Do You Get Headaches Quite Often?

Headaches can sometimes happen to the best of us. It often feels like our head is being pressed on all sides and that built up pressure is almost indescribable! You start to wonder if you may have migraine headaches and so when you go to the pharmacy and pick up some over-the-counter migraine medications. After taking it and within a short time, you feel a whole lot better! So you start to think…hmm, maybe what I had were migraine headaches!

But, are those headaches truly migraine headaches? Or is it something else?

What Are Migraine Headaches?

Migraine headaches can be mixed up with regular headaches often. Migraines differ from headaches in that one may also experience other symptoms which may include:

  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Seeing flashing lights
  • Blind spots or temporary vision loss

In these types of cases, migraine medications will help significantly. But let’s say worst-case scenario, you just happen to run out of migraine medications. You might feel like your life just flashed before your eyes (which adds further to the migraine headache), but here’s something to keep in mind.

What is in Most Migraine Medications?

If you really take a look at the active ingredients for migraine medication, you will usually notice 2 active ingredients:

  • Caffeine
  • Acetaminophen
    • Sometimes, you might even see Ibuprofen
    • and/or Aspirin

Do these ingredients actually look a bit familiar? Acetaminophen is the generic form for Tylenol and caffeine is what people use to stay awake through substances like coffee, Coca-Cola, or caffeine pill. This means as a backup if you do not have access to migraine medications at the moment, you can always make your own!

All you need is some form of a pain reliever and coffee/caffeine. Remember to try to match the dose as closely to the dose of the migraine medication you were previously taking. Now that you know this, you can remove a little stress off your shoulders. It would also be good to stock up on a bit more migraine medications to prevent such an occurrence from happening.

         

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If you do NOT have the accompanying migraine symptoms with headaches, then what you most likely have are regular headaches, or tension headaches.

What Are Tension Headaches?

Tension headaches are typically the regular headaches most often caused by high stress. The good news is that these are temporary and will most likely go away on its own. But if you have it at the moment, you probably don’t have the patience for that and you probably want it to just go away as quick as possible, so what are ways to get rid of it?

What Can One Do to Relieve Tension Headaches?

Of course, over-the-counter migraine medications can help. But there are also other ways to alleviate tension headaches too.

  • Pain Reliever + Caffeine
    • Like with the migraine scenario, you can make your own headache medication with some form of a pain reliever and caffeine. Keep in mind though that this is ONLY a temporary fix. Caffeine will definitely reduce the headache, BUT, if you have taken it for too long of a period and stop? The pain will return again.
  • Reduce stress levels
    • Take a break from what is causing you stress often. Do things that you enjoy.
  • Get a good night’s sleep
    • This will ensure that you have full energy the next day because that is the time when your body will recover.
  • Take part in exercises/stretches regularly
    • This help to keep your muscles warm and strong. It also regulates your mood and stress levels.
  • Apply heat
    • This will keep the muscles warm and stretchy.
  • Staying hydrated
    • This is probably the most important one. Substances like coffee (contains caffeine) is a diuretic which means it will make you lose MORE water. This will leave your body dehydrated and lead to muscle tightness. By staying hydrated, it helps keep your muscles lubricated and in good health.
  • Herbal Remedies (Alternative medicine)
    • You can also try using some herbal remedies found on www.funkoftheearth.com/. Acupuncture is another great way to relieve headaches.

But What if One Does Not Have Immediate Access to Those?

You can perform something called a nuchal massage on your own. The source of the headache is typically the area where the back/base of the skull connects to the neck and there is a ligament that connects the two together called the nuchal ligament (in addition to other neighboring muscles). When that area becomes too tight from various forms of stress, it will lead to pain.

What you can do is to find that spot where the back and base of the skull connects to the neck and massage that location. I would also try to get the whole neck and upper shoulders because there are muscles that extend that far from the neck.

When muscles are tight and there are spots that hurt, it does NOT only mean that only that spot is tight but rather, that whole entire muscle is tight. It just so happens that the one painful spot happens to have taken the most toll from the tightness. Click here to learn more about muscles.

Summary

Headaches, in any form, can be one of the worse things for anyone to have to experience. Some experience it more than others. But there are many methods available to help alleviate one of that discomfort, both medicated and natural ways. Hopefully you can now manage your headaches better now!

Did you enjoy this life hack on how to relieve headaches? Please leave a comment below!

22 thoughts on “Do You Get Headaches Quite Often?”

  1. Thank you for sharing this interesting and very resourceful article, it is of great help to me and I know it’ll be to many others. There are lots of things that I’ve been able to gain from this article and Its a great opportunity that I came across it. I’d look forward to having more and more information that are very resourceful and useful like this, thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Hello there, UncleBolt! I am glad you were able to gain something from this article. I will definitely be writing more articles that can help others!

      Reply
  2. Thank you for this most informative article. Personally I prefer the natural methods of relieving headaches.
    The way I deal with them is to first drink liquids, because the first reason would be dehydration as you’ve so rightly mentioned. If that doesn’t work, I chop up about 8 Lavender Leaves and pour boiling water that has cooled down about 5 minutes, over them in a bowl and 3 drops of Lavender Essential oil into the water as well.  I put a towel over my head over the bowl and inhale the steam as hot as I can bear. This relieves severe headaches too.  Eating about 5 Lemon Balm leaves also relieves headaches.

    Reply
    • Hello there! You are welcome! I also prefer natural ways of relieving headaches. I would have to try those lavender leaves/oil and lemon balm leaves one of these days too! Thank you for sharing!

      Reply
  3. I have suffered for years and still am with terrible chronicle migraines, so I do know what it is all about. I have never tried nuchal massage before though, sounds interesting and I will give it a try if I find someone in my neighborhood who practices it! The products on Amazon seem promising as well, so thanks for that!

    Let’s hope to get some relief soon! Best regards,

    Lizzy

    Reply
    • Hi there, Lizzy! I am glad to hear you found this article beneficial. Although a specialist (massage therapist, or doctor of osteopathy, chiropractor) may be able to do nuchal massages well, it is actually something that you can also perform on your own. Whenever myself or a friend has a headache, that type of massage usually takes away the pain caused by headaches by about 40% to 60%, the goal is to just reduce the tension that’s built up by the muscles. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  4. Hi Mike,

    I do tend to get headaches on occasion, and when they happen I try to immediately take a pain reliever such as Ibuprofen.  Headaches are frustrating, and I have experienced tension headaches as well, but never a migraine.  I feel sorry for anyone who suffers from migraines, as I hear they are brutal!  Your tips and advice are very helpful for anyone who suffers from headaches, thanks for sharing.

    Jenny.

    Reply
    • Hello there, Jenny! Headaches are no fun. Hopefully you now have more methods to try and relieve yourself of headaches in the future!

      Reply
  5. Ahhh.  Headaches v. Migraines. Thank god I’ve never had a migraine. Though I have suffered from bad headaches. Not often. I know that stress is a major factor in migraines. Still, I read where you can place your thumb and index finger and place them in between your thumb and index finger on your left hand and squeeze for several minutes. Then it goes away. I haven’t tried it, but it sounds good. 

    Reply
    • Hello there, Shalisha! That is actually a great idea! I have heard of that technique (or similar) of putting pressure on the center of the palm. I believe it is called acupressure. I actually almost included it in the this article but was not too sure how effective it is either. I would need to experience more headaches to test it out a bit more.

      Reply
  6. This was a very informative article, and I was amazed to read that you can make your own remedy with caffeine and some sort of pain killer. I think in most cases headaches are probably caused by stress, working on the computer all day or simply eye strain.

    I think it would be wonderful if we could all treat ourselves to a weekly massage to ease out all those tension causing knots, but I am sure there is a way to do this for yourself if the expense is too much. 

    Reply
    • Hello there, Michel! You are right that most headaches are typically caused by stress and hence the tension headaches. Yes, you can utilize the nuchal massage by pressing/massaging the area that connects the back of the skull to the neck.

      Reply
  7. Great article!  I’ve suffered with headaches most of my life.  Mine seem to be triggered by being dehydrated.  Staying out in the sun, riding my bike, skipping a meal, etc.  When I get one of these headaches I drink plenty of water, eat something healthy and get a good nights sleep.  I say preventive is the best.  I try to drink plenty of liquids and get good night sleep and that seems to help.  

    Your article was very informative.  I love the massage recommendations you supplied.  I will add that to my next headache.

    Thanks again for such an informative article.  Jamie L.

    Reply
    • Hello there, Jamie! Most of my headaches are due to dehydration from stress as well. Staying hydrated will help significantly. Hopefully the massage recommendation will quickly take away your future headache encounters!

      Reply
  8. This is true. This is a good read. Headaches and severe ones like migraines are definitely nothing to play with or wait on. Makes you think of alternatives, even if they are temporary until you get the adequate medicine. However, I’m not a coffee drinker, so I forgot that caffeine is a temporary fix for headaches. Ibuprofen has definitely helped with other pain I’ve dealt with though. I realized that the more water I drank, the less issues I had with headaches. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Hello there! You are welcome and I am glad to hear you enjoyed the article. Headaches are definitely something that is not to be taken lightly. Water is a great substance to be consumed frequently to help with the prevention of headaches.

      Reply
  9. Hi Mike,

    You are so right when you say that headaches can get the best of us. I am fortunate enough to have only experienced mild headaches that are tolerable or managed with OTC meds. I do know a couple of people that are subject to real migraine headaches.

    One who does not have these can overlook how debilitating they can be. I think the advice you have given here can be preventive if used proactively and one was to pay attention to what it is that could trigger their headaches.

    Thanks for sharing this great information.

    Chad

    Reply
    • Hello there, Chad! I am glad you liked the article. Hopefully your headaches can be significantly reduced or even eliminated. In the unfortunate case that you do get one, I hope that these strategies can help you and give you immediate relief!

      Reply
  10. I do not suffer from headaches very often, however, my wife suffers from migraines. She has all the symptoms you described. I generally give her a light massage to help offset the pain and give her a warm compress to put over her eyes to help her relax. We have found that the medications you mentioned work for only a short time. We try to use the most natural form of relaxation that we can. 

    Medications for migraines and headaches work best if they are used sparingly. Finding what is causing the stress is most important. Relieving the stressor or trigger  point has worked well for us. 

    Jerry

    Reply
    • Hello there, Jerry! Ahh, sorry that your wife has to go through migraines. I think the most natural forms of relaxation are best so please continue to do what you do to help her. I agree that medications should be used sparingly.

      Reply
  11. I can definitely say as a frequent sufferer of severe to debilitating headaches I’ve tried pretty much everything mentioned in the article. I don’t like to take a lot of medication, so I try self-massage, a heated compress, or a hot bath with some Epsom salts if I have a milder headache. Almost nothing seems to help when they get to the point where I’m bedridden in the dark though. The only things I haven’t tried are going to a chiropractor, going to an actual massage therapist, or acupressure. 

    Reply
    • Hi there, Rachel. Hmm, that is interesting that these tips haven’t been able to help you. It could potentially be another factor that is causing you to have headaches. I think going to the chiropractor, massage therapist or acupressure would be great ideas to try. I also recommend visiting your primary care doctor to get a physical checkup with a full panel bloodwork to double check.

      Reply

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