Health

11 Types of Headaches and How to Treat Them Naturally

Evidence Based Article 📄
This article has been based on relevant and up-to-date scientific studies. Our writers are unbiased and objective and present the facts as they are known. Numbers in brackets within the article refer to sources included in the reference list at the end of the article.

With over 150 types of headaches and with some types having several subtypes, even a doctor may have trouble figuring out each of them.

While the majority of headaches occur occasionally, the following eleven are the most frequent ones.  Knowing about them will help you know the root of the pain and prevent it from striking you again. Without further ado, here are 11 types of headaches and a few all-natural ways to tame them.

1.Tension headache

If you’re experiencing a pressure – often intense – on both sides of the head or the back of the neck and head, you’re more likely to have a tension headache. There’s no proven cause for this type of a headache, but experts believe that the issues with nerve signals or altered brain chemicals are to blame. A tension headache is also often the result of bad posture, stress, anxiety, and clenching the jaw. If left untreated, tension headaches can become chronic and more severe.

Pay attention to your posture if you suffer from tension headaches regularly. If stress or anxiety is to blame, then try one of the natural remedies given below.

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2.Rebound or medication overuse headache

Most people have no idea that taking too much headache medication or other pain killers can lead to rebound headaches. Whether you take ibuprofen, aspirin, Tylenol, or other pain killers, make sure you follow the instructions or your doctor’s prescription. Taking any pain killer for more than a week increases your risk of getting rebound headaches.

The problem with medication overuse headaches is that it’s hard to get rid of them without a doctor’s help. If no pain killer helps you relieve a headache or you experience a horrible headache after taking the one, you must see a doctor asap.

3.Cluster or suicide headache

This type of a headache seems to be less harmful, but in reality, you should never ignore it. Cluster or often called suicide headaches typically affect only one side and they tend to be short-lived. Even though this headache lasts 3 to 5 minutes – in some cases around 2 to 3 hours, it’s considered as one of the most excruciating and severe types of headaches.

The statistics show that men are more prone to cluster headaches than women, but the proven reason is still unknown. These headaches can happen a few times during the day, or week, or even month. You can relieve the pain with natural remedies, but if you don’t change your lifestyle, you have a high risk of developing suicide headaches again. Cluster headaches are often followed by redness and tearing in one or both eyes. The high altitudes, poor nutrition, alcohol, and cigarettes are the major triggers.

4.Dental headache

When you suffer from headaches, which are accompanied by facial pain, chances are you’re suffering from a dental headache type. Bruxism that involves grinding the teeth during sleep and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are the major causes of it. TMJ disorders can be due to bad jaw alignment, poor posture, and arthritis. You can temporarily relieve the pain with the help of natural remedies given below, but be sure you see a dentist to determine and eliminate the root cause of your headaches.

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5.Morning headache

You know the pain, you wake up in the morning and you can’t get up because of a severe headache – even if you get those 8 hours of sleep. There are plenty of reasons for morning headaches, including stress, anxiety, depression, chronic sleep deprivation, blood pressure issues, dehydration, dental issues, and alcohol. Instead of taking a pain killer, try to tame your morning headache in a natural way.

6.Caffeine headache

As ridiculous as it sounds, some people suffer from caffeine headaches, though they think they have some other types. While coffee is good for your husband, it may be a poison for you.  Caffeine headache is also triggered by a coffee addiction. For instance, when you drink a cup of joe each morning but skip it on Saturday, you can suffer from a severe headache and brain fog during the entire day.

In order to find out if coffee is the major culprit, have a cup and see if you have a headache a few hours later. Reduce your coffee intake gradually and opt for herbal teas or fruit water instead. Your body will thank you!

7.Migraine

Migraine headaches are among the most intensive ones. There are several types of migraines and each has its distinct symptoms. The most frequent type is a migraine without aura that involves the symptoms such as moderate to severe pulsating headaches along with confusion, nausea, blurred vision, fatigue, mood changes, and increased sensitivity to sound, light, and smells. You can relieve the symptoms with the help of natural remedies.

Migraine with aura is another frequent type of migraine headaches. This is a complicated type, so a hospitalization is a must in most cases. Other types of a migraine include a retinal migraine, hemiplegic migraine, migraine with brainstem aura, and migraine without a headache.

Read More: Migraine: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments

8.Menstrual headache

This type of a headache doesn’t possess any serious health risks and can be eased by using the tricks given below. Menstrual headache occurs 2 to 3 days before and/or after menstruation when the estrogen level usually drops.

9.Chronic headache

If you’ve been suffering from mild to severe headaches for more than 14 days, it’s a warning sign you’re developing a chronic condition. Chronic headaches tend to occur each day – sometimes several times a day – and indicate that you might have meningitis, trauma to the head, or tumor.

10.Brain freeze or ice cream headache

Although ice cream headaches are more likely to strike people who are prone to a migraine or any other type of pain, anyone can suffer from it. When you eat a very cold food, a cold sensation on the mouth’s roof causes the brain to experience an increased blood flow, leading to a mild headache. When it happens to you, just wait a few minutes and have a cup of warm herbal tea or a bowl of warm soup.

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11.Sinus headache

One of the most over-diagnosed types of headaches, a sinus headache is often confused with migraines since these both conditions have similar symptoms, such as pulsating headaches, sinus pressure, watery eyes, and nasal congestion.

But unlike migraines, sinus headaches exclude light sensitivity and nausea. Since a sinus headache is caused by an infection, medical treatment may be required. You can relieve the symptoms with the help of herbal teas, natural antibiotics (garlic, onions, etc.), and essential oils.

11 Ways to Tame Headaches Naturally

Popping a painkiller when a headache strikes is the easiest thing to do, but let’s not forget about the side effects medications have to offer. Instead, try out some of these natural remedies.

1.Breathing exercises

Yoga is one of the most effective ways to both treat and prevent headaches. Asanas, meditation, and breathing exercises help to enhance relaxation, stretch out your muscles, drop the tension, and thus aids in reducing the pain.

If you don’t feel like practicing asanas, incorporate a breathing exercise into your daily life. Take a few deep, full breaths that begin in the diaphragm and gradually fill up the lungs. It’ll get lots of fresh oxygen circulating through the blood and aid in relaxing the body and mind.

2.Apple cider vinegar

Eating an organic apple with a pinch of salt can significantly relieve the pain, but if you don’t have any, you can use apple cider vinegar. Mix 2 teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar with a splash of lemon juice and raw honey in a glass of water, and drink twice a day.

Or, add a half cup of water and half cup of apple cider vinegar to a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, let it stand for 5 minutes, hold a towel over the head (be careful here!) and slowly inhale the steam.

3.Basil

Known for its potent analgesic benefits properties, basil can fight many types of headaches as well. Place 2 to 3 fresh basil leaves in a mug of hot water and let it simmer for several minutes. Add half a teaspoon of raw honey to it and sip slowly. Chewing 2 fresh basil leaves can relieve the pain too. However, make sure you’re not allergic to basil first.

4.Cloves

Cloves boast powerful pain-relieving and cooling properties and are particularly great at easing a throbbing headache. Gently crush 3 to 5 cloves and place them in a clean handkerchief or a sachet. Inhale its smell when a headache strikes. If you often suffer from headaches, keep the sachet handy to quickly relieve the pain.

5.Soak your feet

This sounds ridiculous, but if you have a mild headache, simply soak your feet in warm water for at least 10 minutes to reduce the pain. If your pain is severe, add a little hot mustard powder to your foot bath, and soak your feet for 5 to 10 minutes, but not more.

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6.Essential oils

Dab a drop or two of rosemary or thyme essential oil on your forehead and on each temple to get rid of the pain. Lavender oil also has some awesome healing properties. Smell the soothing scent, put 3 to 5 drops of the essential oil on a tissue and slowly inhale it. You can also add 2 drops of it to 2 cups of hot water and carefully inhale the steam. For a mild headache, a warm foot bath with a few drops of lavender oil will do the trick.

7.Cinnamon

Take a teaspoon of cinnamon powder or grind a cinnamon stick, place it into a small bowl, and add some water. Apply a thick paste to your temples and forehead and let it sit for 25-30 minutes. Make sure you don’t worry about or overthink anything at this moment. Rinse the mixture off with lukewarm water.

8.Peppermint

There are several ways to use peppermint to get rid of a headache. Crush a few peppermint leaves and place them on your forehead. You can also combine 2 drops of peppermint essential oil and a little water or a tablespoon of organic almond oil, and massage the back of your neck or your temples with it.

Add a teaspoon of dried or fresh peppermint leaves to a cup of hot water and let it draw for 5 to 10 minutes. Then strain and drink twice a day. You can add a teaspoon of raw honey, if you can’t drink unsweetened tea.

9.Ginger

Ginger helps to fight the blood vessel inflammation in the head, relieving the pain. Moreover, it helps to stimulate the digestive system and thus can eliminate nausea – one of the most common symptoms of migraines.

Ginger isn’t for everyone though. If you’re not allergic to it, steep some ginger root for a soothing tea. Or, combine 2 teaspoons of ginger powder with a tablespoon of water and carefully apply the mixture to your forehead. Leave it for a couple minutes and rinse it off.

10.Drink up

Headache is often a sign of the body dehydration so sometimes a glass of water is the best remedy to kill a headache. Whether you drink plain water or lemon water, stay hydrated throughout the day and see your headache disappear for good.

11.Cherries

Rich in quercetin, an active compound and antioxidant renowned for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, cherries are your little best friends when it comes to headaches. Both fresh cherries and cherry juice have been shown to relieve mild headaches and ward off the mood changes. Cherries don’t work for people with chronic and intense headaches.

No matter which type of a headache strikes you, it’s vital that you consult your doctor. The natural remedies are effective at easing the pain, but if you have a serious health condition, such as a tumor or high blood pressure, they won’t cure the symptoms. Most importantly, remember that keeping your stress levels as low as possible is the best way to prevent headaches.

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