General Question

The_Inquisitor's avatar

Good ways to get rid of a headache without the help of medication?

Asked by The_Inquisitor (3163points) July 21st, 2008

I’m not wanting to take tylenol or advil or any kinds of medication right now, is there another method of getting rid of a headache? (i heard that taking tylenol and advil shrinks your brain?... another.. rumour?.. lol)

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21 Answers

arnbev959's avatar

coffee usually does it for me.

augustlan's avatar

Lie down in a dark, quiet room with a damp washcloth (warm for sinus issues, cool for others) folded in half or thirds over your eyes. Press the cloth tightly to your eyes and over the bridge of your nose, then just be still for a while…hope you feel better!

Kay's avatar

Cold washcloth, dark room, sleep, massaging temples/jaw area to reduce tension. Caffeine can constrict the blood vessels to lessen the pain as well as already mentioned; but caffeine might not help if it’s a headache trigger for you. I recommend trying to go to sleep; it helps cure most headaches I’ve had.

augustlan's avatar

PS…I don’t think the brain shrinkage is an issue…but there are other reasons not to take the drugs. Advil/Aleve can cause stomach bleeding and Tylenol can cause liver issues (when alcohol is consumed).

tinyfaery's avatar

Acupressure points. Try here. Page down a bit.

sands's avatar

I’m a migraine sufferer. Ice works well for migraines so it will probably also work well for a regular headache. Aromatherapy ( peppermint and lavender essential oils) have also been known to be helpful to some people. Caffeine and sleep are also normally helpful.

The_Inquisitor's avatar

@augustlan… the drug issues from advil and tylenol are worse than what I thought then! (gasp)
mmmm coffeee. :P
But why a dark room? Just wondering.
Thanks everyone!

augustlan's avatar

@curious…bright light makes my headaches worse, and can even cause them sometimes.

The_Inquisitor's avatar

oh, i see i see. o alrighty then.

PupnTaco's avatar


marinelife's avatar

I think it is fine to try any of these suggested methods some of which have helped me.

Neither ibuprofen (the active ingredient in Advil) or acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) , however, have been associated with shrinking the brain. If you are tolerant of aspirin, you could also take that.

TheHaight's avatar

You should visit my profile (can’t copy and paste, on phone) because I asked a similar question and got some wonderful answers. :) good luck with your headaches. My migraines have been so bad lately that nothing has been helping so I’m going to see a doc tomorrow. :(

The_Inquisitor's avatar

@TheHaight, awe, hope you get better! and thank you!

susanc's avatar

For non-migraine headaches, the acupressure thing is
amazingly effective. Find the hard knot in the webbing between your
thumb and pointer finger, and press it as hard as you can between your other thumb&pointer. For one thing, this will provide competing pain. But you’ll also, very very probably, feel the headache recede – aside from that little distraction.

skfinkel's avatar

If you have someone, a friend or lover, ask him or her to put one hand on your forehead and the other at the base of your head—the very top of your neck. Gently have that person hold your head and press gently with both hands. It’s a lovely and amazingly effective cure for headaches.

anonyjelly16's avatar

Coffee (more specifically, caffeine will do it. That’s why its in some headache medications). I am not sure why it works but water with lemon and salt also helps—I think it had something to do with electrolytes but I cannot remember. I do know that it works for me (may just be a placebo).

Trance24's avatar

Drink lots of water. Headaches are most often caused by dehydration.

Melonking's avatar

This sounds a bit odd but when I have a headache I find hanging my head over the side of a bed so it fills with blood for a few mins and then siting up can clear and refresh my head.

gooch's avatar

If you are not somewhat dehydrated or have anything seriously wrong with you try ice it helps.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

I usually blackout from migraines and just sleep it off.

sarahsugs's avatar

I think it’s really important to identify the cause of your headaches. Personally, I have learned that mine come from muscle strain in my neck and shoulders. I am now very careful not to carry heavy bags for too long and to sit with good posture at a desk or computer. I have learned some very targeted stretches and exercises from a physical therapist and a chiropractor. But muscle strain headaches are different from those caused by dehydration or glaring light or caffeine withdrawal or stress or straight-up migraines. To be able to avoid taking advil and tylenol, I had to understand the cause of my headaches and address it directly. I would recommend doing the same for yours.

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