(AscendHealthy.com) – No matter how often a headache strikes, quick relief becomes a sudden priority. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen often work well, but they also come with health risks that may increase with extended use. Some people swear by an alternative treatment to ease their headache pain — one that doesn’t even involve taking a pill. Here’s what we found.
Regardless of the type of headache, quick relief is usually a must. Most of us reach for ibuprofen or a similar NSAID to knock out the pain, but medications might not always be necessary. Some people have found yoga can improve blood flow and reduce muscle tension enough to relieve many types of headache pain. See more in the article below on how yoga could reduce unnecessary NSAID use.
Try This Before Reaching for the Ibuprofen.
Treating the Cause Instead of the Symptoms
According to the Columbia University Department of Neurology, most headaches are the result of either inflammation in the scalp region or fluctuations in the brain’s blood vessels. NSAIDs can treat most cases, but why take medications and risk side effects if safer measures could offer just as much relief?
Yoga International warns against normal go-to home remedies like caffeine. Many over-the-counter migraine pills contain this deceptively potent ingredient, which can be effective against most headaches — but it may also leave some people vulnerable to rebound headaches. Instead, try a handful of yoga poses that may help restore normal blood flow to the brain and relax tense head and neck muscles.
Best Yoga Poses for Headache Relief
- Child’s pose – Sit on the knees with the feet together and the knees apart. Reach forward, arms straight over the head, and rest the forehead on the mat.
- Corpse pose – Lie on the back, feet apart, arms at the sides, slightly away from the body, and hands facing upward.
- Forward fold – Stand with the feet shoulder-width apart and gently bend at the waist, keeping the feet firmly on the mat. Hands can rest on the mat or clasp the opposing elbows, and knees can soften to improve the stretch in the back.
- Downward-facing dog – From a forward fold, walk the hands forward on the mat until the body is at roughly a right angle. Feel the stretch through the entire back and down the legs.
- Legs up the wall – Lie down beside a wall and position the legs at a right angle from the body, propping them up against the wall. Hold arms at the sides with the palms facing upward.
- Chest and shoulder stretch – Support the length of the spine with a bolster or rolled-up towel while lying on the back. Hold arms outward, away from the body, and relax.
- Supine twist – Lie flat on the back, arms outward, and feet together. Bring the knees up, feet flat on the mat, and then allow the knees to rest gently to one side. Repeat on the opposite side.
Some headaches are trickier than others, but a good portion might be manageable without NSAIDS or caffeine. Give yoga a shot and see if it helps the next time a headache tries to disrupt your day. Make sure to pay attention to warning signs of more serious conditions; if the headache is unusually painful or debilitating, or if it occurs as the result of rigorous activity, it could signal a medical emergency. Also, make sure to talk to a doctor before starting any new regimen to make sure it’s the right move for you.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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