Don't suffer! 14 ways to mitigate headache pain

Headaches are no joke. Severe headaches or migraines are usually accompanied by nausea, dizziness, and pain. How do you mitigate the symptoms when you need to keep working or continuing your day?

Migraines and headache remedies may differ from person to person, something that works for one may not work for another. But here are a list of ways to help manage your headache pain.

1. For severe headaches, try to find the cause.

Common types of headaches are caffeine, sugar, water, or allergy induced. If you're prone to any of those types of headaches, try:
  • If you haven't taken in any caffeine, try having a soda or a cup of coffee.
  • If you're blood sugar levels have dropped out of hunger, go eat or snack on something. Try eating some of these recommended foods to mitigate the affects of a migraine.
  • If you haven't had much water that day, drink a glass or two and see if the headache persists.
  • For sinuses, rely on your regimen of decongestants, nose sprays, or any other types of relief you're familiar with.

2. Go to sleep.

Naps or going to bed can help relieve headache symptoms, and it may be gone when you awake.

3. Relax slowly.

Take time to unwind rather than just dropping everything and starting to relax. Try creating a routine with music, exercise, or anything else that promotes relaxation. By stopping suddenly, you're body is more prone to migraines.

4. Eat before bed.

A late night snack can reduce your chances of having a migraine by 4% according to Johns Hopkins.

5. Maintain a lower BMI.

People with higher body weights and BMI are more likely to suffer from chronic headaches.

6. Avoid certain foods like the ones listed here.

Nitrates in red wine and processed meats can trigger headaches.
"There are certain foods that we know are triggers—chocolate, red wine, and other items containing the animo acid tyramine. Also, foods cooked with MSG (monosodium glutamate) can trigger attacks." says Glen Solomon, MD, a headache specialist at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland and associate professor of medicine at Ohio State University in Columbus.

7. Ice your head.

There's a chance that applying ice may help your headache symptoms. Apply to your head or back of the neck to see if this technique helps reduce pain and nausea.

8. Reduce light exposure.

Florescent lights can trigger a migraine. If you're feeling one beginning, pop some shades on or dim the lights.

9. For more than 15 headaches a month, look into botox.

Botox injections were recently approved to treat migraines.

10. Take a warm shower to soothe neck and shoulder muscles.

11. Massage the area that hurts.

Maintain pressure in the area for 7 to 15 seconds and continue repeating as needed.

12. Try some additional spices and scents.

Some natural options include:
  • Smelling peppermint - Shown to reduce pain symptoms
  • Chew or brew Feverfew - Contains parthenolide which can ward off headaches
  • Take a Magnesium vitamin - Small daily supplements can reduce migraine frequency up to 42% according to this study
  • Ingest Omega 3's found in fish, flax seeds and fish oil - Can reduce inflammation
  • Have some ginger - Can reduce inflammation and ease nausea
  • Smell some Lavendar - May help ease pain symptoms according to this study

13. Try acupuncture.

According to this study, acupuncture may help with chronic pain and headaches.

14. Healthy lifestyle.

For a more long-term solution to headache woes, adopt a healthy lifestyle of regular sleep, food, and exercise.
"Healthy lifestyle -- exercise, yoga, hydration to alleviate tension -- is important because we know stress can trigger an attack," says Yousef Mohammad, a professor of neurology at Ohio State University.
For more information about mitigating headaches, see the resources below: