Fibromyalgia headaches are common. Migraine and/or tension-type headaches are seen in 70% of fibromyalgia patients. Often these headaches are chronic and occur daily. Frequent use of headache medications can cause unwanted side effects and trigger rebound headaches. There are plenty of natural ways to relieve headaches.
- Essential Oils – Peppermint oil works best. Apply a drop of peppermint oil to temples and areas of your head that hurts. For larger areas combine 3 drops lavender oil, 1 drop peppermint oil and 1 drop of coconut or olive oil, and massage into the areas that hurt. If you have a vaporizer, add 7 drops of lavender oil and 3 drops of peppermint oil to the water.
- Ginger Tea – This homemade tea reduces inflammation and helps with nausea. Crush an inch of fresh ginger and add it to boiling water. To help relax muscles, you can add rosemary, chamomile or mint. I make an iced ginger tea that I drink every day to help with pain and prevent my headaches. I put an inch of fresh ginger in the water and boil. Then I steep 2 to 3 bags of green tea in the water for about 20 minutes and refrigerate. I add a wedge of fresh lemon to my glass.
- Fresh Lemon – You can add fresh lemon juice to water or tea. Lemon peel can be pounded into a paste and applied to the forehead.
- Cayenne Pepper – Mix 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper with 4 ounces warm water. Moisten a q-tip with the mixture and apply a small amount to the inside of the nostril on the side of your head that hurts. The mixture will burn. It’s unpleasant, but it blocks the nerve pain signals. Another alternative is to mix 1/2 teaspoon with 8 ounces of water and sip the mixture.
- Magnesium – Studies have shown that fibromyalgia and migraine sufferers tend to be deficient in magnesium. This mineral helps to calm nerves. Take 300mg twice a day. Include foods that are rich in magnesium in your diet, like nuts, beans, grains, and green veggies and herbs.
- Stay Hydrated – The most common reason people get headaches is that they are dehydrated. Drink 4 to 6 glasses of water every day.
- Aromatherapy – Boil a handful of rosemary in water. Place a towel over your head and inhale the steam for as long as you can. You can also use peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, or basil.
- Cold or Hot Compresses – Apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel to your head or apply heat to the back of your neck to loosen up muscles that tighten with tension headaches.
- Herbal Supplements
- Feverfew – This supplement from the sunflower family has been shown to be effective for migraines. It reduces inflammation which takes pressure off the nerves and helps to prevent migraines. If one does occur, it tends to be less severe.
- Butterbur – This herb is used for pain, upset stomach, stomach ulcers, migraine and other headaches, ongoing cough, chills, anxiety, insomnia, asthma, hay fever, irritable bladder, and urinary tract spasms. A specific butterbur rhizome extract: Petadolex can be taken daily to prevent migraine headaches.
- Hydrotherapy – Put your feet in hot water (as hot as you can stand) for 2 minutes. Then put your feet in cold water (as cold as you can stand) for 2 minutes. Alternate between the cold water and hot water for 20 minutes to increase blood flow and circulation.
- Acupressure Massage – Acupressure involves applying pressure to certain points of the body to relieve pain. Place your finger in the depression between your first and second toe and press firmly for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Trigger Point Therapy – Trigger points or muscle knots are a predominant source of headache pain. Headache pain is usually produced by trigger points in the neck muscles. Trigger points form in a portion of the muscle cell where blood flow is reduced and metabolic wastes are not being exchanged for oxygen and nutrients. Trigger points can be treated by applying pressure to affected areas, often providing instant relief.
This book, Trigger Point Therapy for Headaches and Migraines, offers a complete program for self-care that includes detailed illustrations of all pressure and stretching techniques.