If you’re suffering from tension in your head, you’re not alone. Whether you’re dealing with migraines or simple tension headaches, relief is possible. But you shouldn’t simply rely on pain medications. Beyond the potential for addiction, taking pain pills provides a short-term fix at best.
Instead, you should learn how to relieve head tension in a more holistic way. If you’re dealing with persistent head tension, here are ways you can reduce head tension on an ongoing basis!
1. Acute Medications
Over-the-counter pain relievers can be taken regularly to reduce daily discomfort, as well as provide relief in the case of an extreme tension headache.
Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are both over-the-counter medications that are effective in addressing headache pain. Generally, acetaminophen provides faster pain relief, but ibuprofen has been shown to be more effective for migraine headaches. Both medications can provide relief for headaches caused by muscle tension or stress-induced headaches.
For those with chronic head tension, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug may be more effective at reducing pain and inflammation. For more severe cases, prescription options, such as triptans, can be employed to reduce inflammation and provide relief.
Triptans and Narcotics
Triptans are serotonin receptor agonists that help reduce the widening of blood vessels that likely contributes to headaches. Narcotics, on the other hand, are powerful pain relievers typically used as a last resort. Even though they’re strong, they should only be taken when necessary, as they are addictive.
But if the lingering headache persists, opioids such as codeine or hydrocodone can be used to treat the pain. Additionally, migraines, tension headaches, and other types of head pain can be helped with ozone injections.
2. Preventive Medications
Common prescription medications used for this purpose are muscle relaxants, such as baclofen or cyclobenzaprine, which help reduce tension in the muscles of the head and neck. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen can be taken daily as they have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.
Another regular form of preventive medication is the use of anti-migraine medications such as rizatriptan and naratriptan.
3. Try a Cold Pack
Cold packs as a method of therapy provide incredible therapeutic benefits. They reduce swelling and inflammation, thus reducing a throbbing headache. The cold pack should be wrapped in a light cloth to avoid direct contact with the skin and applied to the affected area for about 20 minutes. For maximum benefits, use it multiple times a day.
It is also suggested to take pain medications in conjunction with applying a cold pack for optimal results. A cold pack is a simple but highly effective way to improve head tension and pain.
4. Ease Pressure on Your Head
Head tension can be relieved by consciously relaxing the neck and scalp muscles in order to ease pressure on your head. Also, to help alleviate pressure on your head and reduce pain, try some simple relaxation techniques like a neck massage.
Start by gently massaging the scalp and neck muscles in small circular motions. This will not only relax the underlying muscles but also stimulate circulation. If possible, use a variety of massage devices such as massage balls, heated neck pillows, hot compresses, and massage tools specifically designed for your head.
5. Manage Your Stress Level
Stress can be caused and aggravated by different factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise and too much caffeine, and lack of sleep. Stress can lead to a pounding headache.
To help with stress management and relieve head tension, try to adjust your lifestyle and daily habits. Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, limit caffeine intake, and establish regular sleeping patterns. Also, practice stress management activities such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness meditation.
6. Practice Relaxation
Begin by setting aside some time for yourself and allocate fifteen minutes of your day to spend on relaxation. Start by focusing on your breathing. Close your eyes and slowly inhale and exhale. Relax your shoulders and let them drop, and imagine releasing any tension you may be carrying in your body.
If possible, take a hot bath or shower to relieve any tension you may be feeling. Once you are done with your bath, curl up in bed or on the couch and practice some gentle stretching exercises. This can help to increase blood circulation and ease muscle tension.
Take some deep breaths and notice if you can relax any areas that feel tense. Lastly, listen to calming music to help you relax and reduce your head tension even further.
7. Consider Physical Therapy
A physical therapist can work with you to develop a personalized plan to address the causes of your headaches. They may recommend exercises to help strengthen your neck and back muscles, which can help reduce pain from headaches caused by musculoskeletal tension.
Other treatments may include moist heat applications for neck and shoulder pain, therapeutic massage and ultrasound treatments for muscle tension, manual manipulations for muscle spasms, and simple stretches for headaches due to pinched nerves.
Relieve Head Tension Now
There are many easy and proven ways to relieve head tension. Experiment to find the ones that work best for you. Remember to also get enough rest, eat healthily, exercise regularly, and find time to relax.
Taking these measures together can help reduce stress and keep head tension away in the long term, allowing you to live in better health. Take action now and start relieving head tension today!
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