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headache remedies?

I have had a tension headache on and off for almost 5 days now. (I'm not particularly stressed right now, so I'm not sure what's causing it. I just kow that my head hurts and my neck and back are a bit stiffer than usual.)

Asprin and ibuprophen aren't touching the pain at all. Napping helps calm the pounding in my head, but when you have to hold down a 9-to-5 job, naps are pretty much out of the question.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get rid of this headache?

Thanks in advance!

Tue. Aug 8, 3:48pm

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I had a similar instance just a few weeks ago. I went to a chiropractor and go adjusted for the first time and I feel like a brand new person! I don't know if this is an option for you or not, but I am a believer now!!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006, 3:53 PM

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Yes, chiropractic can solve a lot of headaches like yours...but since some people don't like that sort of treatment, there is one other that works pretty well: massage.

Most tension headaches are caused by the trapezius muscle (upper back, running up the neck to attach right under the skull) spasming, which explains the on-again-off-again nature of a tension headache. If you've got someone with strong hands and the interest in helping you out for 5-10 minutes, they really don't need a whole lot of skill to make a difference - as long as they don't try to do anything to the vertebrae, you're good. My favorite thing to do for this - lie on your back and have your friend/husband/roommate cradle your head in their hands with their fingertips pressing just under the ridge of your many pressure points there, you can't miss...feels heavenly. I'm a massage therapist and I'm always telling my male clients that they should do this to their wives/girlfriends for serious brownie points.

To help yourself: clasp your hands behind your neck, with your elbows out like a butterfly. Squeeze the base of your palms together along the hard ridge of muscle that is the back of your neck and work it.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006, 4:12 PM

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If you are also experiencing a throbbing sensation with your tension headache, an icepack to the back of the neck can do wonders. It helps to contract the blood vessels and reduce the inflammation in the area as well as having a mild numbing effect.

I agree with the above posters about including massage and chiropractic. I've also gotten good results with acupuncture and a technique that my naturopathic doctor uses called "Bowen".

Tuesday, August 08, 2006, 4:32 PM

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i would also suggest ice to the back of the neck.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006, 5:14 PM

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Yup - I help my husband with his. I start the massage at the base of the skull and 'move' the tension down through his back. Some folks have more tension between their shoulder blades so thorough experimentation is recommended :-) Best wishes with your headache - that sounds aweful :-(

Tuesday, August 08, 2006, 6:04 PM

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i love origins "sensory therapy on-the-spot cream". basically, it's a pepperminty oil cream to rub on your temples and earlobes. the "headache cream" helps me more than advil everytime!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006, 8:43 PM

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I know it may sound crazy but make sure you are drinking enough water. I was not getting enough water along with stress and this is 1 of the first things that I had to correct. Once the water was increased, and I worked on other methods to relieve the stress in my job and home life, things got better. I still get them from time to time but no where near the amount that I was. The last one was recently but it had been 6 months before that. When you go from every day for 3 weeks to 1 every 6 months or so, you can deal with that!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006, 7:56 AM

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OP here - thanks for the suggestions!

I'm definately drinking enough water - I average about 120 ounces a day, but I'm making sure to keep my electrolyte levels high.

My husband tried the neck/base of the skull/shoulder massage on me and it helped for a few minutes, but once I sat back up and got moving again, the headache came back.

I tried Excedrin Tension Headache last night and this morning - no help there either. I'm thinking that a call to my chiropractor may be the best answer - I haven't been adjusted in at least 2 years.

Thanks all!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006, 10:38 AM

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How do you know what you have is a tension headache?

I don't have stress in my life right now since I'm inbetween internship and starting school. My back constantly hurts (bcz I have knots in my shoulder blades), but they have never made me have constant headaches, just sometime ear aches...

Since I came up to visit my boyf (1 week ago), I've basically had a constant headache all week. I only had one day of relief. It's not a migraine, bcz I can deal with sound and light (I have a functional headache problem).

I tried drinking lots of water, and it didn't work. Today I'm drinking coffee, bcz I haven't had caffine in about a week. I'm thinking maybe that's my problem?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006, 10:46 AM

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Could be - some people get headaches from caffeine withdrawal, and even if it's not from that, the caffeine may help the headache anyway(that's why they put it in Excedrin).

Wednesday, August 09, 2006, 11:49 AM

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I see an acupuncturist as I'm prone to migraines. I still get them on occasion but not weekly like I used to get! It's expensive, but I think it's worth it.
The only medication that helps me is Excedrin Migraine, and that's only if I take it right away. If not, nothing's going to help.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006, 11:57 AM

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Thursday, August 17, 2006, 1:19 PM

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