In today’s chaotic world, busy schedules may be to blame for recurring headaches. Sometimes resulting from medical conditions, but often, they’re simply the result of dehydration, staying up late, or just overdoing it during Crossfit. While there’s plenty of treatments to reduce the pain, including over-the-counter drugs and prescriptions, they don’t always help lessen symptoms. In fact, many common lifestyle habits may help reduce headache pain without swallowing a pill.

#1: Massage Therapy

You don’t have to be on vacation to receive a massage, especially if you suffer from chronic headache pain induced by muscle tension. Though seeming luxurious, massages are also incredibly therapeutic and can help reduce tension in the upper body, often caused by poor posture or a rigorous workout.  Schedule different types of massage, Swedish or deep tissue, and get a reliable referral for a local Dallas practitioner near you who can effectively address your specific pain points.

#2: Hot and Cold Pack Applications

A simple hot and cold application may offer relief. For cold application, place ice in a plastic bag covered with a thin towel or cloth to avoid irritating skin. Place the ice pack in the area with the greatest source of pain, like the forehead or base of the neck. For the hot pack, you can buy a heat pack at most drugstores or research ways to make a homemade one. Apply to the base of the head or forehead for quick, heated relief. Don’t place applications more than 10 minutes at a time to avoid harming the skin.

#3: Breathing Exercises

You do this all the time already! But, regular breathing exercises will help focus the mind and ease muscle tension-related headaches. Begin by finding a quiet, comfortable place in your home where you cannot be distracted. Next, take a deep breath for 5 seconds in a slow, rhythmic manner, both in and out. As you relax, your muscles tighten and will slowly release. Try a progressive relaxation technique by focusing on one major muscle group in the body at a time, starting with the toes and making your way up the body.

#4: Hydration

Drinking plenty of water is the best way to avoid becoming dehydrated, which contributes to a headache. Grab a tall glass of water and shake in powdered electrolytes for added benefit.

#5: Sleep

Many health problems are caused by lack of sleep, and not meeting a nightly minimum may lead to chronic headaches. But, knowing you need to get more sleep and actually doing so are completely different things. To improve the amount and quality of your sleep, try committing to a sleep schedule and avoid stimulants hours before hitting the hay.

#6: Herbal Tea

Wind down at night by steeping a cup of herbal tea. As relaxation helps reduce tension, sipping a glass of tea can have pain-relieving effects. Check with your physician before drinking teas as certain herbs may interact with medication conditions and medications. Some of our favorite herbs for relaxation include ginger, chamomile, and dandelion. Headaches can make it difficult to concentrate on work and provide attention to your family. Taking time to try these tips may help get you back to your regular routine. However, though some of these tips, like applying cold packs, may help a headache, they may not provide relief for those that suffer from chronic migraines. If you’ve been diagnosed with chronic migraines, you understand that migraines are much more than a headache. In fact, those who suffer from chronic migraines have a history of headaches; they experience them on at least 15 days of the month, with 4 of them being severe migraines (which brings us to number 7).
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#7: Injecting Botox

The great news is that certain headache sufferers can now try Botox to help prevent pain before onset, as most insurance carriers now cover the treatment. Our pain experts located in Dallas, Texas recommend Botox because it is effective for migraine headaches. Botox injections block chemicals called neurotransmitters that carry pain signals to the brain. Injecting Botox along this path stops pain before it hits the nerve endings in the head and neck. If you’re seeking help for migraines, please contact the office to schedule a detailed evaluation (214) 441-7322 or book your appointment online today.