Headache Remedies: NSAIDs, Massage, Acupuncture

Few things can be more inconvenient than headaches. They often appear with no warning whatsoever, and the bad ones can absolutely cripple you for hours or even days.

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Often times, they seem to appear right before the most important moments such as social gatherings, public engagements, or important work days. As if the pain itself isn’t bad enough, the treatment options are often few and out of reach. Luckily, the scope of headache relief is far wider than you may think.

Over the counter drugs, which may be useful at times, are only one way to tackle the symptoms of headaches. Chronic headaches may even be preventable without drug therapy, according to recent studies. Discussed below are some of the best and most effective headache treatments available. What works for one person in one instance may not necessarily work for another, so the end goal is to learn what is effective at treating your specific symptoms.


Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, or NSAID’s, are the most commonly used method of headache relief. This group of drugs includes Aspirin and Ibuprofen, and can also be supplemented with caffeine for added effectiveness. They are quite effective at treating both pain and inflammation, and consequently can manage headache pain fairly well. Unfortunately, chronic or even acute use of these drugs can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as stomach bleeding and kidney or liver damage. It is for this reason that many people seek more natural, benign ways to manage their headache symptoms.

Massage Therapy

One of the most common headache varieties is tension based headaches. These headaches are caused by muscle tightness or inadequate blood flow, often occurring at the base of the neck. Massaging this area can be a fantastic way to loosen the muscles and restore normal blood flow. If successful, it will address the root cause of the headache itself rather than simply managing its symptoms. It is recommended that you find a licensed massage specialist if possible.


Acupuncture has been used for various purposes over the past few centuries, and headache management has certainly been one of them. Not only may it be able to prevent future tension headaches, but many chronic migraine sufferers claim that it has helped reduce the frequency and intensity of their episodes. Acupuncture claims to be able to re-align proper energy (Qi) and help facilitate normal blood flow in the body.

Keep a Journal

If you suffer chronic headaches, migraine or otherwise, they may actually be triggered by a specific smell, taste, or sensation. If so, you can theoretically prevent them simply by avoiding this trigger. Keep a journal of what you have done, eaten, and experienced for the twenty four hours before a migraine occurs.

It may not be effective at acute treatment, but after a few episodes, you will likely find a common link and be able to avoid it in the future. There are many possible headache triggers. Some of the most commonly reported ones are stress, specific food additives such as MSG, or improper sleep. Once your trigger is isolated, you will be better equipped to combat future headaches.

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