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Treating Your Own Headaches

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    You don't necessarily need a doctor's prescription to treat your headaches. Here are some ways you can find relief, without medication:

    • Apply an ice pack to the painful area of your head. Try placing it on your forehead, temples, or the back of your neck.
    • Take a warm bath or shower; take a nap; or take a walk.
    • Ask someone to rub your neck and back, or treat yourself to a massage.
    • Apply gentle, steady rotating pressure to the painful area of your head with your index finger and/or thumb. Maintain pressure for seven to 15 seconds, then release. Repeat as needed.
    • Rest, sit, or lie quietly in a low-lit room. Close your eyes and try to release the tension in your back, neck, and shoulders.
    • If you have excessive muscle contractions in the neck, it may be helpful to perform physical therapy exercises every day.

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    Understanding Headache -- the Basics

    Although painful and troublesome, most headaches are minor and can be easily treated with aspirin or another pain reliever. (Do not use aspirin in anyone under age 19 because it may increase the risk for Reye's syndrome, a potentially fatal disease.) But if your headaches are severe, recur frequently, or are accompanied by other symptoms, you need to see a health care provider. Headaches are categorized according to their underlying causes. Common types of headaches include: Tension headaches...

    Read the Understanding Headache -- the Basics article > >

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by William Blahd, MD on July 19, 2014
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