7 Tips for Treating Headaches and Migraines

headaches & migrainesHeadaches are a common problem, with up to 90 percent of Americans suffering from the uncomfortable condition. If you frequently experience headaches it can be difficult to lead a normal life. Often, headaches interfere with work and with family time – you don’t want to socialize with a pounding headache, or finish that spreadsheet at the office. Headaches may sometimes be the sign of another illness or health condition but they are much more likely to be triggered by environmental stimuli or by bodily processes like stress, tension, or blood sugar levels. Fortunately there are remedies and techniques proven to help relieve the discomfort of headaches and migraines. Here are seven of the best ways to reduce the pain and live a normal life again.

1. Visit a Chiropractor.

You may not realize it, but many headaches are caused by tension in the neck and the upper back. In order to relieve this tension and stress and properly align the spine, it is beneficial to see a chiropractor. You will also be able to receive advice about proper posture and sitting positions in order to minimize the impact of stress on the joints in your head, neck and back.

2. Exercise Regularly.

Exercise can also relieve stress and release tension. Try a low-impact form of exercise so you don’t cause extra pain, such as yoga, a stretching class, walking, or swimming.

3. Drink Plenty of Water.

Dehydration can cause headaches. If you regularly suffer from headaches, check how much you are drinking. You need at least eight glasses a day.

4. Avoid Foods That Trigger Headaches.

Common culprits include cheese, foods with nitrates or artificial sweeteners, wine, smoked meats, pickles, and cold foods like ice cream or other cold desserts.

5. Improve Your Diet.

Include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and other whole foods and avoid processed foods in order to increase your vitamin levels and also avoid artificial additives. Avoid too much caffeine (and too much alcohol) and don’t smoke.

6. Practice Stress-Reducing Techniques.

Try meditation, yoga, or other deep breathing practices to regularly inject a little calm into your busy life. Simply sitting for a few minutes in a darkened room or listening to some calming music can make a difference to the severity of your headache.

7. Use a Moist Heat Pad.

If the tension in your neck is promoting a headache, sit quietly with a warm, moist towel wrapped around your neck. The heat will help remove tension.