Alternative Treatments For Your Headaches

Health & Medical Blog

If you experience frequent headaches, a visit to your doctor to get evaluated for a medical cause is the first step. If no medical conditions can be found, such as a blood vessel problem or tumor, you may be diagnosed as having a nonspecific headache. This can be due to stress or tension on your back and neck muscles. If this is the case, consider some of these alternative ways of reducing your headache pain without reaching for the over-the-counter pain pills.

Chiropractic Manipulation

Should your problem be tense muscles in and around your neck, nerves traveling up into the head can be irritated and cause pain. A chiropractor can manipulate your cervical spine to reduce the tension. An injury or strain in the cervical spine can also cause pain in the shoulders and down the arms. A spinal manipulation will reduce those pains along with the headache.

Acupuncture Treatment

A visit to a pain management acupuncturist like Kathryn Kornhaus Acupuncture can reduce the headaches caused by muscle tension and stress. By working on the energy centers in the back, shoulders and neck, they relax muscles that can be irritating the nerves causing the headaches. Acupuncture may also be used to help you be more calm in the face of a lot of stress. This reduces your blood pressure, which may contribute to the headaches.

Massage Treatments

A session with a masseuse can relax tense muscles and reduce headaches. Warming up muscles in the neck and upper back and applying a gentle massage removes tension. Massaging the temples and the area at the back of the head over the greater occipital nerve will reduce irritation of that branch of nerves.

Aromatherapy for Headaches

A number of herbal extracts are used to relax tense muscles and nerves that cause headaches. You can use these at home to treat your own headaches, but a visit to an aromatherapy specialist to select the proper substances is recommended first. Some of the common extracts used include:

  • Peppermint - A few drops of this can be placed in boiling water and inhaled. It causes the constriction and dilation of blood vessels which regulate the blood flow. Peppermint will open up blood vessels to increase the flow to reduce headaches caused by restricted blood flow. It also opens up your sinuses to allow you to get more oxygen into your blood.
  • Basil Oil - This extract can also be inhaled to relax muscles. Tension headaches caused by stress on the muscles are treated with basil oil.

By using one or more of these alternative treatments for headaches, you can cut back on your use of pain medication. With potential side effects such as liver and kidney damage, constipation, increased blood pressure, and gastric bleeding, the fewer over-the-counter pain pills you take, the healthier you'll be.


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Cancer Treatment Questions: Understanding The Differences in Options

After watching my mother navigate treatment for breast cancer in my early teens, I knew pretty much what to expect from my dad's diagnosis with prostate cancer. What I didn't know was how different chemotherapy and radiation can affect different people. My mother became very ill while my dad seemed to weather the treatments with few ill effects. I spent a long time researching the differences in treatments, types of chemotherapy, and how each one can react differently with the body. I created this blog to help others understand the same things, because I knew I couldn't be the only one unfamiliar with it. I hope it helps you if someone you love is facing treatment for any type of cancer.