Before considering medication and surgery, it is best to look over your natural options first before choosing to alter the way your body naturally functions. Remember, pain is used to send you signals that something is going wrong, and medication used to ignore this pain might keep your body from doing its job and “masking” a much deeper issue.
Surgery, just like medication, is made to target what is making you uncomfortable: the pain. When surgery and medication target only your symptoms (the pain), they do nothing to repair or heal the cause of the symptoms you have.
Even though you may not feel the symptoms anymore while using a medication, it does not mean they are truly gone – you just can’t feel them. While these symptoms continue to be ignored, the cause of the symptoms continues to worsen over time. Therefore, we believe it is best to listen to the body and never ignore what it is trying to tell us.
Below are natural ways of finding relief depending on the type of head pain you are having. When wondering what to do about head pain, it is best to target the underlying cause.
What to do About Head Pain from Tension Headaches
Tension-type head pain causes vary but changing a few lifestyle choices could help you find relief. Below are some simple good health habits that can help you with tension-type head pain:
- Getting Enough Sleep – Not sleeping enough or sleeping too much can bring about head pain. Getting enough sleep and developing a sleep routine is important to your body’s health and helps it regulate its functions.
- Eating a Healthy Diet – Certain foods and additives can bring about tension-type head pain. Monosodium glutamate (found in Chinese food), chocolate, cheese or aged cheese, onions, dairy, caffeine, peanut butter, nuts, avocado, banana, citrus, bacon, hot dogs, salami, cured meat, smoked fish, figs, chicken livers, red wine and some types of beans can trigger your tension-type head pain. To find out which ones trigger them, it is best to cut them all out and try them one by one – keeping track of how you feel after each one.
- Quit Smoking or Avoid Smoke – Both smoking and second-hand smoke cause your blood vessels to constrict and reduce the blood flow to your brain which can contribute to headaches.
- Relaxation Techniques – Exercises such as yoga and stretches will help you wind down and reduce the stress and tension on your body.
- Regular Exercise – Exercising regularly will help keep regulated blood flow throughout your body and helps the brain receive the proper flow it needs.
What to do About Head Pain from Migraines
What to do about head pain from migraines will have some similarities to what to do about head pain from tension headaches. Sometimes a tension-type headache can occur during a migraine; if you have both happening at the same time, consider reading over both lists to help.
- Changes in Diet – Some foods are known to trigger migraines. If you are unsure as to which foods trigger your migraine, you can cut all the triggering foods out of the diet first then try them one by one until you find which ones trigger them. Common foods that trigger migraines include aged cheese, salty food, sweeteners, processed food, red wine, alcohol, chocolate, and caffeinated beverages.
- Stress Management – Stress puts a lot of strain on our body and is a common trigger for migraines and headaches. At times, migraines can worsen your stress levels and the added stress can trigger another migraine. Exercising daily, or meditating, can help you relieve stress (along with the other relaxing exercises). Other outlets can be used to help cope with stress as well, such as listening to music, writing, or taking a warm bath.
- Relaxing Exercises – Another way to combat stress, but also to help improve your blood flow throughout the body and relieving it of muscle tension. Yoga and stretching are both incredibly beneficial to the body and can help provide natural migraine relief.
- Staying Hydrated – Having only minor dehydration is enough to trigger a headache or migraine.
- Getting Enough Sleep – Lack of sleep, or too much, can trigger your migraine headaches. Getting between 7-9 hours of sleep every night will help reduce stress and can prevent migraines.
What to do About Head Pain from Cluster Headaches
What to do about head pain from cluster headaches is not the same as migraine or tension headaches. Cluster headaches are not associated with food or stress like migraine and tension headaches are. Most of what to do about head pain from cluster headaches revolve around body temperature.
- Avoid Alcohol – When your cluster headaches begin, avoiding alcohol will help reduce the number of cluster headaches you have and keep them from getting worse.
- Avoid Exercising in Hot Weather – Have a sudden rise in body temperature can trigger your cluster headaches.
- Quit Smoking or Avoid Smoke – Compared to the rest of the population, a higher percentage of those who experience cluster headaches are smokers. Smoking changes the blood flow in your system whether you are a smoker or experience second-hand smoke.
- Maintain Regular Body Temperature – Since a high rise in body temperature can bring about your cluster headaches, it is important to maintain a regular body temperature as best as you can.
- Develop a Regular Sleeping Pattern – Maintaining a regular sleeping pattern will help your body regulate the melatonin and cortisol hormones in your system, which both help with your sleep. There has been a connection between cluster headaches and changes in sleep routine.
- Avoiding Certain Medications – Some medications may trigger your cluster headaches. Inhaled nitroglycerin, for example, is linked to clustering headache attacks as it causes your blood vessels to dilate.
What to do About Head Pain from Sinus Headaches
Unlike the other head pain types, when it comes to what to do about head pain for sinus headaches there is a smaller list of what you could do as these usually come from sinus congestion from allergies. While some recommend decongestants or antibiotics, these should not be considered in what to do about head pain from a sinus headache as they can cause the condition to become worse.
- Moist Air – Dry air can be irritating, and a humidifier or vaporizer can help your sinuses. You could also place a warm, wet towel over your face for a few minutes to help.
- Avoid Smoke, Perfume, and Strong Chemical Smells – These strong smells and certain chemicals irritate the nasal passages and worsen your sinus headache symptoms.
An All-Natural Chiropractic Treatment for Head Pain
Sometimes these small changes to your daily lifestyle are not enough to get the relief you need. This is because when people wonder what to do about head pain, they don’t necessarily think about the brain stem area. The brain stem is located right beneath the skull and can trigger all types of headaches if it is compressed or irritated.
An upper cervical chiropractic treatment for head pain is a safe and natural treatment for those that have not been able to find complete relief through other natural lifestyle changes. There is a strong link between the brain stem and head pain, and thousands of patients who have undergone surgery and tried many medications have found more relief with upper cervical chiropractic treatment for head pain.