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Types of Headaches, Causes & Home Remedies

Dr. Aftab Ahmed Leghari

4 min read

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There are various types of headaches that can arise in our day-to-day life due to various causes. Headaches are a very common occurrence that is often relieved by over-the-counter painkillers or prescription medications in severe cases. While allopathic medicine has revolutionized the way a headache is treated, it also comes with its downsides.

There are, however, natural ways to cure a headache. From simple lifestyle modifications to some foods that help to relieve a headache, here are some simple everyday home remedies and methods you can use to help ease the pain. 

Types Of Headaches

Different types of headaches vary in severity and duration. The 4 main types of headaches are:

1. Tension headaches

These headaches are the most common type and are caused by stress. They are typically felt around the back of the head, the temples, and the front like a tension band. 

2. Cluster headaches

These are severe headaches felt on one side of the face, around the eyes. They occur more in men than women and are not typically associated with triggers like migraine.

3. Sinus headaches

These are felt inside the forehead, the cheeks, and the area of the nose. These occur due to flu and fever. 

4. Migraine Headaches

Possibly the most complex type of headache, this occurs on one side of the head and occurs more in women. This is associated with auras and triggers.

Headache Causes

Some of the most common causes of headaches are:

  • Dehydration 
  • Insomnia or lack of sleep
  • Caffeine withdrawal
  • Nutritional Deficiency 
  •  Stress
  • Skipping your meals or not eating properly
  • Use of alcohol

Home Remedies For Headache

Following are some effective ways to get rid of a headache naturally:

1. Hydration

Since the most common cause of headaches is dehydration, the cure for it is to drink water. Dehydration furthermore makes you more irritable which further deteriorates your condition and worsens the pain. 

You can also hydrate using fresh juices and lemonade which has a good sodium and glucose content. This helps you hydrate faster and relieves your pain. You can also eat water-rich fruits and vegetables to keep your headache at bay. 

2. A Good Sleep

One of the reasons for a headache is because your disturbed sleeping schedule. An average adult needs at least 7-9 hours of sleep per day to be healthy and to allow the body to function properly. Not getting enough sleep causes a headache and it is your body’s way of telling you that it is not functioning properly.

So a good timely sleep schedule is very important and thus also is a remedy for your headache. A good nap in a quiet dark room helps in easing your headache. Be cautious about the fact that sleeping too much can also trigger a headache, so moderation is the key to a healthy mind and body.

3. Consuming Caffeinated Beverages

If you are accustomed to consuming caffeine regularly in the form of tea or coffee, missing your regular caffeine fix causes your headache.

This is because the blood vessels in your brain dilate (which were previously constricted by the regular caffeine) when you stop taking your regular tea or coffee which increases blood flow and hence the pressure in the vessels. Since the body is not used to this, it causes headaches.

The solution to this is to take your regular caffeine drink or if you are looking to cut down on your drinks, try the other remedies mentioned in this article.

For non-habitual caffeine consumers, drinking a mug of hot tea or coffee can actually relieve your headache symptoms and improve your mood. 

4. De-Stress Yourself

Stress reduction is important if it is the cause of your headache. Things like exercise, yoga, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation exercises, and massages can really help your headache. 

Give yourself a break from your stressful routine and opt for a yoga class, a day at the gym, or a spa appointment and relieve yourself of your stress. Something as simple as talking to a friend can help to ease your stress.

5. Ginger 

Ginger is a miracle root that is very popular in South Asian households and its benefits are not a secret for anyone. It has so many therapeutic effects and is anti-inflammatory. It is even a mood elevator as it helps boost the serotonin and dopamine in your brain. It even helps with nausea and vomiting associated with a headache.

Using ginger as a cure for your headache is no secret either. In fact, research has found that it is a great help in migraine headaches. Using fresh ginger in your tea is an excellent remedy for your headache and is also a great way to stay hydrated. 

6. Healthy Balanced Diet

Inadequate food intake is also an important contributor to your headache. Having a healthy balanced diet is important for your brain health. This means intake of the right amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and fats is essential. 

Skipping meals or consuming an increased amount of high-level sugar and processed food leads to a headache. A deficiency of certain nutrients and vitamins like B 12 also causes a headache. Low blood sugar levels also contribute to a headache so do not spend hours without eating.

7. Cold and Warm Compressions

Cold and warm compression help in relieving your headache. Migraines are best relieved by using cold compression. For this place ice in a cloth or use cold packs and place it on the forehead, the temples, or the back of your head. This provides instant local relief. Do this for 15 minutes with 15 minutes break in between. 

For tension and sinus headaches, warm compression is the best way to relieve your pain. For this, use a heating pad for a warm cloth or towel to the area where it hurts. Taking a hot or cold shower also helps the headache. 

8. Avoid Triggers

For headaches like migraines, triggers should be avoided. This includes scents and certain smells, bright and intense light, loud noise, and so on. 

Avoiding these triggers can halt the progression of your migraine. Don’t spray perfume, smoke a cigarette, or go near foods that have a strong smell. Wear sunglasses if you have to go out. Shut the blinds in your room and avoid loud and unnecessary noise near it. 

When To See A Doctor

While these home remedies are a good way to deal with the pain, sometimes you cannot avoid going to a doctor for a headache. Never hesitate to call your physician if:

  • A headache after an injury, especially a head injury.
  • A headache that has confusion, slurry speech, and dizziness associated with it.
  • A headache that worsens after taking medication.
  • A headache that does not go away no matter how much you try.
  • A sudden excruciating headache that you can describe as ‘the worse headache of your life.’ 


Headaches are a hindrance to your everyday life but it is also curable. Something as simple as a tight ponytail can cause a headache and the cure can be as effortless as loosening it. At the same time, severe headaches that require much more attention are also there but are all curable. 

The best way to cure a headache is to use your allopathic medicines and home remedies in balance and moderation. Following your doctor’s advice and a few lifestyle modifications including maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, a good sleep schedule, and avoiding stress is the key to preventing your headache.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Aftab Ahmed Leghari
Dr. Aftab Ahmed Leghari - Author Dr. Aftab Ahmed Leghari is a top Neurologist in Karachi with 15 years of experience. You can book an in-person appointment or an online video consultation with Dr. Aftab Ahmed Leghari through oladoc.com or by calling 02138140600.

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