How to stop headaches is the "million-dollar question." Over half the population experiences headaches, and if the problem were simple, headaches would not be so common. There are different types of headaches and many headache remedies. A treatment that works for one may not work for the next.
Most headaches are considered tension headaches or lifestyle induced and aren't dangerous, even though they're painful and can prevent you from getting your work done. If you experience frequent headaches, a severe headache, a headache that won't respond to pain medication, or the headache is accompanied by other symptoms, consult your doctor or health professional for how to stop headaches and a proper diagnosis. The following list of common types of headaches demonstrates how to stop a headache and the wide variety of possible causes for your headache, which is why it's so important to seek further treatment if your headache issue won't resolve: tension, allergy, hangover, migraine, altitude sickness, trauma, aneurysm, cluster, tumor-induced, withdrawal, dehydration, and blood sugar.
Tension headaches are common and caused by internal or external stressors, such as family problems, bad posture, work or school stress, and perfectionism. Sometimes, jaw joint, TMJ or bite issues can cause tension headaches. They can occur once or twice a month (episodic) or almost daily, called chronic tension headache. Tension headache symptoms are varied, but usually include tight head and neck muscles and a throbbing head. That's why massage, chiropractic, and physical therapy are often effective in reducing the pain of how to stop headaches.
The headaches usually respond well to either over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers or drugs prescribed by a doctor or wearing the right night guard. OTC drug examples are nonaspirin or aspirin based. Acetaminophen (Tylenol), Ibuprofin, and Naproxin are nonaspirin based. Aspiri-based drugs, such as Exedrin, should not be taken by children or teenagers because of the risk of developing Reye's Syndrome, a serious and possibly fatal condition. Of course, the best way how to stop a headache is to eliminate the cause or manage stress better.
Allergy headaches usually come with a runny nose or runny eyes, and they can be seasonal. Antihistamines or allergy prevention drugs can help the problem. Food can cause a headache. For example, MSG can cause a headache. Also, eating ice cream or drinking a cold, slushy drink too fast can cause "brain freeze." This passes pretty quickly.
Hangover headaches include nausea, trobbing pain, and feeling lousy. Treatments: stop drinking alcohol, keep fluids up, and be patient.
Migraines can be caused by reactions to food, stressors, accidents, hormonal changes, etc. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, visual disturbances like flickering objects, oversensitivity to light, and throbbing pain in the head. The priority is to learn the causes and then alter those factors to get closer to how to stop a headache. Then removing the triggers and taking prescription drugs. See a migraine specialist.
Altitude sickness headaches can affect mountain climbers who don't take oxygen with them. They can be felt on one or both sides of the head. More oxygen is the treatment.
Trauma-induced headaches can occur after an accident or bump on the head and are sometimes accompanied by concussion, skull fracture or internal bleeding. Immediate medical care is warranted.
Aneurysm headaches are caused when a swollen blood vessel bursts and bleeds in the brain, raising dangerous pressure on brain tissue. Seek emergency medical care to repair and stabilize blood pressure.
Cluster headaches sit around your eyes and can cause your eyelids to droop and nose to run. Seek medical care.
Tumor-induced headaches are rare. If you have other symptoms, like slurred speech, personality changes, weakness of arms or legs, vision problems, or epileptic fits, you need to consider the possibility of a brain tumor. It usually requires an MRI and surgical removal.
Withdrawal headaches are common when a person tries to quit using or abusing drugs that affect the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Both stimulants and depressants can lead to headaches. Getting off alcohol or caffeine, for example, usually will bring a headache for one to a few days. Using medication to relieve the withdrawal headache can help you get through it. Then, you'll likely not experience another withdrawal headache as long as you abstain from the alcohol or caffeine.
Dehydration headaches happen when your body does not have enough fluid to properly nourish and bathe the brain. Drink fluids regularly.
Blood sugar headaches are quite rare, but do happen when blood glucose is suddenly high or low. For example, some people are sensitive to sugar in the morning.
Sleep and relaxation techniques can be effective for how to stop a headache. Be sure you're getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night--seven to eight if you're an adult and nine to ten if your a teenager. Remember the three most important keys to good sleep: cool, quiet, dark. People sleep much better when the room is cool, quiet, and dark. Relaxation therapy is a good thing to try. This includes getting a massage, meditation, hydrotherapy, and a good nap.
Don't discount the value of alternative methods, such as night guards, chiropractic, acupuncture, and herbal remedies. There is good evidence that they work on a lot of people. Some herbal remedies are Feverfew, Belladonna, willowbark, magnesium, peppermint, and Ignacia. Using hot and cold packs are sometimes effective, too.
So, regardless of the type of headache you have, you can learn how to stop headaches by finding out what causes headaches and how to treat them.