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5 Drug-free Treatments That Relieve Chronic Headaches

Sep 14, 2023
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Chronic headaches are debilitating and disrupt your life. Read on to learn about five non-pharmaceutical options to give you relief.

When you have headaches more often than not, you know how debilitating they are. Chronic headaches can make it challenging to function. 

While over-the-counter and prescription medications can offer temporary relief, relying on them frequently may lead to medication overuse and unwanted side effects. Fortunately, several drug-free treatments can effectively alleviate chronic headaches and improve overall quality of life.

We offer non-pharmaceutical solutions for chronic headache pain. Here, we’ll explore five drug-free approaches to managing chronic headaches.

1. Lifestyle modifications

Making easy changes to your daily routine can significantly reduce the frequency and intensity of chronic headaches. Consider these modifications:

Dietary adjustments

Some foods and beverages, such as caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, and artificial sweeteners, can trigger headaches. Experiment with your diet to identify potential triggers and eliminate or reduce them. We can help you with a food diary that effectively reveals your “headache” foods.


Dehydration can contribute to headaches. Ensure you're drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day. Choose fluid-rich foods like soup and fresh produce.

Regular sleep

Establish a consistent sleep schedule and aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. The lack of sleep or poor sleep patterns can worsen headaches.

Stress management

Practice stress-reduction techniques like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises to ease tension and stress-related headaches.

2. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. Many people find relief from chronic headaches through acupuncture. 

It stimulates the body's natural pain-relief mechanisms, releases endorphins, and improves blood circulation. 

Regular acupuncture sessions with a trained practitioner can provide long-term relief for chronic headaches.

3. Physical therapy

If muscle tension or poor posture contributes to your chronic headaches, physical therapy may help. A physical therapist assesses your posture, muscle imbalances, and movements. 

Then, they develop a customized exercise program to strengthen weak muscles, improve posture, and reduce muscle tension, reducing the frequency and severity of your headaches.

4. Biofeedback

Biofeedback is a technique that helps you become more aware of and gain control over physiological functions like muscle tension, heart rate, and skin temperature. For chronic headache management, biofeedback teaches you how to recognize and relax tense muscles in your head and neck. It can be particularly effective for tension-type headaches.

5. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a psychotherapeutic approach that can help individuals manage chronic headaches by addressing the psychological and emotional factors contributing to their pain. A trained therapist helps you identify negative thought patterns and stressors that may exacerbate your headaches. 

Through CBT, you can develop healthier ways to manage stress and pain, reducing the frequency and intensity of your headaches.

Living with chronic headaches is challenging, but effective drug-free treatments are available to help manage and alleviate your symptoms. Consult with our health care team for a personalized treatment plan that addresses the specific causes of your chronic headaches.

With dedication and the right approach, you can regain control over your life and experience fewer and less severe headaches. Call today or use this website to make an appointment.