Almost every American gets headaches occasionally. A smaller number struggle with severe headaches daily which limits their ability to work and enjoy time with loved ones.
If you fall in the latter camp, we don’t have to tell you how unbearable managing chronic head pain can be. What we can tell you is that there are proven ways to beat chronic headaches, several of which we’re going to share with you below.
Our team has talked to physicians, sufferers, and have scoured the web to put together what we feel are the top headache crushing suggestions worth exploring. We hope that one or several of these tips can bring you the relief you’re looking for.
1. Prioritize Sleep
Our bodies need sleep to repair damage that’s incurred after a day filled with activity. Much of this damage or strain your body is harboring isn’t something you’re cognizant of.
If you rob yourself of adequate sleep, your body doesn’t have the opportunity to get you to a fresh place for a new day and all of the issues it’s experiencing start piling up. The level of mental strain that causes can be significant which can contribute to chronic headaches.
How much sleep you need to fully recover after each day will vary based on your genetics. As a starting point, aim for 8 hours of uninterrupted rest.
2. Reduce Stress
Stress and headaches are two phenomena that are closely related. When you’re constantly worried or ruminating, your brain is in fight or flight mode, working overtime to manage physical responses that align with your mental discomfort.
Being stuck in that state for long periods of time can be exhausting and will absolutely cause painful strain in most people.
Tips on stress management could be a whole separate post in itself but for starters, consider managing all of the problems that are bothering you before bed, if possible, or practicing meditation so you can better let go of things that are out of your control.
3. Consume Fluids
Dehydration can cause chronic headaches. The good news there is that dehydration is solvable.
Simply consume an adequate amount of water per your climate and the level of physical activity you subject yourself to. A baseline rule for water consumption is 8 glasses a day but again, your exposure to conditions that deplete your water levels faster would warrant additional intake.
4. Give Yourself a Caffeine Boost
There are not too many contexts in which consuming caffeine is considered a healthy option. When it comes to combating headaches though, a little bit of caffeine can go a long way.
When you consume caffeine, your blood vessels constrict which in some cases can reduce head pain. Different people can have very different reactions to caffeine and some may even become anxious after too much consumption which can exacerbate their physical problems.
Experiment with small amounts of caffeine to start and scale up from there.
5. Ditch Alcohol
If you drink a lot of alcohol, chronic headache relief could be achieved by simply giving alcohol a rest. Alcohol creates conditions where your body becomes easily dehydrated and dehydration causes headaches.
Look no further than those bad hangovers you may have experienced in the past to see our point.
Alcohol in moderation in healthy adults should not cause serious headaches, especially when consumed intermittently with water.
6. Avoid High Heat
Adverse weather can cause headaches in sensitive individuals. High heat, for example, leads to dehydration and usually comes paired with bright sunlight which is known to spur migraines.
If you’re sensitive to heat or brightness, stay hydrated, shaded, and wear sunglasses when out. You might even consider staying indoors when conditions outside are particularly bad.
7. Experiment With Aromatherapy
While not a silver bullet fix for everyone, aromatherapy has been used to great effect when combating chronic headaches.
Aromatherapy leverages an assortment of oils, candles, and incense to create relaxing smells. These smells paired with soft music and dim lighting can bring on a sense of calm which tends to reduce stress and head pain.
8. Try a Cold Compress
Similar to when you’re experiencing physical pain in other parts of your body, a cold compress can bring relief to the pain you’re feeling in your head. Cold compresses can have an impact on the constriction of blood vessels similar to what caffeine causes.
This constriction can bring about relief.
Some people that use cold compresses will trade them off intermittently with hot pouches to create an icy/hot sort of treatment that constricts blood vessels while also soothing muscles.
9. See a Professional
If all else fails, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better headache solution than seeing a professional.
Physicians can conduct in-depth tests to see if your headaches are caused by certain imbalances that need to be treated with pharmaceuticals. While some pharmaceutical treatments do carry side effects, they’re often the most effective offense against chronic head conditions.
You can find out more about how to get your hands on pharmaceuticals online. You can also lookup doctors on popular review sites like Yelp to see which one might be most worth visiting if you don’t already have one in mind.
Start Winning Your Battle With Chronic Headaches Today
Chronic headaches are painful, debilitating, and annoying. Beating them is often as easy as making one or two lifestyle changes though so we implore you to take action and take back your life.
We hope our tips move you towards a happier, healthier existence. Should you need more guidance on headaches, consider browsing additional health-related content on our blog.