How many times a week do you reach for a bottle of extra strength Advil? Once? Twice? If you suffer from constant headachesâ€”like many of us doâ€”heavy-duty pain relievers might feel like the only way to get through a long day.
But, at the end of the day, these pain killers are really just putting tons of chemicals in your body to temporarily relieve a pounding headache that comes back the second the pills wear off.
Not to mention, the higher the strength, the more likely you are to suffer from serious side effectsâ€”like dizziness, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, etc.
Have you ever considered that there might be a better way to cure the pain? Shape took a look at several different research-backed lifestyle changes that are cheaper, healthier, and just as effective at relieving headaches.
Here are 4 simple ways to get rid of a pounding headacheâ€”without a pricey trip to the doctor:
- Stop Chewing Gum: A 2013 study published in Pediatric Neurology found that people who chew gum suffered more persistent headaches than non-chewers. In fact, when two-thirds of the gum chewers spit out their gum, they all experienced almost immediately pain relief. According to the researchers, the pain returned once the participants started chewing again.
- Have Sex: We already know that having sex releases powerful endorphins, similar to exercise, so why do people always say no to sex when they have a headache? A 2013 study in Germany took a look at more than 1,000 headache sufferers and found that nearly two-thirds of them felt almost immediately relief after having sex. Doctors say this happens when the endorphins released during orgasm completely override the headache pain.Â Â
- Try Oxygen Therapy: Yes, breathing can actually help ease your throbbing headache. While itâ€™s still unclear why oxygen relieves head pain, a recent meta-analysis found that nearly 80 per cent of people felt some kind of pain relief just from breathing in more oxygen. And you know what the best part about it is? No side effects! All you really have to do is slowly take in deep breaths until the pain starts melting away. You can also get rid of some built-up stress and anxiety by combining a few slow breathing techniques with soothing meditation.
- Try Herbal Remedies: Before you ask your doctor for a pain prescription, make sure youâ€™ve tried out as many herbal remedies as you canâ€”you might be surprised by the results. According to Shape, plenty of research shows that peppermint oil, ginger, magnesium, feverfew, fish oil, olive oil, and eucalyptus have all held their own against prescription pain meds. Even caffeine can help relieve headaches in moderate consumption.
Do you know any other ways to naturally relieve a headache? If so, tell us in the comments!
PhotoÂ Copyright Â© 2010Â Mislav MarohniÄ‡/Flickr