Headaches are one of the most common types of pain that people suffer from. And in today’s modern society, the most common way that people try to eliminate their headaches is by using over-the-counter pain medication. While drugs such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can provide temporary relief, they often don’t get rid of what is causing the headaches.
If your headaches happen regularly, you could end up using pain medication too often and give yourself even more headaches. How can that happen? Using too much pain medication can cause your body to crave the medication when you don’t take it, and a headache is one symptom of that craving. To avoid this situation and to avoid any unwanted side effects from taking medication, consider the following eight natural ways to heal your headaches.
Headaches are one of the first signs that your body is dehydrated. Feeling hungry and having chapped lips are also signs that you need more water. You might think you’re getting enough hydration during the day, but if you are consuming drinks that have a lot of sugar, those drinks are not helping to keep you hydrated because your body needs even more water to process the sugar. Water is a better choice when it comes to staying hydrated and preventing dehydration headaches.
Tension headaches often arise from stress that causes the muscles in your neck and shoulders to become tense. Getting enough sleep can help your body release the stress. Most adults need about 8 hours of sleep per night. High quality sleep is important too. You can get higher quality sleep by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Try to avoid looking at a screen (such as a TV screen, computer screen, or phone screen) a few hours before bed. Light from the screens can disrupt your body’s production of hormones that are important for good sleep.
You don’t have to start running a few miles per day in order to relieve your headaches, but regular exercise can get your blood pumping faster and carry more oxygen throughout your body. Stress is a main cause of headaches. If you can relieve your stress through doing a physical activity that you enjoy, like walking or swimming, it will help you relax and relieve your headaches.
Reduced oxygen to the brain can sometimes be the cause of headaches. When you laugh, your body breathes in deeper and your heart rate increases. Laughing not only makes you feel happier, but it also increases your circulation and the amount of oxygen reaching your brain.
You might have poor posture and not realize that you do. If your job requires you to sit for long periods of time, do you hunch over, lean your head forward, or slouch back in your chair? If you can say yes to any of these positions, your posture could be causing your headaches. Here are a few tips for having good posture during your day:
- Keep computer monitors at eye level so that you can keep your head up instead of looking down.
- Don’t lean your head forward to look at your phone. Instead, lift your phone up so that your head doesn’t have to move at all.
- Walking is better than sitting or standing. If you can do your daily tasks while walking around, it can help your posture. Stand up straight, bring your shoulders back, and use your abdominal muscles to support your torso.
If your body is deficient in certain nutrients, headaches could be a warning sign. For example, B vitamins are important for your body to function properly, including helping your body create neurotransmitters like serotonin. Another example is magnesium. Not having enough magnesium can lead to migraines in some people. But be careful how much magnesium you take. Too much can cause diarrhea. You should always talk to a doctor before starting new supplements.
Peppermint and lavender essential oils have been used for many years as a natural way to relieve headaches. Some people rub a drop or two on their skin, sometimes with a carrier oil like olive oil or coconut oil. Other people put a few drops in a hot bath or in a diffuser that makes water vapor and blows the vapor and essential oils into the air in the room.
#8 Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care
If you have headaches on a regular basis, or if you just recently started having headaches after a fall or an injury, upper cervical chiropractic care could be your best solution for relieving your headaches. Misalignment of the top two bones of the spine, the atlas and axis vertebrae, can be the cause of headaches and migraines. When these two bones are not properly aligned, they can affect blood flow and cerebral spinal fluid flow to the brain. It can also cause muscle tension because the neck muscles are trying to support the unevenly balanced head.
Upper cervical chiropractors use a precise and gentle technique to move the atlas and axis vertebrae back into position. Once the vertebrae are properly aligned, the body can resume its normal functions and heal any injuries that might have occurred. Many patients who have had upper cervical adjustments report that their headaches improved immediately. Research has shown that even severe cases can be healed over time with the help of upper cervical chiropractic care.