3 unusual ways to relieve a headache

Health editor Karen Evenett offers easy ways to feel better…


1. Have a cup of coffee… Even if your headache is not caused by caffeine withdrawal, your espresso or flat white may be just the quick fix you need because caffeine constricts the blood vessels, which reduces pain.

2. Eat chocolate… It’s a quick source of caffeine and sugar (which may help if your headache’s been brought on by exhaustion and low blood sugar – for example if you’ve skipped a meal), but chocolate also contains magnesium – a known muscle relaxant – together with a number of pleasure substances such as phenylethylamine (PEA), N-oleoylethanolamine and N-linoleylethanolamine. One theory why chocolate helps some headaches is that the pleasure it provides lifts the pain.

3. Go for a brisk walk… Exercise works by relieving tension, pumping blood and oxygen around the body, and releasing pain-killing endorphins – as well as giving you a refreshing breath of air. Make sure you’re well hydrated – carry a bottle of water with you – to prevent a dehydration headache.

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