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Migraines & Headaches Health Center

Step 1 of 6
Action Set
Headaches: Managing a Headache

You can reduce how many headaches you get and how bad they are when you do get them. Try to:

  • Find and avoid triggers that cause your headaches.
  • Carry your medicine with you so you can treat a headache right away when you feel one starting. This is especially important if you get migraines.
  • Don't take over-the-counter pain relievers more than 3 times a week, because you may get rebound headaches. These headaches usually occur after pain medicine has worn off. This prompts you to take another dose. After a while, you get a headache whenever you stop taking the medicine.
  • Take drugs that cause the fewest side effects, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (for example, aspirin and ibuprofen).
  • Exercise regularly, eat well, and reduce stress.
  • Work with your doctor to find the best treatment for your headaches.

how.gif  How do you manage a headache?

Up Next in This Action Set:


  1. Linde K, et al. (2009). Acupuncture for tension-type headache. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (1).

  2. Linde K, et al. (2009). Acupuncture for migraine prophylaxis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (1).

  3. Haghighi AB, et al. (2010). Cutaneous application of menthol 10% solution as an abortive treatment of migraine without aura: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossed-over study. International Journal of Clinical Practice, 64(4): 451–456.

  4. Holland S, et al. (2012). Evidence-based guideline update: NSAIDs and other complementary treatments for episodic migraine prevention in adults: Report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society. Neurology, 78(17): 1346–1353.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKarin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology

Current as ofJuly 22, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 22, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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