Tension headaches are a common problem that many people experience. Some people suffer from headaches on a daily basis, and many struggle with getting through their daily routines as a result of the pain. Some people have to seek medical attention because their headaches become unbearable.
There are many medications and treatments that can be prescribed by a doctor to help treat tension headaches, but many people would rather deal with them in other ways. Finding ways to prevent headaches is a great option, but there are also plenty of ways to treat a tension headache that doesn’t involve medication.
Here are 14 cured to relieve tension headaches. You can try one or all of them to see which one works best for you. While many of these treatments help with the pain of a tension headache, the headaches will continue until you find the underlying cause and treat it as well.
1. Rest Eyes
Sometimes when you stare at a TV or computer screen for long periods of times it can cause a tension headache. This could be caused by strain on the eyes or the position you hold your head and neck while looking at the screens. If you find that you get headaches often when looking at a screen for long periods of time, try taking short breaks.
You can also try changing the lighting in the room. Sometimes a brighter backlight can ease the strain on your eyes and relieve the pain and tensions causing the headache. You may also want to consider wearing glasses in case the pain is due to poor eyesight and the need to strain to see the screen well.
Getting up and moving around during a movie or in between work or school projects can also help prevent tension headaches. Moving helps reset your body and takes away the strain on your eyes, head, and neck.
2. Ice and Heat
Ice and heat can help relieve all types of pain, especially pain associated with a tension headache. You will need to use an ice pack or heat pad on your head for five to ten minutes or until the pain has subsided. The ice and heat help improve blood flow, which can help eliminate pain. If you cannot stand to have the ice pack or heat directly on your head, you can place a towel over your skin and add the ice and heat on top of it.
As the ice melts, you may need to replace the towels to avoid getting wet. You can try both heat and cold treatments together or try them separately to see which one works best. You can use ice and heat as many times a day as necessary. If you do get tension headaches regularly, it may be a good idea to talk to a doctor to ensure there are no serious underlying causes.
3. Reduce Noise
Do you live or work in a noisy environment? Sound can be overwhelming and can cause stress and tension. This can lead to tension headaches. If you are trying to relax, loud noises will make it harder. If you have a tension headache, one of the best ways to help reduce the pain is to find a quiet place to rest and relax.
Try to get away from the noise when possible. Find a quiet room and turn off the lights and the television. Block out as much noise as possible and try to relax. If you can’t block out the noise or turn it off, you can try using earplugs. If you can’t block out the noise or don’t like complete quiet, try getting a white noise machine. It produces noise that you may find soothing or relaxing and can help block out other loud noises or annoying sounds.
4. Focus on Something Calming
Sometimes tension is caused by stress. In this case, it can help to focus on something that isn’t stressful. It’s not always easy to forget about the things that are causing stress in your life. Finding something calming to focus on can give you a little relief.
Try things that are soothing such as coloring or crossword puzzles. You can even do household activities that you enjoy or require focus such as mating socks or folding laundry. Crafting, dancing, playing an instrument and even reading can also help you focus on something that calms you and relieves tension and tension headaches.
If you can’t focus on something calming trying taking a nap or just lying down to rest your eyes. The goal is to forget about all the things that are causing stress and tension in your life. Whatever you need to do to get rid of those feelings can help improve your tension headache.
5. Improve Posture
Your posture has a lot to do with the stress and tension on your head and neck. The way you sit or stand can cause you to have chronic tension headaches. Poor posture can be due to the type of chair or desk you use at school or work, how you stand, or how you sleep at night.
If your body is not in the right position, or if your back or neck is out of line, it can cause tension on the muscles in your head and neck which can turn into a headache. Until the underlying cause is dealt with, you may experience chronic headaches.
You can use pain medications to deal with the pain of the tension headache but if you don’t deal with your improper posture, the headaches will continue. You may need your back or neck aligned to help improve your posture and headache symptoms.
6. Hot Shower
A hot shower or bath can help relax your muscles and help with tension headaches. You can also add Epson salt to your bath to help relax your muscles even more. Epson salt is a natural muscle relaxant and can help reduce inflammation throughout the body. You can also light candles, play soft music, and turn out the lights, and try to relax as much as possible.
Once your muscles start to loosen up and relax, your tension headache can go away. You may need to take a hot shower or bath more than once a day to completely get rid of the pain. You can also take pain medication to help ease your headache while you try to relax. If you can’t take hot baths or showers as often as needed to get rid of your headache, try sitting in a steamy or hot bathroom and trying to relax instead.
Exercise is a great way to reduce tension headache symptoms. When you exercise it gets your blood circulating and flowing better, which helps reduce pain. Inflammation and pain are less likely to occur when you exercise regularly. Exercise releases endorphins, which fight pain. Exercising regularly can also help keep your muscles loose and makes them less likely to tense up and get tight. This helps prevent tension all over your body as well as tension headaches.
Exercising regularly can help fight of tension headaches, but if you already have one, exercise can also help ease the pain. Although you may not feel like exercising when you have a headache, it can help ease the pain faster than medication. If you are prone to chronic tension headaches, you should make it a point to exercise every day. Doing so for a few minutes in the morning or in the evening before bed could help.
8. Drink Hot Tea
How tea helps relax the muscles and nerves in your body and can help reduce a tension headache. Stress and many other things can cause the nerve and muscles in your face to tighten up. This can reduce blood flow and cause pain. There are many types of teas that contain calming or relaxing ingredients such as peppermint. Peppermint helps open up pores in the skin, which allows toxins to escape.
These toxins could be the cause or a contributing factor to your headaches. You can sip the tea in a dark, quiet room to help set the mood for a calm and relaxing area. While tea is one of the best liquids to drink to help reduce your headache, you can also enjoy other warm liquids if you prefer something over tea. Drink or sip your favorite liquid as often as you need to help reduce inflammation and headache pain.
9. Drink Plenty Of Water
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of headaches, even tension headaches. Your body needs plenty of water to function properly and if you are dehydrated, your body will respond with pain. Your muscles need water to move properly and when they don’t have enough water they can tense up. This can lead to serious cramps all over your body and tension headaches. If you have a headache you can try to treat it by drinking plenty of water.
If you get tension headaches often, you should make sure you are drinking plenty of water every day. Most people don’t drink enough water and don’t realize that this could be the cause of their tension headaches. Keep in mind sugary drinks don’t help with dehydration and can actually make it worse. If you have a tension headache, avoid sugary drinks and sodas, and focus on drinking plenty of water instead.
10. Avoid Smoking
Smoking is a bad habit with a lot of consequences. In addition to causing yellow teeth, bath breath, breathing problems, it can cause severe tension headaches. Cigarettes contain chemicals and toxins that cause many different problems when released into the body. Smoking can also decrease blood flow which can make it harder pain medications to work and cause headaches to last longer.
If you smoke often you should consider giving it up to help reduce your frequency and severity of headaches. Although stopping smoking can cause a variety of symptoms as well, including withdrawal headaches, once you get past them, your headaches will subside once you get the nicotine out of your system and keep it out. There are medications available to help you stop smoking more easily so your withdrawal symptoms are less severe. If you need additional help, don’t be afraid to reach out to a doctor for other treatments for smoking and tension headaches.