Young man with a headache who wants advice from his Direct Primary Care doctor.

How to Get Rid of a Headache

Date Published: 2023-02-11
Author: Team Sedera

Safe to say, we all suffer from a headache from time-to-time. To learn what causes headaches, how to prevent them, and how to treat them, we partnered with Sedera Community Member and Direct Primary Care Physician, Dr. Brieanna Seefeldt

Let’s start with the basics:

What is a headache?

There are two major categories a headache could fall into:

  1. Tension Headache –  Dr. Seefeldt describes this as a pain that usually radiates like a band around the eyes. “It can be intense pain and feel like a migraine.”

  2. Migraine – Dr. Seefeldt describes migraines as, “intense, typically one-sided pain and often with light or sound sensitivity.” She adds, “sometimes the pain is so intense people will be nauseous or vomit.” 

Once you know what category your headache may fall into, it is important to explore what the source of the headaches may be to avoid them in the future.

Common causes of a headache: 

  • Tension headaches can be triggered by a variety of stimuli, including prolonged computer or screen time, a whiplash-type injury, or even doing exercises like crunches incorrectly. Tension headaches are usually easily treatable with over-the-counter pain relievers, but always talk to your physician to see if self-treatment is your best option.

  • Migraines have a genetic component and may be seen in families. “They can be triggered by certain foods, stress, computer work, weather changes, and especially hormone changes,” says Dr. Seefeldt. “I see a lot of migraines around premenstrual times, peri-menopause, and pregnancy. The hormonal triggers are usually because of an estrogen/progesterone mismatch.” 

  • Headaches may also be caused by environmental factors like air quality or seasonal allergies.

To avoid getting a headache, a young woman drinks water to stay hydrated.

Home remedies for a headache: 

  • No matter the type of headache, start with simple solutions like ensuring you are getting plenty of quality sleep and nutrition, and staying hydrated throughout the day. 

  • For tension headaches especially, an over-the-counter pain reliever may do the trick in a pinch. Again, always consult with your physician before starting anything new. 

  • For migraines, Dr. Seefeldt takes a holistic treatment approach with her patients. She recommends Osteopathic manipulation which is a hands-on technique. Osteopathic treatment uses a combination of techniques similar to those you may encounter at a physical therapist, but with a trained physician to provide the treatments. Other hands-on options can help too – like working with a Chiropractor. 

We hope this provides a deeper understanding of what causes headaches and how to manage them. 

To learn more about Dr. Seefeldt and her work, explore her website here.