More often than not, people who suffer from headaches always have pain relievers handy in case they experience a sudden headache onset. While these over-the-counter medications are effective for relieving the pain, wouldn’t it be better to prevent the headaches from occurring in the first place?
People take drugs to relieve the headaches, but there are no medications that can prevent them. This is why it is important to know the type of headaches you’re having. Most types are definitely preventable, while others can be managed better if you know what you’re dealing with. For migraine headaches, preventing them means staying away from certain foods, as well as other potential triggers that can cause the headache. For other types of headaches, on the other hand, there are simple preventive measures people can take to lessen their chances of getting headaches. Here are some drug-free headache-preventing activities you can try:
- Acupuncture – This form of treatment has been around for centuries, and while it’s considered ancient and “alternative” it is widely practiced in today’s modern times. It has been known to prevent acute headaches and helps lessen the number and duration of chronic headache episodes.
- Stretching – People who work out know the importance of stretching, but only a few of them know that it can also prevent headaches. By stretching the neck and shoulder muscles, tension in these areas is relieved which leads to less tension headaches.
- Aerobic Exercise – Swimming, brisk walking, and biking have been known to prevent headaches from occurring. Just be careful not to overdo it, because too much exercise can lead to exertion headaches.
- Yoga and Meditation – Keeping a good balance between a healthy body and healthy mind can be helpful in preventing headaches. Meditating and practicing yoga helps both the body and mind relax which can reduce and prevent the occurrence of tension headaches.
- Relaxation Exercises – In preventing headaches, the length of time a person sleeps doesn’t matter as much as how well they sleep. Relaxation exercises such as listening to soothing music or sounds from nature, focusing on relaxing images, or deep breathing exercises can help us loosen up in time for bed. When our bodies and minds are totally relaxed before going to bed, we tend to sleep better, and when we sleep better, we suffer from fewer headaches.
- Getting a Massage – Getting a regular massage can relax tense muscles and help regulate blood flow, which in turn helps reduce the chances of developing certain types of headaches. A head massage can also help to temporarily relieve the pain in migraine patients.
- Keeping a Headache Diary – For those who suffer from chronic headaches, keeping a written account of each headache episode can help determine what triggers the headache and what helps relieve the pain. After some time, patients will be able to see a pattern which they can avoid to prevent the headaches from occurring. There may be more than one trigger, so even if you’ve managed to identify one, you still need to record your headache experiences to identify what else is causing the pain.
Because there are several different types of headaches, these drug-free headache prevention methods are not guaranteed to work on everyone. For best results, consult a doctor or a headache specialist for proper diagnosis, treatment, and pain management plans.