffeine withdrawal can lead to more headaches if you’re someone who consistently guzzles caffeinated drinks.
Yoga is a great practice that can help relieve stress, develop flexibility, reduce discomfort, and boost quality of life. Yoga may possibly help in lowering the severity and duration of headache episodes.
Headache frequency and intensity were greatly reduced after conventional care was coupled with yoga therapy in research conducted on 60 participants suffering from severe migraines.
Another research discovered that a 3-month long yoga practice reduced headache frequency, severity, and related symptoms in participants.
- Try Some Herbal Remedy:
Certain herbs, such as feverfew and butterbur, may help alleviate headache symptoms. The flowering herb feverfew has anti-inflammatory properties.
According to several types of research, taking 50–150 mg of feverfew supplements per day may reduce headache frequency. Other studies, however, have shown that the herb produces no significant change in the occurrence of headaches.
Butterbur root, like feverfew, also has anti-inflammatory properties, and a dose of 50–150 mg has been shown to reduce headache symptoms in adults as well as children. Both herbs are safe if used in moderate dosages. However, butterbur should be especially taken with caution because unpurified versions of the supplement may cause liver damage.
- Cold Compress:
Placing a cold or a frozen compress on the neck or head area reduces inflammation, inhibits nerve transmission, and constricts blood vessels, all of which aid in the relief of headache pain.
A cold-gel pack applied to the head considerably decreases the migraine discomfort. To make a cold compress, fill a watertight bag with ice and wrap it in a soft cloth. Place the compress on the back of the neck, front of the head, or on the temples.
Headaches are a commonly-experienced symptom of stress and tension.
Although most headaches can be cured with over-the-counter medication, you should also be following the above-mentioned tips to instantly relieve headaches.
To recap, you should make sure that you are drinking enough water, getting the required hours of sleep every night, taking your magnesium supplement, practicing yoga, drinking the right amount of caffeine for an energy boost, and may be trying out some of the herbal and cold compress remedies mentioned above.
In the unfortunate event that the symptoms persist, you can always make an appointment with your doctor.