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Easy At-Home Remedies for Tension Headache Relief

Woman relieving tension headache with heating pad

Medically Reviewed By:

Mary K. Polinard, BSN, RN, CNOR

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.

Vanquish® is indicated for tension headaches. If you have a cluster headache, sinus headache, migraine headache or any other type of headache you may want to consult a doctor.

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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.

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