People encounter difficulties when it comes to making a clear distinction between headaches and migraines. They only recognize the pressure or pain settling in a certain area of the head. However, there is an important difference between a headache and a migraine, which people can use in their advantage. First, they can apply treatments that are more efficient and provide faster relief and secondly, they can prevent potential headaches in the future. Headaches represent unpleasant pains that can happen on both sides of the head lasting in some cases, approximately an hour and in other cases, days. Specific areas involve the temples, the forehead and the back of the neck. Tension headache is the most common type, muscle strain, stress and anxiety being triggers. Migraines are more intense than headaches and manifest with other symptoms besides head pain. These symptoms include temporary vision loss, sensitivity to light, nausea and seeing flashing lights. Generally, migraine headaches affect one side of the head, but the throbbing pain hinders the ability of performing daily tasks.
Over-the-counter treatments usually represents the first option
The most important step is to identify the type of headache because this will allow you to discover the best treatment. For instance, tension headaches will disappear after taking over-the-counter treatments or pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen. Taking into account that pain relievers kick in after at least an hour, you should take them early, as soon as you notice the headache. Besides actual medications, you can also use nasal spray. However, this type of treatment can become easily addictive meaning that people should be very careful not to exceed the recommended dose and avoid taking them daily. Otherwise, they might develop tolerance to the respective medications and experience side effects that involve rebound headaches and lower pain tolerance. The most important thing for a person suffering from frequent severe headaches or migraines is to know when to seek medical help. If the head pain comes accompanied by other concerning symptoms, you could suffer from a severe condition, such as meningitis or stroke.
…but you should not overlook other effective treatment methods
Even though painkillers represent the first treatment method people use in order to get rid of severe headaches, there are other efficient options as well. One of those options refers to progressive muscle relaxation, meditation and yoga. The process consists in finding a comfortable position, eliminating any distractions, closing your eyes and taking deep breaths. For some people, face and scalp massages are very helpful. Massage improves circulation and relieves the tension accumulated in those areas, thus relieving the pain caused by the headache. However, you do not have to limit yourself to face and scalp because you can also massage the neck and shoulders or even do some neck exercises. Furthermore, practicing relaxation techniques and using acupressure techniques could also help you fight unpleasant headaches. Relaxation techniques include deep breathing, prayer, visualization and relaxation and have the purpose to distract you from pain. Acupressure techniques are good if the headaches started because of stress and muscle tension.