Easy At-Home Remedies for Tension Headache Relief

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While many ailments require the expertise and guidance of an experienced health professional, other symptoms can often be treated easily at home with natural remedies, over-the-counter medications, and self-care methods.

Tension headaches, for example, have many causes and are not often associated with serious medical problems. Therefore, the answer to how to get rid of a tension headache may be hassle-free and cost-effective as using items you already have in your home.3

Here are some tips for how to relieve a tension headache at home and tension headache home remedies to try next time one of these headaches strikes unexpectedly.

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Cold Compress Tension Headache Home Remedy

One tried-and-true tension headache home remedy involves applying a cold compress to the head and neck. Cold compresses can reduce inflammation and constrict blood vessels, which are major causes of tension headache pain. They can also numb headache pain and stop it from feeling as severe. Focus on applying the cold compress to the forehead and temples for the greatest tension headache relief.4

Essential Oils for Tension Headache Relief

Headache sufferers may also want to try using essential oils as a tension headache remedy that is soothing and all-natural. Some of the best essential oils for headaches are lavender, eucalyptus, and peppermint.1,2

Place a few drops of the essential oil in a diffuser to release it into the air or add drops into a hot bath. Another method involves mixing the essential oil with coconut oil (which serves as a carrier oil) and then massaging the oil mixture directly into the temples.1,2

Tension Headache Massage

With or without oil, tension headache massage is a great way to alleviate headache pain at home, work, or on the go.4 The suboccipital muscle group is a trigger point region and common focal point for tension headaches.

Apply gentle pressure with the fingertips to the temples and also to both sides of the bridge of the nose to relieve excess pressure in these regions. It may also help to gently massage the jawbones and cheekbones as part of a simple DIY tension headache massage.

How to Get Rid of a Tension Headache with Heat

After reducing inflammation with a cold compress, heat can be used as a tension headache home remedy too.2 Heat can soothe and relieve tight muscles and help them relax back to their natural state.

To try this tension headache remedy at home, take a warm bath or shower, apply a heating pad to the back of the neck, or place a warm washcloth on the forehead.

Over-the-Counter Medications for Tension Headache Relief

If these home remedies for tension headaches are not effective, it may be time to turn to a powerful over-the-counter headache medication, like Vanquish. Since 1964, Vanquish has been a trusted product for relieving tough headaches with a unique, headache-fighting formula of aspirin, acetaminophen, and a low dose of caffeine.4

Keep a bottle of Vanquish in the medicine cabinet to be ready for future tension headaches if or when they occur.

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References for Easy At-Home Remedies for Tension Headache Relief

1. Burgess, Lana. Medical News Today. Five Effective Essential Oils for Headaches. 1. Mayo Clinic. Tension Headache; Diagnosis and Treatment. Retrieved on August 19, 2019 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tension-headache/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353982.
2. Gotter, Ana. Healthline. 5 Essential Oils for Headaches. Retrieved on Auguest 19, 2019 from https://www.healthline.com/health/essential-oils-for-headaches#-rosemary-oil.
3. 1. Harvard Health Publishing. Tension Headache: What Is It? Retrieved on August 19, 2019 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/tension-headache-a-to-z .
4. Mayo Clinic. Tension Headache; Diagnosis and Treatment. Retrieved on August 19, 2019 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tension-headache/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353982.

An Overview of the Most Common Tension Headache Causes

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There are many different types of headaches, but some of the most frequent and misunderstood ones are tension headaches. In fact, around 90 percent of all headaches can be classified as tension headaches.4

Yet the answer to what causes tension headaches is not always simple. These headaches can be the result of many different factors, including jaw clenching, caffeine withdrawal, long-term stress, smoking, poor posture, and eye strain. Therefore, it is important to determine what is causing a tension headache in order to alleviate the pain and symptoms.

Here is an overview of the possible root causes of tension headaches, as well as how headache sufferers can relieve this pain with powerful over-the-counter remedies.

Jaw Clenching Headaches

Tension headaches can be the result of a jaw issue, especially if a person subconsciously clenches the jaw often or if there is an underlying infection in the ears, nose, or throat. Many people mistakenly believe they have migraines when they actually have severe tension headaches caused by jaw clenching instead.3

To diagnose this issue, a doctor may use a “spray and stretch” technique that involves applying vapocoolant spray on the facial muscles to determine whether the headache responds to this stress headache strategy.7 Temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ) and grinding of the teeth can also cause jaw clenching headaches.3,7

Caffeine Withdrawal Headaches

Caffeine can help people feel more energized throughout the day, but it can also lead to a caffeine headache when cutting back on this stimulant. Caffeine affects the brain in terms of blood vessel size, adenosine levels, electrical movements in the brain, sleep patterns, and motor skills.1

Tension-related caffeine withdrawal headaches can be minor or severe based on how dependent a person has become upon caffeine.1,6 However, in moderation and in very low doses, such as the dose of caffeine in Vanquish, this stimulant can actually relieve tension headache pain very effectively.6

Stress Tension Headaches

Small daily stresses and prolonged stresses are major tension headache causes. These types of headaches often result in neck pain, pain that fluctuates in severity, and pain that begins above the eyebrows before radiating throughout the entire head. Some effective strategies for taming stress tension headaches include relaxation techniques that involve deep breathing, eating healthy meals regularly, and biofeedback with electrodes to train the body’s muscles to relax before they tighten so much to cause stress tension headaches.5

Eye Strain Headaches

Staring at a computer screen, smartphone, or even print text without easily being able to see it can result in an eye strain headache, which is one of the many tension headache causes.2 To prevent tension-based eyestrain headaches, limit the use of electronic devices throughout the day by taking frequent breaks, moving the eyes in all directions to exercise them, and blinking often to promote the natural production of tears. Adjusting interior lighting, screen brightness, and posture can also reduce a person’s risk of eye strain headache.
Vanquish is a highly recommended over-the-counter solution for these various tension headache causes. It’s the perfect combination of pain relief and a low dose of caffeine 4,5 to make tough tension headaches go away quickly and gently.

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References for An Overview of the Most Common Tension Headache Causes

1. American Migraine Foundation. Caffeine and Migraine. Retrieved on August 19, 2019 from https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/caffeine-and-migraine/.
2. American Migraine Foundation. Do I Need To Have My Eyes Checked If My Head Hurts? Retrieved on August 19, 2019 from https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/resource-library/do-i-need-to-have-my-eyes-checked-if-my-head-hurts/.
3. Cleveland Clinic. Your Jaw May Be to Blame for Your Migraine Headaches. Retrieved on August 19, 2019 from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/your-jaw-may-be-to-blame-for-your-migraine-headaches/ .
4. Illinois Department of Public Health. Facts About Headaches. Retrieved on August 19, 2019 from http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/womenshealth/factsheets/headaches.htm .
5. Mayo Clinic. Tension Headache; Diagnosis and Treatment. Retrieved on August 19, 2019 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tension-headache/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353982.
7. National Headache Foundation. Does Caffeine Trigger or Treat Headaches? Retrieved on August 19, 2019 fromhttps://headaches.org/2019/02/24/does-caffeine-trigger-or-treat-headaches/ .
7. University of Utah Health. How To Tell If Your Headaches Are A Jaw Issue. Retrieved on January 19, 2019 from https://healthcare.utah.edu/the-scope/shows.php?shows=0_bt01oaam .

Understanding the Relationship Between Caffeine and Tension Headaches

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Coffee is one of the most valuable commodities in the world and an essential part of the morning routine for people all over the globe. However, coffee and other caffeinated beverages can have significant effects on a person’s health.

One example of this is a caffeine headache, which commonly occurs when a person accustomed to drinking large amounts of caffeine is suddenly deprived of it and experiences withdrawal symptoms.

This article will answer the common questions of “Can caffeine cause headaches?” and “Does caffeine help headaches?” As a preview, the answer to both questions is yes, which is why it’s important to understand the complex relationship between caffeine and headaches.

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Can Caffeine Cause Headaches?

It is very rare for caffeine to directly cause a headache. Rather, the connection between caffeine and headaches is mostly due to a person’s dependence upon caffeine and then ceasing to consume it abruptly. This is due to the fact that caffeine causes the blood vessels in the brain to constrict. For a person who is used to consuming caffeine regularly, the body adapts to fight this effect. But when caffeine consumption ceases, the brain’s blood vessels dilate more than usual and result in a headache.

Researchers have found that people who consume lots of caffeine every day suffer from occasional headaches more frequently than people who rarely consume caffeine. But ironically, low consumption of caffeine is actually associated with more chronic headaches.

Symptoms of a Caffeine Withdrawal Headache

A caffeine withdrawal headache is just one of the many symptoms that can result when a person abruptly stops consuming regular doses of caffeine. This type of caffeine tension headache is most often described as a throbbing sensation. Aside from caffeine headaches, withdrawal from this stimulant can cause fatigue, concentration difficulties, anxiety, irritability, and depression in some people.

Does Caffeine Help Headaches?

Conversely, caffeine can is actually used in the management of patients with recurrent headaches because it serves as an adjuvant with analgesic medications. When a low dose of caffeine, such as the dosage contained in Vanquish, is combined with analgesic medications, patients feel relief from their headaches faster and more efficiently. Medical professionals have found that taking caffeine in the midst of a headache can help return enlarged arteries to a pain-free state.

The Benefits of Caffeine Headache Remedies

As with many things in life, moderation is the key to healthy caffeine consumption. People who consume a low-to-moderate amount of caffeine per day rarely have caffeine withdrawal symptoms or experience caffeine headaches. Yet the National Headache Foundation advises people who frequently have headaches to avoid daily use of caffeine.

When a caffeine tension headache strikes, Vanish is available to provide fast and long-lasting relief without a prescription. Our unique formula of two powerful pain relievers plus a low dose of caffeine is an ideal combination for tough tension headaches that don’t go away on their own. Caffeine helps boost the function of these pain relievers at levels that are half of what is found in Excedrin. It’s the right combination, at the right levels, for effective pain relief.

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Tension Headache Prevention: From Short-Term Relief to Long-Term Lifestyle Changes

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The tension headache is the most common type of headache and one that is marked by tightness, pain, and discomfort in the head, face, scalp, and neck. Anyone can develop a tension headache, but some go away easier than others with at-home care and medication.

Fortunately, there are some effective strategies for tension headache prevention that go beyond the best short-term solutions and focus more on healthy lifestyle habits. Many of the things people habitually and instinctively do affect muscle tension and can result in chronic tension headaches that range from mildly annoying to downright debilitating.

This article will discuss how to prevent tension headaches through both short-term relief strategies and long-term lifestyle changes for better overall health.

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Short-Term Relief for Sporadic Tension Headaches

For tension headaches that only occur sporadically and are not part of a chronic pattern with underlying health conditions, many people only require an effective over-the-counter solution. Vanquish is a powerful tension headache medication with a unique formula to fight tough headaches quickly and gently. Adults and children age 12 and older may take two caplets every six hours for muscle tension headaches, not to exceed eight caplets in 24 hours unless directed by a doctor.

Stretching and Exercises for Chronic Tension Headaches

One great long-term strategy for chronic tension headaches is to incorporate more stretching and exercise into daily routines.

Some good stretches include grasping the hands behind the back, bringing the chin to the chest to stretch the back of the neck, and very gently pulling the head to one side and then to the other side to stretch the long muscles of the neck. Simple neck rotations in a circular motion and shoulder rolls back and forth are also recommended for chronic tension headache suffers.

For exercise, swimming and yoga are wonderful for stretching out tense muscles all over the body and a proactive solution for how to prevent tension headaches.

How to Help Tension Headaches While You Sleep

It is also possible to help prevent tension headaches while you sleep by changing sleeping positions or investing in a more supportive pillow. Shop for an ergonomic cervical support pillow that has structure to it and that isn’t too flimsy or overused. Also, try sleeping on one side with a pillow that is higher in the neck area than the head area to support the spine and reduce headaches.

Ensuring Good Eye Health for Muscle Tension Headaches

Since eye strain is a common cause of recurrent muscle tension headaches, make sure to schedule an eye checkup once per year test for vision changes. The answer to how to help tension headaches may be as simple as getting a pair of glasses or changing an existing prescription.

Managing Stress for Constant Tension Headaches

A major lifestyle change that can prevent constant tension headaches is managing stress. Daily stresses tend to pile up and collectively establish long-term stresses that really weigh a person down.

Everyone manages stress differently, so it’s important to find a strategy that personally and consistently. To prevent tension headaches, it may help to meditate, go for a long walk, listen to a favorite podcast, or play fetch with the dog in the backyard. Just avoid using alcohol as a coping mechanism for stress because regular alcohol use is another common cause for chronic tension headaches.

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