Self Help for Headaches

Headaches are usually caused by problems outside the brain such as constricted blood vessels, neck joints, muscles and jaw. A chronic headache which is not increasing in intensity is unlikely to be caused by a tumor. Most x-rays and scans to exclude tumors are unnecessary.

Common triggers to avoid

  • Sleeping on stomach, with neck twisted.
  • Alcohol, cheese, nuts, MSG, cured meat, artificial sweeteners.
  • Jaw overworked: grinding teeth, chewing gum.

Long-term management

  • Avoid daily use of painkillers as they will cause rebound headaches.
  • Chiropractic: Good if cause is neck problem.
  • Dental checkup to rule out dental and jaw problems.
  • Acupuncture: Useful to reduce hypersensitivity of nerve to pain.
  • Herbal remedies to treat constitutional imbalance.

What works


  • Lean forward over a desk and rest head on hands.
  • Have helper feel for small depressions (pressure points) at base of skull.
  • With thumb and index finger on pressure points, massage or hold pressure for 5 minutes.


  • Feveriew tablets effective for many headache or migraine sufferers (health store or any pharmacy).
  • Sibelium tablets (on prescription)