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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.

 

Recommended Related to Migraines/Headaches

Understanding Migraines -- Diagnosis and Treatment

There is no specific test to diagnose a migraine headache. If you seek help from your health care provider for recurring headaches, you may be asked to keep a headache diary in which you record information about symptoms leading up to a headache, symptoms of the actual headache, and possible triggers that may have provoked the episode. Your health care provider will want to take a careful history to determine any patterns to your headaches and to learn whether such headaches run in your family....

Read the Understanding Migraines -- Diagnosis and Treatment article > >

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Ann Edmundson, MD, PhD on June 25, 2012
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