Can you treat a headache without pain medicine?

Your nagging headache could be the result of a variety of factors.  Common headache triggers include illness, dehydration, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity, eye strain, poor posture, allergies, stress, environmental factors or low blood sugar just to name a few!  Finding ways to naturally relieve a headache is a healthier option than masking with a pain killer. Here are six easy ways to naturally treat head pain at home.

1. Magnesium

Migraine sufferers may have a lack of magnesium in their diet. Magnesium deficiency is thought to be widespread in our modern society due to over farming and soil depletion.  While magnesium supplements are available, they can cause intestinal upset.  Instead, Epson salt baths or a magnesium oil spray is a better way to increase levels of this beneficial mineral. Adding magnesium to your diet on a daily basis is best rather than waiting for a headache to flare up.

2.  Essential oils

The cooling and calming effects of both lavender and peppermint oils can immediately reduce head pain.  Research shows that peppermint oil increases blood flow to the forehead while soothing muscles.  Lavender is a known mood stabilizer and sedative.

3. Chiropractic

Chiropractic treatments naturally relieve stress in the body, one of the most common headache triggers.  Several studies have shown promising results from chiropractic adjustments, including one where 49 percent of participants reported reduced headaches after chiropractic treatment.

4. Water

Coffee, sugary drinks and alcohol have dehydrating effects on the body.  Not only does dehydration cause headaches, but lack of water causes impaired concentration and irritability.  Stay hydrated with at least nine daily glasses of water, and by eating high water content fruits and vegetables.

5. Stretching movements

Sitting in front of a computer screen or behind a desk for hours at a time leads to stress in the body, neck tension and creates headache symptoms.  Poor posture from peering down at a smartphone, adds 20 to 30 pounds of pressure on your neck. Take necessary stretch breaks, hold your phone at eye level, and take time to move your head and neck so it doesn’t over tighten.  Yoga is also a great tension reliever, clearing your mind while loosening tight muscles.

6. Reflexology

An Ancient Traditional Chinese Medicine healing art, reflexology is the practice of stimulating certain points on your body that correspond to other points on the body.  Headache relieving reflexology points include massaging the area between your big toe and second toe.  Make sure you massage the opposite side of the body where the headache is located.  Another common point is between the outer edge of the top of the foot where the bones of the pinky toe and the second to last toe intersect.  Pressing and holding this point for thirty to sixty seconds relieves headaches that run through the side of the head to the forehead.  Lastly, stimulating the top of the big toe under the toenail to the base, relieves sinus headaches.  (Don’t do this one while you’re pregnant.)

At Upstate Specific Chiropractic, we’ve helped countless patients get relief from chronic headaches.  Contact us today for a free consultation and see how we can help!


Dr. Megan Afshar specializes in pregnancy and pediatric chiropractic care in the Greenville, South Carolina area.