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You can do it yourself. A few minutes massaging your forehead, neck, and temples can help ease a tension headache, which may result from stress. Or apply gentle, rotating pressure to the painful area.
Follow the directions on the label and these guidelines:
And be sure to talk to your doctor about what headache symptoms you should not treat at home.
Chewing gum can hurt not just your jaw but your head. Avoid crunchy and sticky foods, and make sure you take small bites. If you grind your teeth at night, ask your dentist about a mouth guard. This may curb your early-morning headaches.
Whether it’s stretches, yoga, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation, learning how to chill out when you’re in the middle of a headache can help with the pain. You might talk to your doctor about physical therapy if you have muscle spasms in your neck.
If you have a migrain, place a cold pack on your forehead. Ice cubes wrapped in a towel, a bag of frozen vegetables, or even a cold shower may ease the pain. Keep the compress on your head for 15 minutes, and then take a break for 15 minutes.
A small recent study found that taking ginger, in addition to regular over-the-counter pain meds, eased pain for people with migraines. Another found that it worked almost as well as prescription migraine meds. You can try a supplement or brew some tea.
Have some tea, coffee, or something with a little caffeine in it. If you get it early enough after the pain starts, it could ease your headache pain. Just don’t drink too much because caffeine withdrawal can cause its own type of headache.
Bright or flickering light, even from your computer screen, can cause migraine headaches . If you’re prone to them, cover your windows with blackout curtains during the day. Wear sunglasses outdoors. You might also add anti-glare screens to your computer and use daylight-spectrum fluorescent bulbs in your light fixtures.
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