3 Types of Common Headaches and How to Get Rid of Them

Wondering how to get rid of your headache? These are three of the most common types headaches and how to get rid of them.

Woman with a headache looking at her computer. Types of headaches.

There’s a reason people use “it’s such a headache” as a description of something particularly obnoxious—headaches can be frustrating and annoying. They can range from mildly irritating to completely debilitating. Because there are different types of headaches, treating them can be challenging. Wondering how to get rid of yours? These are three of the most common types of headaches and how to manage them.

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Tension headaches

This is the most common type of headache, and chances are, you’ve likely had one. You probably guessed this from the name, but tension headaches come from stress.

Tension headaches usually create pain or pressure around your forehead or the back of your neck. There isn’t one particular thing that causes them, because stress comes from lots of different sources.

To manage them:

  • Learn to relax. You probably know your body more than anyone, so listen to what it needs.
  • Try yoga. Stretches help poor posture, which can be a cause of tension headaches, and yoga is a great relaxation method as well.
  • Take a light pain reliever. If all else fails, you might need a pain reliever such as ibuprofen. Please consult your doctor first if you take blood thinners (e.g., aspirin, warfarin).
  • Take time for yourself. Soak in a relaxing hot bath or use ice packs on sore back muscles.


Scientists don’t know exactly what causes migraines, but it’s partly genetics and partly environmental factors.

Migraines frequently come with warning signs before the pain in your head hits. According to Intermountain Health, this can range from blurred or spotty vision, to nausea, to high sensitivity to light.

The hallmark of a migraine is throbbing pain on the sides of your head, often accompanied by nausea and light sensitivity.

To help avoid migraines:

Intermountain Health recommends frequent exercise and a consistent schedule (like eating your meals at the same time every day) to help cut down on these headaches. And since women are more likely to have migraines, they also recommend that women who take estrogen supplements talk to their doctor about reducing the amount or frequency, if possible.

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Sinus headaches

If you’ve ever had an aching pain in the front of your head, cheekbones, or upper nose, it’s likely a sinus infection. Usually these happen when you have other cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose or fever. They are caused by sinus infections, and the mucus that comes out of your nose will be yellow or green.

Colds can be an obvious cause of sinus headaches, but according to WebMD, sinus headaches can also be triggered by stress, strong smells, and secondhand smoke.

To treat:

If you’re sick, get plenty of rest. Put a warm, moist towel over your face to relieve some of the pressure by increasing the humidity.

Most headaches aren’t worrisome, but if you suddenly experience a headache that comes on with shooting pain, or other unusual symptoms, seek care right away. These may be symptoms of something more serious.

And while you’re here, check out our other healthy living articles.



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The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

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