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Treating Your Own Headaches

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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Migraine or Sinus Headache?

Headache pain along with a stuffy, runny nose and itchy, watery eyes. Sounds like a sinus headache, right? Think again. More than 4 out of 5 people who think they have a sinus headache with symptoms like pain in the head, stuffy nose, and watery eyes actually have migraine headaches. "It's such a widespread misconception," says neurology professor Peter Goadsby, MD, who heads the University of California, San Francisco's headache program. "It's the size of the problem that stuns me." Here's...

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by William Blahd, MD on July 19, 2014
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