13 Home Remedies for Tension Headache | Q&A

Q: Grandma, please send me remedies for migraine headache. The throbbing on my head is almost unbearable. I feel nauseous and become sensitive to noise. I also dislike light since it triggers my headache.

A: Dear K, A headache is a common ailment experienced by almost everybody. You may be suffering from either tension headache or migraines, both of which can cause severe pain if not treated immediately. The chronic tension headaches are a result of muscle contraction while migraines usually affect one side of the head only. There are varying factors that can cause the two types of headache, but the symptoms are usually quite similar thus most home remedies recommended for their treatment can be used for both.

Home Remedies for Tension Headache


1. Shavasana – To apply this simple yogic posture, lie down with the entire body flat on the floor. Concentrate on your breathing pattern to relax the body.[1]

2. Stretching – Carefully stretch the neck together with the upper back muscles. Loosen the shoulders down and turn the head slowly from the right to the left, and vice versa. As you stretch, release the muscles from the face down to the shoulders.

3. Massage – Gently massage the neck and shoulder areas to relieve the stress.

4. Manage your stress – Organize your daily activities by planning ahead. It provides you with more leeway to relax and prevent entangling yourself in stressful situations.[2]

5. Hot or cold compress – Depending on your preference, apply heat or ice to the aching muscles to alleviate headache. If you want something hot over the sore muscles, you may use a heating pad, hot towel, or hot bottle. A hot shower can also help. If you want it cold, put ice cubes in an ice pack or wrap in a clean towel before pressing gently on the aching muscles.

6. Aromatherapy – Use different essential oils such as lavender, chamomile, peppermint and rosemary to enjoy the soothing effect in reducing all discomfiting feelings during headache bouts.[3]

7. Tiger Balm – Apply the topical ointment on the muscles every time pain is felt. [4]

8. Avoid too much sunlight – Rest in a darkened room to ease down the pain especially if the accompanying symptoms belong to the migraine type of headache. It is also best to avoid staring at the computer monitor for long hours. As bright light may cause headaches, the wearing of tinted glasses may be done to minimize the glare.[5]

9. Avoid unpleasant thoughts – Focus on pleasant things to relax the mind and minimize the stress that causes the headache. Cultivate positive thinking.

10. Quit the smoking habit – At times, smoking triggers the worsening of headaches. Stopping the habit may also put an end to the occurrence of tension headache.

11. Stop alcoholism – Avoid drinking too much alcohol to prevent pounding headaches that usually torment drinkers as the after-effect. Most alcoholic beverages are known to trigger migraines in some people.

12. Limit caffeine intake – Minimize the consumption of too much caffeine. The chemicals found in coffee and tea can bring about many side effects such as muscle tension, anxiety and insomnia, all of which can cause headache attacks.

13. Use a suitable pillow – Find a good pillow that can be used to achieve the best sleeping position to avoid tension headache.[6]


    1. http://www.nativeremedies.com/articles/the-best-home-remedy-for-tension-headaches.html


    1. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/tension-headache/DS00304/DSECTION=lifestyle-and-home-remedies


    1. http://www.home-remedies-for-you.com/remedy/Headaches.html


    1. http://www.lifescript.com/health/a-z/alternative-therapies_a-z/bycondition/t/tension_headache.aspx


    1. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-headaches1.htm


  1. http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/12672/1/Home-Remedies-for-Tension-Headach