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You know the feeling. You're working, and you feel a headache coming on, and before you know it, your head is pounding. All you want to do is go home and crawl in your bed. Ugh, the worst. Headaches are very common, and it is estimated that half of the world's population will have at least one headache within the year.
Headaches can feel different for everyone and be triggered by various things, but they are often related to stress, anxiety, depression, or sinus issues. Luckily, there is a wide variety of things you can do in your day to day life to keep those headaches away that do not involve running to the medicine cabinet.
Here are 6 ways to relieve your headache pain.
Not drinking enough water throughout can day can cause headaches, and studies have shown that chronic dehydration is a common cause of headaches and migraines. Drink at least eight glasses of eight ounces of water throughout the day. If you have a hard time tracking the amount of water you drink, use a water bottle to measure out how much water you are drinking or try incorporating water-rich food such as watermelon, cantaloupe, and strawberries into your diet. Yum!
Is treating yourself to a fancy coffee drink part of your daily routine? While caffeine can help headaches, drinking too much caffeine can make you dehydrated. If you find your head pounding more than usual, say no to that afternoon coffee break. The same goes for that happy hour drink. You may want to cut down on those happy hour wines if you get frequent headaches.
Getting enough sleep is part of staying healthy and is essential for keeping headaches away as a lack of sleep can reduce your body's pain threshold. Studies have shown those who sleep less are prone to more frequent headaches and migrates. Create and maintain a consistent sleep schedule and go to bed and wake up the same time every day—even on the weekends.
Do you have a hard time falling asleep at night? Take time in the evenings to relax and put that phone away. Create a space that relaxes you and read or take a bath or shower right before bedtime.
Create a workspace that works for you
Many of us know that sitting in front of the computer all day is part of life and hard to avoid, but it can cause headaches from poor posture and the flickering light from your screen. Make sure your workspace does not strain your neck and shoulders and trying using an anti-glare screen on your computer. Carve out time in your day to get up and walk around to get a break from the screen.
Using a cold compress for pain relief is a practice that has been used for over 150 years!
Apply a cold or frozen compress to your head or neck to decrease inflammation and constrict blood vessels, which can create some headache relief. Make a cold compress by filling a waterproof bag with ice and wrap it a towel and apply it 15-20 minutes at a time.
Exercising can release chemicals in your body that block pain signals to the brain and can help prevent tension headaches and migraines. Don't worry, you do not need to go full-on gym mode. Start slowly as high impact exercise can intensify headache symptoms. Try walking, swimming, or cycling! Or try some exercises that help with stretching and muscle relaxation like yoga or tai chi.
Seek medical care
If you have tried many home remedies and cannot keep headaches away, you may want to seek medical advice. Don’t worry, your Friday plan has got you covered! Here are your options as a Friday member.
Use a free doctor visit (most plans have $0 in-network primary care visits)
Can't keep those headaches away? Schedule an appointment and visit your doctor for free* . Don't have a primary care doctor yet? Find one near you through the Friday provider search.
* On Silver, Gold and some Bronze Plans. Catastrophic Plans come with three free visits.
Talk to a doctor remotely-- now $0
As always, please email the Friday Care Crew with any questions about your plan: firstname.lastname@example.org.