Headache Hacks, Part 2

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For those of you who read part one of my “Headache Hacks” ideas from last week, I am happy to report that I am headache-free this week. However, my headache didn’t fully resolve for THREE DAYS. What finally cured it? A small cup of coffee on the third day. For me, it isn’t always the same thing that stops my headache. I frequently find myself trying multiple remedies until one works (or the headache just resolves itself). Thus, I’m back this week with headache hacks, part two, that you can try to cure your own.


As long as I’m not feeling too nauseated, a workout often gives me relief from a pounding headache. This is likely from the endorphins that exercise triggers, which can act as a painkiller. Regular exercise can also help stop headaches before they start. This is because exercise helps with stress and enables people to sleep better, two things that can lead to headaches. If you go this route, be sure to drink plenty of water to ward off dehydration and listen to your body. If you start feeling worse, end your workout.

Hot or cold

For some, heat can stop a headache, cold. (See what I did there?) If your headache is due to tension, a steamy shower, hot bath, or a warm compress may be the fix for what ails you, by helping your muscles relax. On the other side of the spectrum is a cold compress. For the record, I use a cold compress on just about any body pain I have and it nearly always helps. A cold cloth on the back of your neck may end your migraine.

Work those “I don’t know” muscles!

The next time you’ve got a headache, certain shoulder stretches can help, particularly shoulder shrugs. Shrug your shoulders straight up and hold for a few seconds. Then shrug them up and to the front and hold again, then shrug up and to the back and hold once more. Repeat these stretches several times to ease tension and melt away your pain.

Have your thyroid checked

So, this isn’t a cure that will work immediately, but if you suffer from migraines or headaches with any frequency, consider having your thyroid checked. I used to get a migraine at least once a month that caused me to miss work due to the nausea and sensitivity to light and sound, not to mention the pain. When I got my thyroid checked and discovered that I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, I started taking daily thyroid hormones, which drastically reduced how often I would get a migraine and decreased the severity on the off-chance I ever had one. I am happy to report that I rarely get migraines these days.

The best piece of advice I can give you if you get regular headaches is to talk to your doctor. There could be an underlying reason for your pain. In my case, I was fortunate enough that mine was relatively easy to treat. In the meantime, if you’ve got any tried and true headache hacks, comment here and share your insight!

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