3 Things to do When a Tension Headache Starts Coming On

Posted on September 19, 2018

In addition to addressing the “3 things to do when a tension headache starts coming on,” there are a few sources of headaches that can be changed through daily lifestyle modifications.   While these might not deliver immediate results, headache relief in Charlotte can prevented by following the list below:

3 Steps for Tension Headache Prevention

  1. Similar to a check engine light on your car’s instrument panel, a headache can symbolize a deeper problem. Research suggests that stress contributes to tension headaches and sometimes the pain is your body’s way of telling you to relax and slow down.   
  2. There are certain foods that must be avoided because they are known to cause headaches.  Foods to avoid include caffeine (assuming your not having a caffeine withdrawal), monosodium glutamate, alcohol, aspartame, cured meats and aged cheeses are a few.  
  3. I also recommend drinking plenty of water since a headache is a sign of dehydration.

3 Things to do When a Tension Headache Starts Coming On

1.  Supplement Magnesium—Magnesium deficiencies may prevent brain signaling, which can cause visual responses associated with headaches.  Add in a long day of “eye strain” from working on a computer and you create the perfect environment for a headache.  Magnesium also blocks pain-transmitting chemicals in the brain.  One study showed that 200-600mg of magnesium a day can reduce the frequency of headaches. Foods that contain the highest amounts of magnesium include almonds, avocado, black beans, kidney beans, oatmeal, peanut butter, pumpkin, raisins, spinach and yogurt.  If you do not ingest enough magnesium, it can be supplemented in a capsule form.

2. Essential Oils—Specifically peppermint, eucalyptus and rosemary oil can be diluted with with another carrier oil, like coconut oil, and apply to your temples.   Eucalyptus helps with sinus headaches and can be combined with rosemary and added to a warm bath so that it’s vapors can be breathed in. 

3.  Use Ice and Heat—Try this—Freeze a 20 oz bottle of water and lay on your back with it under your neck (picture) for 20 min. After 20 minutes, swap out the bottle with a warm rolled up towel and lay on it for 20 minutes.  

For recurring headaches, many of my patients have achieved headache relief in Charlotte through chiropractic care.  Several clinical trials show that spinal adjustments can relieve and prevent tension headaches.  In one study, 22% of patients under chiropractic care reported a 90% reduction in headaches.  Another study showed that 49% experienced immediate relief of their headache following a spinal adjustment.  If you would like to set up a complimentary consultation at Active Life Chiropractic in Ballantyne to see if we can identify the root cause of your headaches, click the link at the top of this page to set up an appointment in our office.