Tension Headaches: 5 Ways to Relieve Them Without Medications

man with a headache

When people talk about tension headaches, they will only think of mild to intense pain in their heads, necks, or behind the eyes. But did you know that they can also be chronic? In most cases, people will experience episodic headaches that generally occur twice a month. As for those diagnosed with chronic headaches, the pain can last for a month or longer.

Daily stressors, activities, and food are the most common causes of tension headaches. The pain can also be triggered by eye strain, fatigue, caffeine, lack of sleep, poor posture, and many more. If you’re feeling pressure around your forehead or tenderness in your scalp, there’s a great chance you have a tension headache. To avoid confusion, take note that migraines cause throbbing pain on your head’s both sides. They are literally different types of headaches. Find out below how you can naturally get rid of your tension headaches.

1. Drink water

Tension headaches and even migraines are typically caused by chronic dehydration. Studies show that this condition can also alter how an individual feels, thinks, and acts. Drinking enough water cannot only help ease or prevent headaches but also makes you feel better overall. Carrying a water bottle is not the only way to stay dehydrated. You can also eat more food high in liquid, such as soups, smoothies, and fruits. If you’re dehydrated and experiencing headaches, drinking water can ease the symptoms in one to three hours. Staying hydrated can also help improve your mood and concentration.

2. Try some massage

Massage is a relaxing way to relieve your tension headache. Some individuals do this by focusing on pressure points such as their necks and temples. Others do this by pinching the top of their nose and rubbing the back of their neck, particularly when they’re stressed. If you massage pressure points, it’ll be more convenient to use mini handheld massagers. On the other hand, a full-body massager will be ideal if you also want to relieve other stresses in your body. Either way, massaging is an excellent way to help you relax and reduce stress levels, which may also cause or worsen tension headaches.

man sleeping

3. Get a good night’s sleep

As you already know, lack of sleep can be detrimental to your health. For some individuals, it can lead to tension headaches and body pain. In fact, one research found that people who sleep less than six hours every day are more likely to have frequent and intense headaches. However, you can also trigger your headaches by getting too much sleep. So if you’re looking for a natural way to prevent headaches, you need to have the right amount of sleep. Seven to nine hours of sleep is the sweet spot.

4. Use essential oils

Essential oils are popular for their many therapeutic benefits. They can be ingested, used topically, or inhaled. Inhaling a soothing essential oil can help ease head pain, which is a widely used practice today. Lavender and peppermint essential oils are your best options for relieving a headache. There might only be a few studies regarding the utilization of aromatherapy for headaches, but it’s definitely worth a shot. After all, aromatherapy is proven to help improve sleep, boost feelings of relaxation, and ease anxiety and stress. All these can cause tension headaches. Furthermore, this method is generally safe. Mild allergic reactions are the worst you can expect when inhaling essential oils. If you choose to use them topically or take them like supplements, ask for your doctor’s approval first. You can also talk to an aromatherapist for further advice.

5. Change your diet

Lastly, you need to be careful about what you eat if you want to prevent tension headaches. This is even more crucial if you have food sensitivities. Intolerances or allergies will make your immune system work harder to protect your body, which usually comes with an inflammatory response. That inflammation can then result in tension headaches. You can also prevent migraines by cutting back on food like dark beer, aged cheese, deli meat, and chocolate. However, if your headaches don’t improve after weeks of removing these from your diet, it’s safe to say that they’re not the culprit. In general, headaches can be triggered by alcoholic beverages, fermented or smoked food, food high in nitrates, and artificial sweeteners.

Kindly take note that this blog is only meant to provide general tips regarding easing tension headaches. It’s not professional medical advice. We highly recommend seeing a doctor if you’re experiencing tension headaches for more than 15 days. Also, if you’re currently taking any medications, seek your physician’s approval before trying any of these.

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