One side of your head: Migraine
Tatiana Ayazo /rd.com If the pain is located only on one side of your head (either the left or the right) and it feels like it’s throbbing or pulsating, it’s likely a migraine. And while there are more than a dozen reasons why you might suffer from migraines, there’s no question that they’re rough to get through. “This pain typically is severe and affects your functioning,” says Raissa Villanueva, MD, MPH, a neurologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center. It may also come with other debilitating symptoms like light and sound sensitivity. As for how to get rid of a headache in this instance, your best option is to stop what you’re doing and rest, she advises. If they’re frequent enough to affect your life, seek help from a doctor who may look into a preventative Rx. Here are the foods that can make your headaches worse.
Wraps around your head: Tension headache
Tatiana Ayazo /rd.com A squeezing pressure or aching pain that wraps around your head is likely a tension-type headache. You might want to check into everyday habits that can relieve your headaches—because these are no fun. “Patients often say it’s like having a vice around their head,” says Villanueva. Taking OTC pain relievers like NSAIDs or acetaminophen as directed can nip the pain in the bud. Even better: Combo medications containing aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine have been found to give sufferers relief two hours later compared to taking acetaminophen alone or a placebo, per research in The Journal of Headache and Pain. (Caffeine may help make the active ingredients more potent.)