Headaches are one of the most common and frustrating afflictions most us face at times. The World Health Organization cites that up to 1 in 20 adults have a headache very day. A more severe form of headache called a migraine is also relatively common, affecting at least 1 in 7 adults. Unfortunately, the cause for your headache cab be hard to diagnose, which makes it difficult to determine the appropriate treatment. Harvard University cites there being more than 300 types of headaches, with only 10% having a known cause.
When to See a Doctor
The first and most important tip is to seek help from a doctor for anything but mild, infrequent headaches. The Internet is a good place to learn but should never be reason to avoid seeing a doctor. Any headache that is frequent or severe, or has other symptoms associated with it like dizziness, should mean contacting a doctor or appropriate medical professional for advice. You can keep medical costs down by ensuring you have appropriate health coverage. Those on Medicare should ensure they are taking advantage of the latest Medicare Advantage Plans 2021. If you are employed then ensure you take advantage of any employer sponsored health insurance.
Determine the Root Cause
If you can find the root cause for your headache, it can help tremendously with finding a solution. Try to identify patterns, such as particular things you consume or don’t consume. Certain foods or drinks can trigger a headache. Consider physical aspects also, like whether you are stressed or fatigued. Some may even be influenced by the weather.
A quite common cause of headaches is caffeine withdrawal. Maybe you did not get your normal amount of coffee or had it later than usual. If you normally have a drink with caffeine, think about whether this might be the cause. If this is the cause, the only option is to stay consistent with caffeine use, or to slowly taper off and stop using it, to eliminate the dependency.
Try drinking more water and ensure you get sufficient electrolytes, as this can be a cause for a headache. Sun and alcohol can drain your body of key electrolytes such as magnesium, sodium, and potassium. Which electrolytes you are deficient in can be hard to determine, so you can augment your drinking water with Gatorade or an electrolyte supplement. You can target specific electrolytes such as bananas for potassium, or almonds and cashews for magnesium.
There are a myriad of alternative medicine treatments you could try, for example many claim essential oils help with headaches. Essential oils are chemical compounds that are extracted from plants, and used in many ways including aromatherapy and massage. Other alternative therapies include acupuncture, acupressure, massage, and herbs.
Any type of stretching that can get your muscles moving can increase blood flow, as well as relieve stress and tension. Yoga is a popular method for this, with many free videos available on Youtube. If you search online, you can also find specific stretching exercises for headaches, such as a chin tuck where you gently bend your head forward to stretch the back of the neck. Shoulder rolls may also help.
Also evaluate whether your posture when sitting or standing is causing pain, or if there are ergonomic corrections that can be made if you work at a computer. If you suspect this to be a cause, you can consult with a physiotherapist.
While it can be tempting to just grab some pain pills when you have a headache, this avoids finding the root cause, rather you are just treating the symptoms. Pain medicine, including over the counter, can be harmful if taken regularly. Take the time to care about your health and discover the cause, try some potential solutions, and consult with a medical professional.
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