A headache has to be up there with one of the most annoying medical conditions you can get.
When your head is pounding and the paracetamol isn’t working, it really can be enough to drive you stir crazy.
However, it seems there could be a solution to your problem, according to the Mirror.
Many people have posted their theories on how you can stop the pain – and if nothing else is working, they may be worth a try… as daft as some of them sound.
1. Use a book as a pillow
To ease a tension headache originating in the “suboccipitals” – small muscles connecting the neck and the back of the head – lie on your back with your head on a book or telephone directory, like a pillow, advises osteopath Christian Bates, of the Perrymount Natural Health Clinic ( theperrymount.com ).
He told The Mirror: “Adjust the edge of the book so it lays on the knobbly part on the back of your head. Now tuck your chin down towards your chest. This can lengthen and stretch these small tight muscles and bring headache relief.”
2. Assume a smarter phone position
Christian said: “The average head weighs 10-12lbs and recent research has found that the poor posture we assume when texting means that the forces exerted on our neck and spine reach 60lbs – the equivalent of having an eight-year-old on your shoulders.”
This neck tension can lead to so-called cervicogenic headaches, and in some cases to a condition called Occipital Neuralgia, where the nerves that run from the base of the neck up through the scalp become inflamed.
Christian suggests: “To avoid text-neck headaches , sit back and upright when using your phone.
“Hold it up to eye level and be aware of keeping your head up in a straight line.”
3 Breathe deeply
“Most of us breathe far too shallowly,” says pilates expert Lynne Robinson, founder of bodycontrolpilates.com
It can mean that the supply of oxygen to blood vessels in the brain is reduced, which can result in headaches.
A few moments of deep breathing improves circulation and can ward off a headache.
Lynne says: “Try sitting tall and place your hands on your ribs. As you breathe in, focus on the back and sides of your ribs expanding. Breathe out completely and feel your ribcage closing. Repeat.”
4. Wear a dental guard
Do you wake up with a dull, constant headache? It could be caused by night-time tooth grinding (bruxism).
Dr Dawn Harper says: “A comfortable dental guard protects against night-time teeth grinding by cushioning your teeth and keeping them apart in the most natural position.”
5. Let your hair down
A study at The City of London Migraine Clinic found that more than 53% of women experienced a headache from wearing a ponytail.
It’s thought that they may strain and irritate connective tissues in the scalp. Either loosen your ponytail or let your hair hang loose.
6. Relax your tongue
Press your tongue against the roof of your mouth, hold it for a few seconds, then relax it so that it falls into the bottom of your mouth.
“This takes the pressure off the jaw which can cause headaches,” says osteopath Danny Williams, from South Yarra Osteopathy.
7. Sniff an apple
In a study from the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, people with migraines who sniffed the scent of a green apple experienced a drop in pain.
It’s thought the smell might reduce muscle contractions in the head and neck, which can lead to pain.
8. Cool it!
A study at the university of Kiel in Germany found that peppermint oil applied to the forehead helped to numb the pain of a headache.
Try Tiger Balm White, £4.39, Holland & Barrett , which contains menthol. Simply smooth over your forehead every 30 minutes.
9. Press here
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommends acupuncture for tension headaches.
Try some of the techniques using acupressure – applying finger pressure to certain points in the body.
For a sinus headache, apply pressure with your fingers to the points at either side of the crook of your nose at the tips of your eyebrows, suggests Justine Hankin, from the British Acupuncture Council ( acupuncture.org.uk ).
10. Write numbers… with your nose
Lynne Robinson says: “This simple pilates exercise can help mobilise the neck and ease some of the more common types of headache, such as those caused by tension.
“Lie on a mat on your back with your knees bent, feet hip-width apart and parallel. Take a few breaths into the back and sides of your ribcage.
“Now imagine an upright figure eight and draw the shape with your nose. Repeat three times, then change direction.
“Then imagine the figure eight on its side. Trace again with your nose three times before changing direction. Finish with a gentle chin tuck, drawing your chin down and lengthening the back of your neck. Keep your head in contact with mat.”
11. Wear an electronic headband
A small headband that applies electrical impulses at the centre of the forehead onto the trigeminal nerve (implicated in migraines) could stop you popping painkillers.
In a Belgian study, 38% of patients who used the Cefaly headband (£249, cefaly.co.uk ) reported at least a 50% reduction in migraine frequency and a 37% reduction in the amount of medication they took.