life: super powers not included

10 Ways to Get Rid of a Headache

Migraine Barbiephoto by migraine chick
Funny, that’s how I feel.

I was just wondering what to write about today when the idea struck. It hit me right in the face—between the eyeballs, if you really want to know. No one told me this is what it felt like to be visited by the muse.

So, what better topic than headaches. (No, we won’t discuss the perpetual headaches in your life. We’ll get to kids and husbands at a later date.) Instead, I thought I’d provide you with a list of ways to get rid of a headache. I’m practically an expert after all. Lucky me.

1. Meds. Kind of self-explanatory, huh? Here are my thoughts on headache meds: They’re great if you get a headache once a year or even once a month, but when your skull is on the verge of exploding weekly these probably won’t do much. Take it from me. Excedrin loses its potency if you pop it all the time. Ahem, not that I used to do that or anything. On the flip side, now that I’m not taking any anti-inflammatories (because I’m getting PRP), one dose kills my headache on contact.

2. Sleep. Sure, you say, it’s not easy to get to sleep while little gnomes try to drill through your skull from the inside out. But if the room is dark enough and quiet enough you might be able to lull those brain gnomes to bed at the same time as you. Things go faster if you put a cold wash cloth over your eyes.

3. Shower. A long, hot shower sometimes makes my ache disappear … or at least die down a bit. If I follow this with a nap, I can usually cut the pain in half. Usually.

Open brain
photo by migraine chick

4. Punch a wall. I know what you’re going to say: I can’t do that in my apartment! You’re right. This step is strictly for homeowners who won’t lose a security deposit by denting the wall or leaving it bloodied. But if you own your place, punch away. The throbbing in your hand will make you forget the throbbing in your head.

5. Close the computer. Don’t ask for the scientific explanation (my headache is far too painful for that much researching and thinking), but computers create headaches. I know it’s not fair, but that’s how life is. My best guess is that the light emanating from the computer screen is a source of energy for the brain gnomes. More light = more drilling away at the inside of your brain. Consider yourself warned.

6. Chug Coke. Lots of Coke. The caffeine sometimes shocks my headache away. Sure, I could drink a cup of coffee, but for some reason I don’t like hot drinks when I’m having a headache. (Don’t question my madness.) Add a once-in-a-while Excedrin to the mix and my head starts thanking me.

7. Stick some needles in your head. Some studies show that acupuncture can help relieve chronic headaches. Hmm, I should try that some time.

8. Avoid chocolate. I almost can’t believe I’m writing this since it goes against all I believe in (which is to say, lots and lots of chocolate) but it can make headaches worse. Remember No. 5? Life is not fair.

9. Enlist help. Use this opportunity to turn your spouse/friends/parents into personal slaves. In case they don’t realize how much pain you’re in, put the back of your hand to your forehead a lot, cringe often, and sigh deeply.

Brainectomyphoto by rob sheridan
Yep, that’ll do it.

10. Conduct a brainectomy. This is a serious surgery, and I urge you to try all of the other tips before resorting to this. But if you’ve tried them all and your head is still pounding with pain, consider a DIY brainectomy. Sure, you won’t have brain function which means you can’t read, eat, run or, um, breathe—but hey, the headache will be gone for good.

What are your headache-banishing tips?

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26 comments

1 Estela @ Weekly Bite { 04.27.10 at 7:18 am }

The Barbie picture made me laugh :)

I don’t get a ton of headaches (now that I wrote that I’m sure I’ll get one in 41 seconds)…

When I do… they’re bad! Caffiene helps!!!

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Tracey Reply:

Estela–I find that caffeine helps everything. But, yes, headaches too.

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2 theemptynutjar { 04.27.10 at 7:45 am }

Interesting thoughts. Headaches area toughie.
No way I can give up chocolate though…in fact I was up at midnight eating more….chocolate…after a full day and night of eating…when I can’t sleep I go to the chocolate. I have decided not to resist it (even though I am not hungry), just to keep it up and go with the trend :)
Stress and worry keep me up a lot. Stuff about living, moving, jobs, chronic bowel issues (sorry!), being misjudged, lack of freedom, lack of privacy, whining cats, etc etc :)
I wish there were magic cures for things like headaches and sleep!

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Tracey Reply:

Empty Nut jar–A magic cure would be nice. Please let me know when you discover it. I’d like to test it out on my knees. :)

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3 Vee { 04.27.10 at 8:18 am }

I don’t get headaches very often but when I do, drinking lots and lots of water and lying somewhere in the dark helps me a great deal. I can not handle ‘light’ at that stage and water usually eases off the tension. Thanks for all of those tips!

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Tracey Reply:

Vee–Not sure how I forgot to add “chug buckets of water.” You’re right: That helps a lot. I plead temporary brain malfunctioning. See–another side effect of headaches!

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4 Sagan { 04.27.10 at 8:51 am }

If I get a headache, I generally moan and lie in my bed and say “woe is me”, or else I complain a lot to people. It doesn’t necessarily make the HEADACHE go away, but sometimes it makes the people go away, and that can help.

Tehehe. Kidding. Hope you aren’t dealing with too many headaches, my dear :)

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Tracey Reply:

Sagan–I think you just wrote No. 11. That was great.

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5 Tweets that mention 10 Ways to Get Rid of a Headache — i'm (not) superhuman -- Topsy.com { 04.27.10 at 9:46 am }

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tracey Neithercott. Tracey Neithercott said: New post! 10 ways to beat a headache. And, yes, one includes beating a wall. So what? http://bit.ly/aCij9a [...]

6 Katie @ Health for the Whole Self { 04.27.10 at 9:59 am }

I’m very fortunate that I rarely get headaches, and when I do a single Advil always does the trick. My husband, however, suffers from more serious headaches all the time. We’ve discovered that they usually come on when he hasn’t been drinking enough, so chugging water – as mentioned above – definitely helps!

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7 Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly { 04.27.10 at 10:06 am }

Ice works wonders on my head!

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8 Diane Fit to the Finish { 04.27.10 at 2:47 pm }

I only get them if I am under a lot of stress. Then sitting in a quiet room and 1 Tylenol usually takes care of it.

I laughed at the Barbie pic!!

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9 Wren { 04.27.10 at 3:34 pm }

I read a great, easy meditation technique by Deepak Chopra several years ago — it’s great for dealing with stress and I find it also helps a lot to distract myself from rheumatoid arthritis pain. I bet it will work for a headache, too. It can be done anywhere (though preferably not while driving or operating dangerous equipment) and only takes as much time as you can give it. Which means it’s terrific for work:

Close your eyes. Breathe normally. As you breathe in, think the word “so.” As you breathe out, think “hah.”

That’s all there is to it. You’ll find that by thinking only those two little words as you breathe, your breathing will become slower and deeper naturally and without any effort. Stress floats away. Muscles relax. And it’s terrific for distracting your self from whatever pain you’re feeling. Sometimes, the pain actually goes away with the relaxation (although having more than a minute or two in which to do the meditation exercise is necessary for that).

I hope this helps your headache, Tracey. Loved all your other tips, too. Smart and funny! You’re just great!

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Tracey Reply:

Wren–I’m totally trying this. It sure beats No. 4 and it definitely beats No. 10. And when the pounding really gets bad, I’ll pretty much try anything.

Thanks for your kind comment. You’re so sweet!

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10 katie { 04.27.10 at 3:53 pm }

you are SOO right about sleep!!!! sleep helps SO much! sometimes a little caffiene helps me, isnt that weird? yeah! not TOO much tho

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11 Johanna B { 04.27.10 at 4:12 pm }

An allergist in Fort Worth, TX, who shall remain nameless, gave me this idea. Put a thick layer of Vicks across your forehead, cover it with a cold wet cloth, lay down and close your eyes. After awhile you get sleepy and when you wake-up the headache is gone. I don’t know why it works but for me it does.

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Tracey Reply:

Johanna–Aside from the fact that I fear it would make me breakout, I can see how that would help. Vicks already creates a cooling effect. I’ll brave the breakout and try it next time. Thanks for the great tip!

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12 Ameena { 04.27.10 at 4:44 pm }

I think #8 is really interesting because when I have a splitting headache I immediately head towards some chocolate. Not sure if it’s the caffeine or the sugar high but almost immediately my head feels better!

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13 Tami { 04.27.10 at 4:56 pm }

I actually have a headache today! I find that smelling peppermint oil and putting a little drop of it on the back of the neck and at the temples does help.

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Tracey Reply:

Tami–I’ve heard that works, though for me the smell of any type of mint (but especially spearmint) makes my headache works. Same goes for eating mint. I guess it depends on how cruel your brain is.

Mine = ultimate cruel. Ameena’s apparently = very kind.

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14 Jocelyn @ Peace.Love.Nutrition { 04.27.10 at 9:13 pm }

MY jaw always clicks so I get constant headaches from that. I’ll have to try these out!

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Tracey Reply:

Jocelyn–I grind my teeth and I can always tell in the morning when I’ve been clenching and grinding really bad: My head and jaw hurts. A mouthguard helps a lot. It’s also super sexy.

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15 Joanna Sutter (Fitness & Spice) { 04.28.10 at 7:02 am }

My headaches are wimpy. They are cured with Advil gel caps in a matter of 10 minutes. But I must say your tips are much more entertaining!

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16 Lara (Thinspired) { 04.28.10 at 2:52 pm }

I suffer from headaches and migraines too, and I always find that the computer makes them worse! These are good tips. I’ll have to try coke next time instead of coffee. Sometimes I’m not sure if coffee makes them better or worse!

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17 Sava { 10.13.10 at 2:57 pm }

I enjoyed number 7.

“Stick needles in your head”
Okay! I’ll go try that right now!

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Tracey Reply:

It’s a smarter move than No. 10.

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