Migraines and tension headaches are something that just about everyone deals with at one time or another. These stress headaches can come on suddenly and linger for hours if not treated promptly. Fortunately, there are several strategies that can be used to achieve tension headache relief, and allow the individual to proceed through the day without dealing with constant head pain.
One of the most effective tools in achieving tension headache relief is over the counter analgesic medication. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin or ibuprofen are often just enough to help sufferers get past a stress headache. For people who require something stronger, a prescription NSAID like naproxen or ketorlac may be required.
Acetaminophen is another example of an analgesic that can help with tension headache relief. While not considered a first line of defense, this particular analgesic may be helpful if the individual cannot take aspirin for some reason. Since there is some risk in using acetaminophen too often, it is a good idea to discontinue use after a day or two if there is no real relief, and ask a physician for recommendations on how to proceed.
There are situations in which combination medicines may be necessary to achieve tension headache relief. Depending on the severity of the headaches, a physician may recommend a combination of an over the counter drug with a prescription product. For example, a doctor may determine that aspirin should be combined with the use of some sort of sedative, effectively easing the pain while also helping the individual to relax and thus be less likely to experience another headache in the short-term. There are also over the counter medications that combine aspirin, acetaminophen and a small amount of caffeine, a combination that can often treat tension headaches successfully.
When measures of this type do not seem to alleviate the headaches, there may be an underlying physical or emotional issue that is triggering the recurring pain. If this is the case, the physician may recommend the use of an antidepressant or an anti-anxiety medication as a means of dealing with the frequency and severity of the headaches. Often, counseling may also be effective in identifying and dealing with emotional issues that are causing stress and thus triggering the headaches. For anyone who finds that over the counter methods do not provide effective tension headache relief, working with a doctor to identify the root cause or causes for the pain is essential to banishing the headaches and getting back to enjoying life.