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By: Ashley Elvington
                Headaches – we all fall victim to these no matter what age we are. In the era of technology, it’s easier to obtain a headache with prolonged staring at computer screens, smart phones, tablets, etc. If your regular pain medicine isn’t working (note: there’s no guarantee this will rid you of the headache; it will more than likely just mask the pain), or if you’re searching for an alternative to avoid visiting the doctor, here are some helpful tips that could possibly nix that nabbing pain in your temple.
1.       Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water; studies suggest many headaches occur due to dehydration. Foods that hold larger amounts of water may also help with this. Rehydration is key!
2.       Give yourself a massage; focus on the greater occipital nerve, located at the base of your skull. Another focal point is the area of your hand that lies between your index finger and thumb, a pressure point that can be easily relieved after a few minutes of massaging on each hand.
3.        Stretching; especially of the neck. Muscle tension is another common cause of headaches.
4.       Massaging certain oils onto your forehead, temples, and jaw line; peppermint has a cooling effect, while lavender keeps you relaxed.
5.       Deep breathing and/or meditating. Reaching a state of calm will help ease headaches caused by stress/panic.
6.       Drink a caffeinated beverage. Caffeine withdrawal headaches can be the worst! Caffeine keeps blood vessels at a “normal” size, as they often expand during the occurrence of a headache.
7.       Apply ice to your forehead and/or temples; cool temperatures relieve pain caused by headaches. If a cold compress is not for you, try a heated compress. Both can be used to help alleviate pain, it all depends upon the person.
8.       Spice it up. Add spice, particularly cayenne, to your meal/drink. Cayenne contains capsaicin, which has been medically proven to combat the part of our bodily system that perceives pain.  
9.       Nuts, such as almonds, contain salicin, which is also found in headache medicines.
10.   Apple cider vinegar (diluted with water) – a remedy for many ailments, including headaches. If drinking is not your preference, try steaming it and placing your head (covered by a towel) over the bowl of steamed water and vinegar for up to 10 minutes.
11.   Move it! Get up and away from the computer screen by staying active and allowing blood to flow.
12.   Stand/sit up straight. That’s right, poor posture can cause muscle tension, which in return causes headaches.
13.   Utilize tools effective against light sensitivity. During severe headaches (migraines), light can be quite the pest. Blackout curtains, sunglasses, eye masks, etc., are all great at easing the pain made worse by light disturbance.
While these may be effective, none can guarantee your headache won’t return. If none of these methods seem to work and your headaches/migraines are getting worse, please feel free to visit Allied Healthcare – Family Care and Chiropractic Care, located at 707 South Parker Drive in Florence.