Headaches: seven tips to treat them
Headaches are one of the most common problems people face today. As a result, there are many types of treatments and drugs available to help get rid of or at least shorten a headache. Treatments can range from something as simple as taking over-the-counter pain relievers to more complex procedures such as surgery.
When you need medical attention for a headache right away, you can go to a urgent Care center instead of waiting hours in the emergency room. Some emergency care centers are open 24 hours a day or have evening and weekend hours.
Here is a list of eight different ways to treat headaches:
1. Take an over-the-counter medicine like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
The first treatment is to take a drug available without a prescription like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. This one is by far the simplest. You can get this medicine at a drugstore, grocery store, or just about anywhere else. You may need to ask a pharmacist for it if you don’t see it displayed, but it should be easy enough as they are all trained to help people find what they need for different types of medications and treatments.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) are popular pain relievers that can help relieve headaches. Over the counter medications like these are commonly used by most people with headaches. You can sometimes get other types of over-the-counter pain relievers, such as aspirin.
2. Apply hot or cold compresses to the area where the headache occurs.
The next thing you can do is apply hot or cold compresses to the area where your headache is occurring. This type of treatment works well for people who suffer from tension headaches.
A lot of times, when people have a headachethey immediately grab an ice pack and place it over the area where they feel pain. It’s much less likely for someone to grab a hot water bottle or heating pad because it’s not as common to just put something hot on your head when you have a headache. If you’re not sure which type of treatment is right for you, try hot and cold compresses and see which one works best against your skin. You may find that relief is faster with heat or cold.
3. Take certain medications like sumatriptan for migraines
Another type of treatment for headaches involves taking certain medications. Specifically, you can take sumatriptan (Imitrex), a medicine designed to help people with migraines relieve their headaches. Your doctor may prescribe or order this medicine for you over the counter, but only if they think it is the right type of treatment for you. It is important to note that sumatriptan (Imitrex) is different from acetaminophen (Tylenol). Sumatriptan is usually prescribed for people with migraine because it works much better to treat headaches caused by swelling of blood vessels in the brain, as well as migraines.
4. Use Botox injections
Another type of treatment for headaches involves using Botox injections. This drug is considered to be the safest way to get rid of chronic or episodic migraines. Your doctor can therefore inject it directly into the muscles of the head and neck. Botox injections are so effective in treating headaches because they target specific nerves involved in the painful muscle contractions that lead to a migraine attack.
5. Use acupuncture
The next headache treatment you can try is with acupuncture. This type of treatment involves placing very fine needles along certain meridians in your body and letting them sit for a few minutes at a time. The idea behind this approach is that the needles will target various pressure points, resulting in pain relief. One notable thing about acupuncture treatments compared to other types of medical care is that the chances of having side effects are almost nil and unwanted effects such as blood clotting or heart problems.
6. Use spinal injections or brain surgery to treat the problem
Another type of treatment for headaches is through the use of spinal injections, also called epidural injections. This procedure involves placing a needle between the skin and the bones that make up your spine to deliver pain relievers directly to the area where you feel pain. When it comes to back pain, this method can help alleviate the root cause of the problem without the need for strong prescription drugs like opioids (Vicodin) which come with all kinds of negative side effects.
Another option that you have when looking for chronic or episodic migraine relief is brain surgery. A neurosurgeon will drill holes in your skull to precisely place electrodes on different parts of your brain involved in your migraine attacks.
7. Change your diet or exercise habits to reduce headaches
The final headache treatment you can try is to change your diet or exercise habits. For example, if you eat a lot of red meat, processed foods, and simple carbohydrates like white bread and pasta, stop doing this as it will increase the risk of migraine attacks compared to people who eat mostly fruits and vegetables without too many simple carbohydrates in their system.
The type of headache you experience will determine which treatment is best for you. For example, if you have a migraine, medication is probably one of your best options rather than hot or cold compresses. Headaches can come and go throughout life. At times, they can get worse than others. But taking steps to understand how to prevent them from happening or reduce their severity can help improve overall health.