St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church - Naperville, IL

Four tips for taming a tension headache

Not all headache remedies come in a pill. Some simple lifestyle strategies might help you manage – or head off- the minor tension headaches we all get from time to time.

You know the type: They tend to hit in the middle of the day. You might feel pain in your forehead, neck or sides of the head-or as a “band” around your head. And while they’re often mild, they’re certainly annoying.

You may find some of these strategies helpful with headache relief:

1. Use heat or cold. Apply a heating pad or a hot water bottle to the neck or back of the head to help relieve muscle tension. For some people, cold may work better. Use a cold pack – or wrap some ice in a towel.

2. Hit the pillow on time. Getting enough rest can help stop headaches before they start.

3. Drink plenty of water. A headache can be a sign that you’re a bit dehydrated.

4. Soothe your stress. When you can’t avoid stress, try a relaxation strategy. That can be as simple as closing your eyes and breathing deeply for a few minutes.

(Sources: American Academy of Family Physicians; American Migraine Foundation; National Headache Foundation)