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How to Relieve a Headache

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At some point in time, we all get a headache.  Some are excruciating, others are annoying—but we’d all rather do without them.  The good news is, there are many ways to alleviate your head pain—and some of them might surprise you!

  • Lay down in a dark room. Many headaches are caused by stress, and sometimes just taking a 15 minute break will do the trick.
  • Try massaging your temples, neck, back or shoulders. This can provide temporary relief. One study suggests that people who have a massage once a week experience fewer headaches.
  • Stretch. Stretch your neck’s full range of motion: chin forward, up and side to side. Also shrug your shoulders up, up and forward and up and back. Do this for 10 minutes.
  • Meditate. By quieting the mind and focusing on your breath for 10 minutes, chronic pain can be reduced.
  • Get some exercise. If you walk briskly, bike or swim on a regular basis, it can reduce the frequency of migraine headaches.
  • Eat almonds. If you’ve got a headache, eat a handful or two of this healthy snack. It’s a natural headache remedy.
  • Improve your posture. It’s easy to hunch over while working at a computer. Sit up straight, make sure your hands are at a comfortable angle and be sure to stand up and stretch every hour or two.
  • Take a short walk outdoors. Sometimes fresh air and a little exercise will get rid of a headache.
  • If you have chronic headaches, try acupuncture. Many insurance policies now cover acupuncture treatments.
  • Avoid caffeine, especially if you get a headache. Caffeine can narrow the blood vessels going to your brain, and when you stop taking it, it can contract and cause pain.
  • Some foods trigger headaches, like chocolate, red wine, cheese, soy sauce, MSG and even ice cream.
  • Have your eyes checked. Your prescription could have changed, or you might need glasses.
  • Of course, aspirin and other over the counter pain relievers can help, but it’s not a good idea to take them all of the time.

For the occasional headache, these tips can help.  However, if you have headaches often and if they’re severe, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider.  The physicians at Valley Day & Night Clinic are here to help you live a healthy, pain free life.

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March 21, 2016 | Healthy Habits
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