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How to Get Rid of a Headache

The debilitating pain of a headache is something everyone experiences from time to time. Headaches can interfere with your daily life, preventing you from focusing at work or school. Some headaches go away on their own while others seem to be particularly persistent. If you develop headaches frequently, it’s helpful to know how to get rid of a headache naturally and quickly.

About Headaches

Most headaches don’t indicate a serious problem and are typically classified as a primary headache—when the pain-sensitive areas in your head become overactive. Primary headaches occur when something goes wrong with any of the structures in your head, such as nerves and blood vessels, or your neck and head muscles. Primary headaches can be caused by a combination of any of these.1

Common primary headache types include:

  • Migraines
  • Migraine with aura
  • Cluster headaches
  • Tension headaches

According to the National Institutes of Health, 90% of all headaches are tension headaches, which are caused by stress that leads to tightening of the face and neck muscles.2

Some people have genetics that make them more susceptible to developing severe, frequent headaches. In addition to genetics, possible contributing factors to headaches include:1

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Stress
  • Back tension from poor posture
  • Poor sleep habits
  • Skipping meals
  • Eating foods that contain nitrates

Headaches can also arise as a symptom of another underlying condition. Several conditions cause headaches as a symptom, including:1

  • Sinusitis
  • Dental problems
  • Dehydration
  • Concussion
  • High blood pressure
  • Panic attacks

Headache symptoms are generally described as pain affecting the head—on one or both sides. However, specific symptoms may be different for different people. Headaches may be described as:3

  • Dull, aching pain
  • Sharp pain
  • Throbbing, low-level pain
  • Pain that worsens when exposed to light
  • Pain that moves from one side of the head to the other

Some people experience headaches suddenly while others develop headaches gradually. Some people seem to have a similar recurring pattern of headaches, including feeling it on one side of the head more consistently. Some people may also feel a sensation behind one or both eyes.

Depending on how severe your headache is and what you’ve done to treat it, you may experience a headache for only a few hours or up to a few days.

Natural Remedies for Headaches

Here are some natural remedies for getting rid of a headache:

Apple Cider Vinegar - A traditional home remedy for migraine headaches is taking diluted apple cider vinegar to help alleviate pressure in the head.

Lavender Oil - Lavender oil has soothing properties that can reduce stress that’s causing tension headaches.

Peppermint Oil - Rubbing peppermint oil onto your temples can help alleviate stress and heal a tension headache.

Ginger - For those who experience nausea and upset stomach during a migraine, ginger can help alleviate these symptoms.

Gastrodia - Gastrodia is a traditional Chinese herb used to treat migraine headaches by alleviating pressure and improving blood circulation.