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10 Helpful Remedies to Relieve Headache Pain and Tension

Headaches are far too often brushed aside as something people just have to learn to deal with. Worse, many times these headaches are simply masked with over-the-counter medicines or prescription painkillers that cover up the real cause!

A headache is a solid indication that your body is missing something, whether it’s water, rest, vital nutrients, or a chiropractic adjustment.

Woman with a Headache

Headaches can be triggered by stress, allergies, fatigue, poor posture, food sensitivities, drugs, alcohol, hormones, stomach issues, nutritional deficiencies, and more. By choosing to treat headaches with painkillers, the true cause of your headaches may never be uncovered, and you’ll continue to be plagued by headache pain.

Natural remedies for headaches are a great alternative to popping pills to treat your pain. Read on for 15 helpful, natural remedies that will help relieve your headache pain and tension!

1. Cayenne Pepper. Cayenne has an incredible ability to treat pain and inflammation. It contains an ingredient called capsaicin, which helps deplete the bodily element that makes us feel pain, called substance P, by stimulating a pain response in another area of the body.

With less substance P, pain messages no longer reach the brain, and relief is felt. Numerous studies support that when cayenne is applied topically to the nasal passages, people experience a significant decrease in the severity of their headaches!

Curious as to how to use cayenne to treat your headache? Dilute a ½ teaspoon of cayenne powder in 4 ounces of warm water. Soak a cotton swab in the solution and stir it around to make sure it’s covered. Gently apply the mixture to the inside of each nostril until you can feel the heat — the burning sensation is a sign it’s working, and won’t last! When it subsides, your headache should be gone, or at least significantly better than before!

2. Almonds. Next time you’re faced with a tension headache, try snacking on some almonds instead of popping a pill. Almonds contain salicin, an agent popular in OTC pain killers. Try eating a handful or two of these nutritional nuts when you feel a headache coming on.

3. Feverfew. Feverfew plant can be used to naturally and effectively treat headaches and migraines. When a migraine hits, scientists believe that the blood vessels in your head are expanding and pressing on nerves. Feverfew can relax the blood vessels, easing the pain. It also contains a substance called parthenolide, which helps reduce inflammation and has results similar to taking a daily aspirin without the nasty side effects!

To use feverfew, add 1 ounce of fresh or dried feverfew flowers to 1 pint of boiling water. Let it steep for 10 minutes and then strain the mixture. Drink half a cup, twice daily, as needed.

4. Exercise. While a headache tends to make the idea of exercise sound terrible, getting up and getting moving may be just the trick to healing your headache pain! Exercise gives your mind something else to focus on other than the pain, and it releases endorphins which can dull headache pain.

5. Fish Oil. Many studies show that the ingestion of fish oil helps reduce migraines and headache pain due to its omega-3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association states that fish oil helps reduce inflammation, blood clotting, lower blood pressure, and steady heart rhythm. Consuming the recommended amount of fish oil each day can help eliminate headaches from your life as it reduces inflammation throughout your body!

6. Hot or Cold Compress. There’s plenty of evidence out there that supports both hot and cold compresses to treat headache pain — the proper treatment all has to do with the muscles and blood vessels affected.

Some headaches are caused by expanded blood vessels pressing on nerves. These are best treated by applying something cold to the area, as the coldness will help constrict those blood vessels and relieve some pressure.

Headaches caused by tension and anxiety tend to tighten muscles that then pinch nerves and enlarge blood vessels. These are best treated with a hot compress on the area to relax the muscle.

7. Avoid MSG. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is added to food to enhance its flavor. Many headache sufferers find that foods containing MSG trigger migraines or headaches due to the fact that it excites neurons in our bodies.

Carefully read food labels to check if a product contains MSG, as the FDA requires companies to list it. Words like gelatin, yeast extract, anything “hydrolyzed,” or textured protein often contain hidden MSG.

8. Posture Matters. Did you know that poor posture can lead to tension headaches? Most of us spend on days working in an office, slouched over in front of a computer screen. This slump strains our muscles and leads to headaches.

Focus on sitting up tall and relaxed, with your shoulders back, chest open, and neck in a neutral position to your spine.

9. Peppermint Oil. Peppermint oil has a great soothing effect when suffering from a headache. Massage 1-2 drops of pure peppermint oil into your temples, back of your jaw, and forehead for quick pain relief. Breathe deeply and when possible, find a quiet place to relax.

10. Chiropractic Care. Chiropractic care is an excellent, drug-free way to naturally treat a headache. Chiropractic adjustments can reduce oxidative stress in the body, just like an antioxidant!

Several clinical trials indicate that chiropractic adjustments help reduce headache pain and frequency. How? Chiropractors identify the subluxations in the spine responsible for your pain, and through adjustments correct these subluxations, allowing your body to heal and function as it should!

Are you often suffering from headaches? Do NOT accept headaches as a normal part of your life! Over-the-counter pain medications mask the pain of headaches, rather than treat the cause.

Call our office today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Fisher. He will identify any subluxations which are causing your headaches, and discuss a treatment plan to rid your life of headaches once and for all! 312.988.9655