A tension headache, or a tension-type headache, is the most common form of headache. Fortunately, when it strikes, the pain is short-lived and never debilitating. If you’re interested to know how to make the headache better, here are 5 home remedies for tension headaches you can consider.
Natural home remedies for tension headaches
Commonly used pain relievers for tension headache are ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Although they’re effective, it’s being discouraged to take them for over two or three days because it could lead to chronic headaches. Besides, overuse of ibuprofen could cause stomach irritation while acetaminophen overuse could cause liver damage.
Identify and Manage Stress
If your tension headache is caused by stressful situations or people, the most obvious thing to do is avoid these stressors. If you can’t, relaxation techniques have always been helpful. Popular examples are biofeedback, self-hypnosis, progressive relaxation, meditation, guided imagery, music therapy, and breathing exercises.
There’s really no right or wrong choice. Just find something that best works for you. Anyway, all of them aim to do the same thing for you: to reduce your pain level, calm your mind, and ease muscle tension.
Acupuncture could actually be beneficial for tension headache and migraine sufferers. At least that’s what a study showed.
In a study that appeared in The BMJ website, patients with chronic headaches, specifically migraine, were divided into two groups: the acupuncture group and control group (received standard care).
For over 12 weeks, the acupuncture group received a total of 12 ‘acupuncture’ treatments. Here are the staggering benefits this group experienced:
- 22 lesser headache days yearly
- Took fewer sick leaves by 15%
- Doctor visits were reduced by 25%
- And took less meds by 15%
Massage therapy always work when it comes to relieving migraine and tension headache. And clinical researchers agree with that notion.
Chronic tension headache sufferers who underwent a massage therapy—the target areas are the shoulder and neck muscles—experienced markedly decreased headache recurrence just within the first week of treatment and persisted until the end of the study. Duration, but not the intensity, was also decreased.
If you run a tight schedule, half an hour of massage twice a week for 5 consecutive weeks could already do wonders for your migraine or tension headache.
Consuming Magnesium-Enriched Foods and Supplements
A theory suggests that migraine and tension headaches are caused by serum magnesium deficiency. Thus, sufferers would find relief from persistent attacks if they correct this deficiency. Taking dietary supplements or eating foods rich in magnesium, like almonds (contain 268 mg magnesium per 100 grams), could help lessen attacks by 41.6%.
Reminder: Please don’t forget to consult your general health practitioner before taking magnesium supplements.
Well, pain medicines, stress management techniques, acupuncture, massage therapy, and magnesium are just a few remedies for tension headaches. Perhaps you can even suggest some of your proven tension headache busters. Don’t forget to share your tips and tricks below.