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Mild Headache Treatment

1. Take Pain Medication

  • Give ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), aspirin, or acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain. Avoid ibuprofen and other NSAIDs if the person has heart failure or kidney failure. Do not give aspirin to a child under 18.

2. Try Self-Care Strategies

  • The person should drink plenty of liquids. Dehydration can cause or worsen a headache.
  • Apply a cool cloth or ice pack to the forehead, temples, or back of the neck.
  • Massage the person's neck and back to relieve muscle tension.
  • Apply gentle, rotating pressure to the painful area of the head.
  • Have the person rest or take a warm bath or shower.

3. When to Call a Health Care Provider

Seek medical care immediately for:

  • A headache that occurs after a head injury
  • A headache that is accompanied by dizziness, speech impairment, confusion, or other neurological symptoms
  • A severe headache that comes on suddenly 
  • A headache that gets worse even after taking pain medications

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Scott Keller, MD on November 17, 2013

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