If you’re struggling with frequent headaches and migraines, you might feel tired of taking all the over-the-counter pain relievers that don’t really help. It’s also not in your health’s best interest to continuously take these medications day after day. Instead of turning to OTC pain relievers, addressing the root cause of your headaches is a better bet.
Additionally, there are a number of drug-free headache remedies that you can try before you pop another pill.
1. Drink More Water
One of the top causes of frequent headaches is actually dehydration. When you don’t drink enough water, it causes the brain to shrink from fluid loss which results in the brain pulling away from the skull. All the extra space results in a headache. Once you rehydrate, the brain will pump back up and the headache will go away. When a headache first occurs, we recommend drinking a lot of water just in case dehydration is the cause.
2. Take Magnesium
Magnesium is responsible for a number of functions in the body such as nerve transmission and blood sugar control. It’s also been found as an effective drug-free headache remedy after finding magnesium deficiency common in people who experience frequent headaches and migraines. By taking 600 mg of oral magnesium citrate per day, it can reduce the frequency and severity of headaches and migraines. However, it’s important to note that magnesium supplements can lead to digestive issues including diarrhea. It’s best to start with a small dosage to treat headache problems.
3. Sleep Enough
Not getting enough sleep can also be the cause of your headaches. If you have a headache, sometimes taking a short nap or going to bed early to get an extra hour or two of sleep can help get rid of your headache. On the flip side, getting an adequate amount of sleep every night can help prevent frequent headaches and migraines. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day for the best results.
4. Use Essential Oils
Essential oils are concentrated liquids from a variety of plants that contain aromatic compounds. A lot of essential oils can provide therapeutic benefits from topical use. Only some essential oils can be ingested. For frequent headaches and migraines, you will find the most benefits from peppermint and lavender essential oils. Start by applying peppermint essential oil to your temples. This will help relax the muscles and provide relief from tension headaches. Then, add lavender essential oil to a diffuser or apply it above your upper lip so you can inhale it. Lavender can help reduce migraine pain and symptoms and help you feel relaxed.
5. Cold Compress
You can’t go wrong with applying a cold compress to your neck, head, or the area associated with your headache or migraine. The cold decreases inflammation, constricts blood vessels, and slows nerve conduction which can all reduce headache pain. You can use an ice pack wrapped in a towel, or fill up a waterproof bag with ice and wrap it in a towel. Apply for 20 minutes at a time.
6. Drink a Caffeinated Beverage
Another major cause of frequent headaches and migraines is caffeine withdrawal. Drinking some caffeine can help alleviate withdrawal symptoms like a headache. Even if your headache isn’t from withdrawal, caffeine is a stimulant which means it can constrict blood vessels, improve mood, and improve alertness which can all contribute to migraine and headache relief.
7. Relax With Yoga
Another reason you might have a headache is that you’re stressed out and need to relax. Yoga is a great way to relieve stress, decrease pain, and increase flexibility. Practicing yoga regularly can help reduce the frequency and severity of your headaches. In one study that followed 60 people with chronic migraines, conventional care combined with yoga provided more relief than conventional care alone.
8. Take a Walk Outside
Sometimes all you need is a little bit of fresh air and movement to provide pain relief. Exercise, in general, can help alleviate headache and migraine pain as well as prevent it. You don’t have to take a walk outside, but fresh air can help. One study found that people who engaged in a low level of exercise experienced fewer headaches than those who didn’t. A different study found that people who cycled for 40 minutes, 3 days per week experienced fewer headaches than those who didn’t. Try to exercise for at least 150 minutes per week for the best results.
9. Get TMJ Treatment
A drug-free remedy for frequent headaches and migraines that you may not have considered before is TMJ treatment. You might not even know if you have a TMJ disorder. TMJ disorder is a condition that’s a result of imbalanced jaw joints. Common symptoms include frequent headaches and migraines, jaw popping and clicking, jaw, neck, and back pain, locked jaw, clenching and grinding, and a bite that feels off. At Bite Align, we can provide you with TMJ treatment to allow your jaw to rest in a comfortable and relaxing position. With treatment, headaches and other symptoms will subside.
10. Get Sleep Apnea Treatment
Another common cause of frequent headaches, especially first thing in the morning, is untreated sleep apnea. Sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing during sleep which can interrupt your sleep cycle and cause carbon monoxide to become trapped in the bloodstream. With too much carbon dioxide in the blood, it can cause morning headaches.
With sleep apnea treatment from our Fort Atkinson dentist, we can help you sleep soundlessly throughout the night and prevent daytime symptoms like fatigue, headaches, irritability, and more.
Get Drug-Free Headache Treatment in Fort Atkinson
If you think TMJ disorder or sleep apnea might be the cause of your frequent headaches and migraines, our Fort Atkinson dentist can help. Please contact Bite Align at (920) 563-7323 to book a consultation with Dr. Stafford today. She will evaluate your symptoms and examine you to determine if further tests need to be conducted to accurately diagnose and treat your condition. Drug-free headache relief is just around the corner. Contact us today to get started.