Breathing Exercises to Treat Headache

A headache is a common condition that people get in their life. A headache leads to discomfort and pain in your head, neck, or scalp. Headaches can be sharp, throbbing, dull, or constant and can range from mild to severe. Severe headaches can even lead to difficulties in doing day-to-day activities. There are natural therapies like breathing exercises for headaches, which can help you deal with the problem permanently.


Causes Of Headache

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A headache is a common sign of emotional distress or stress. It can also cause anxiety, high blood pressure, migraine, or depression. In some cases, headaches may signal a more serious health problem that needs instant medical care.


Common Types of Headaches

There are around 150 headaches types, but the most common types have:


Tension Headaches

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Tension headaches are the very common headaches types among teens and adults. It causes mild to moderate pain and occurs and goes with time. They commonly do not have other symptoms.


Migraine Headaches

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Migraine headaches are often referred to as throbbing pain and pounding. They can remain from 4 hours to 3 days and commonly occur 1-4 times a month. Along with the pain, people get different symptoms like noise, light sensitivity, smells, vomiting or nausea, loss of appetite, and stomach pain. When a child has a migraine, they may look pale, have blurry vision, feel dizzy, upset stomach, and fever. A small number of kids’ migraines have digestive symptoms like vomiting that occur about once a month.


Cluster Headaches

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These headaches are very severe. You could get intense burning or stabbing pain back or around one eye. It can be constant or throbbing. The pain can be very bad that most people with cluster headaches cannot sit still and will often pace during an attack. On the pain side, the eyelid droops, the eye reddens, the eye makes tears, and the pupils get small. The nostril on those stuffs up or side runs. They are called cluster headaches because they occur in groups. You might get them one to three times every day during a cluster period, which may last 2-weeks to 3 months. Every headache attack remains 15 minutes to 3 hours. They can wake you up from your sleep. The headaches may stop completely for months or years, only to occur later. The male is 3-4 times more likely to have them than female.


Chronic Daily Headaches

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You get this type of headache for 15 days or more than one month or longer than 3-months. Some are short headaches. Others remain for more than 4-hours. It is commonly one of the 4-types of primary headache:

  • Chronic tension headache
  • Chronic migraine
  • Hemicrania continua
  • New daily continuous headache


Sinus Headaches

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With sinus headaches, you feel constant and deep pain in your forehead, cheekbones, or on the nose bridge. They occur when head cavities, called sinuses, get inflamed. The pain commonly occurs along with different sinus symptoms, such as fullness in the ears, a runny nose, swollen face, and fever. A true sinus headache leads to a sinus infection so, the gunk that comes out of the nose will be green or yellow, unlike the clear discharge in migraine or cluster headaches.


Posttraumatic Headaches

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Posttraumatic stress headaches commonly begin 2-3 days after getting a head injury. You will feel:


A dull pain that gets worse with time

Trouble concentrating

Memory problems

Tiring quickly

Light headedness


Headaches may remain for some months. But if it does not have better within one week, call your physician.


Less Common Headaches

Exercise Headaches

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When your body is active, the muscles in your neck, head, and scalp need extra blood. Your blood vessels swell to provide them. The result is a pulsing pain over both sides of the head that can remain everywhere from 5 minutes to 48 hours. It commonly hits while you are active or afterward, whether the activity is workout or sex.


Hemicrania Continua

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Hemicrania continua is a severe, and ongoing headache that almost affects the similar side of the face and head.

Other symptoms include:

  • Pain that varies in severity
  • Red or teary eyes
  • Droopy eyelid
  • Contracted iris
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Worse pain and physical activity
  • Reacts to the discomfort medication indomethacin
  • Worse ache with alcohol

Some people also get migraine symptoms like:

Light and sound sensitivity

nausea and vomiting


There are two types:

Chronic everyday headaches

Remitting – 6 months long headaches, and they get away in a week or month and again come back.


Hormone Headaches

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You can have headaches from changing hormone levels during pregnancy, periods, and menopause. The hormone changes from birth control pills and replacement of hormone therapy can also induce trigger headaches. When they occur 2-days before your time or in the first 3-days after it begins, they are named menstrual migraines.


New Daily Persistent Headaches (NDPH)

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These may start suddenly and keep happening for 3-months or more. Many people know the day their pain begins. Some people get that it happens after a flu-like infection, illness, surgery, or stressful events.

The pain can be moderate and sometimes difficult to treat. Signs can differ widely. Some headaches happen because of tension. Others share signs of migraine-like light sensitivity or nausea.

Call your physician if your headache will not go or if it is severe.


Rebound Headaches

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You might also hear these named overuse headaches. If you use a prescription or OTC pain reliever more than 2-3 times a week, or more than 10 days each month, you are setting yourself up for more pain. When the medicine wears off, the pain occurs again, and you have taken more to begin it. It can cause a dull, and constant headache that is often worse in the morning.


Rare Headaches

Ice Pick Headaches

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These stabbing, short, and intense headaches commonly last for some seconds. They might occur sometime a day at most. If you have one, check with a doctor. Ice pick headaches can be a condition over their own, or they can be a sign of something else.


Other Causes of Headaches?

The pain you feel during headaches comes from a combination of signals between blood vessels, the brain, and other nerves. Particular nerves in your head muscles and blood vessels switch on and transfer pain signals to the brain. But it is not clear how these signals get turned on in the first place.


Common causes of headaches include:


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It can have colds, infections, and fevers. Headaches are also common with sinusitis conditions like sinuses inflammation, ear infection, and throat infection. In some cases, headaches can lead to a blow to the head or are rarely a sign of very serious medical problems.



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Depression and emotional and alcohol use, avoiding meals, excess medication, and changes in sleep patterns. Other causes have back or neck strain because of poor posture.


Your Environment

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It includes indirect tobacco smoke, strong smells from home chemicals or allergens, perfumes, and some foods. Pollution, stress, lightning, noise, and weather changes are other reasons.



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Headaches, particularly migraine headaches, follow in families. Most teens and children who get migraines get other family members who have them. When both parents with migraines history, there is a 70% chance their child will also get them. If only one parent gets a history of these headaches, the risk is lower from 25% to 50%.

Physicians do not know really what reasons for migraines. One theory recommends that a problem with the electric charge from nerve cells leads to a sequence of changes that lead to migraines.


Spinal Headaches

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Talk to your physician if you get a headache after you get a spinal tap, an epidural, or a spinal block. Your physician might call it a puncture headache because these procedures involve piercing the membrane that surrounds your spinal cord. If spinal fluid leaks from the puncture site, it can lead to a headache.


Thunderclap Headaches

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Individuals often call this the most harmful headache of your life. It comes quickly out of nowhere and peaks instantly. Causes of thunderclap headaches have:

  • Head injury
  • Blood vessel tear, blockage, rupture
  • Haemorrhagic stroke by (a burst of blood vessel in the brain)
  • The ischemic stroke (a blocked blood vessel in the brain)
  • Narrowed blood vessels surrounding the brain
  • Inflamed blood vessels
  • Blood pressure changes in late pregnancy


If you experience any sudden new headache, take it seriously. It is often a warning sign of a serious problem.

Can Breathing Exercises benefit With Headaches?

Breathing exercises can be a necessary part of headache treatment. They offer helpful effects on the body by controlling and calming stress levels.

A breathing workout relaxes the mind-body, and soul and work well in relieving headache. Breathings are very safe to prevents migraines or tension headaches.


Breathing Exercises for Headache

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The right breathing helps to prevent headaches.

The breathing method has the strength to heal and offers an ideal treatment for headaches. You can keep yourself safe from different ailments by controlling your breath and consciousness.

When you breathe enough oxygen, it helps enough blood flow, calms you down, and helps the body to work over headaches. It can be achieved by breathing from the belly, which helps to cure headaches.


Rhythmic Breathing

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Skip rapid and short breaths. Consider taking deep breaths till ten counts while you breathe in and another ten while you breathe out to get breaths more than usual. Follow this rhythmic slow and deep breathing and then observe your body response, it will get relaxation of nerves and lower headache intensity.

Balloon Technique

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It is a good breathing workout for relieving headaches.

How To Do

Straight your back, focus on a spot under your breath, and navel.

Breathe till you feel that the air reached the focus spot and fills up your abdomen.

Then breath out steadily and slowly, pulling your belly in like a balloon that deflates.

This method of breathing and breathing out for some time prevent headaches.


Visualized Breathing

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It involves a breathing combination and imagination in your mind.

How To Do

Sit comfortably and take a normal breath.

As you inhale, think, and feel the air going down in your air pipe, in your lungs, stretching your chest and belly. Feel that you are taking in every peace and need calmness.

While you breathe out, imagine, and feel pushing the tension out from your body.

Repeat sometime for a headache to disappear.


Therapeutic Music

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In a positive and comfortable space, consider playing soothing music while performing deep breathing with focus. Choose music that raises your mood. The music helps to calm down, energizes the body, relaxes muscles, and eases the headache.


Alternate Nostril Breathing

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The method known as Nadi Shodhana is pranayama for headaches that help to breathe in and out from alternate nostrils. It is the best and most popular practice that helps in overall body relaxation. Inhale from your left nostril while closing the right nostril, and breathe out from the right nostril while closing your left nostril. Repeat this practice many times to cure your headache.

How To Do

Step for one cycle of Nadi Shodhana:

Sit in a comfortable position, keep your spine forthright and relax shoulders.

Bring your right hand into Vishnu mudra (your thumb toward the right nostril, pinky and ring fingers toward the left, index and middle finger, folded on the palm, resting at the base of the thumb

breathing completely.

Form Vishnu mudra with a right hand in which your thumb toward the right nostril, pinky and ring fingers toward the left, index and middle finger folded on the palm, resting over the base of the thumb

Breath out completely

Close the right nostril using your thumb and breath in from the left nostril steadily and slowly.

Release right nostril and breath out

Close the left nostril utilizing the ring finger and breath from the right nostril

Release left nostril and breath out.


Sudarshan Kriya

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This method comprises three parts of the breathing process. It involves sitting in the Vajrasana position kneeling and then sitting behind your legs to remove weight from your knees.

How To Do

The three paces of breathing are;

Do slow practice and balance your breathing in and breathing out at an equal pace.

Breathing out with a duration two times that of breathing

Breathing two times of breathing out

A brief session of Sudarshan kriya would take around 45 minutes.



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It involves a rapid series of breathing in and breathing out. The process involves 10 rapid breaths consisting of five inhalations and five exhalations followed by one long breath.

How To Do

Sit comfortably with a straight spine.

Exhale by contracting the abdominal muscles instantly and forcefully.

Quickly breathe in with an equal force, making your abdominal muscles relax totally.

Repeat the method for at least five minutes to rejuvenate the mind and ease the headache.

Breathing workouts for headaches must be practiced correctly and regularly for effective results.



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Poor posture, muscle tightness, and stress can make the make headache worse, according to the American Headache Society (AHS).

Yoga can help by promoting postures, flexibility, and relaxing tight muscles.

Yoga can help by enhancing flexibility, posture, and loosening tight muscles. Research reveals that yoga also supports the balance of the spirit, mind, and body, which can have a positive impact on anxiety, mood, and stress.

There are several different types of yoga. Most breathing techniques are combined with holding posture and body movement. Restorative yoga is relaxing from that have deep breathing combinations and poses that are completely supported by props mats, blankets, and blocks.

Restorative yoga may be very useful for headaches. On the other hand, if you are a beginner to yoga, you may prefer the yoga form that moves from one pose to the next without holding or straining for more time.


5 Types of Exercise to Beat Headache Pain

Yoga classes are widely found at the recreation center and special yoga centers, on DVD or online. Before heading to a program:

Speak with your physician first

Begin with a beginner’s class

Find an instructor who knows how to change poses to meet medical requirements.

Let your instructor know around your condition.

Let your instructor understand if you feel more pain with some poses.


Tricks for Quick Headache Relief

Massage therapy

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Massages are very luxurious, but they are also incredibly therapeutic. Occasionally headaches result from tension in the upper body because of muscle tension from poor stance or strict exercise routines.

Massage therapy helps to lower chronic pain and ease muscle tension that leads to headaches.

Take the time to analyze message types like Swedish, shiatsu, and deep tissue, and have dedicated referrals for a practitioner near you who can show clear pain points.


Hot/Cold Applications

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For muscle tension headaches, cold and hot compresses can deliver relief. For the cold portion, keep ice in a plastic bag covered with a thin cloth to skin-damaging your skin. Keep the ice pack over on your cheeks or forehead, essentially wherever the most elevated sources of pain are.

Make sure to reduce cold pack application to no more than 10 minutes at a time.

For the hot portion, you can buy a heat pack at most drugstores or make you’re utilizing uncooked rice. Take a little pillowcase or part of the fabric and load it with two 3rd completely uncooked rice. Tie or stitch the open and together.

When needed, microwave the rice for one minute. Apply toward the back of your forehead or neck for heated relief.



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Aromatherapy is the examine of how some smells can induce positive and even healing responses inside the brain.

Some smells have been found to soothe and lower the incidence of headaches. These have peppermint extract, lavender oil, and eucalyptus. They found at different local health food stores or online.



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Acupuncture involves getting Sharpe and fine needles to important areas of the body-boosting energy flow. It is thought to activate the natural pain-relieving synthesis in the body. According to the National Institutes of Health has been shown to lower severity and headache frequency.



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Dehydration can lead to a headache, but it can be easily stopped. Grabbing the best old-fashioned glass of water can help as an electrolyte consisting of liquid-like Gatorade, Pedialyte, or Powerade. Hydration helps to lower headaches; some can induce them.

Drinking more coffee or more caffeine-filled soft drinks can cause headaches. So, if you regularly begin your day with a Starbucks quad latte, you may wish to trade it for a toned downmix of half caffeinated and half decaffeinated. Alcohol and specifically red wine can also cause dehydration the induce headaches.



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Most of the health problems occur by less sleep, and not having your nightly lowered sleep and cause chronic headaches. But understanding you need extra sleep and getting it are two different things. There are many ways you can increase the quality and amount of your sleep, including the following.


Commit To A Sleep Schedule

Sleep and wake up at regular times. Even if you sleep 15 minutes earlier or later this can be a step in the right direction.


Skip Stimulants In The Hours Before Sleeping

Stimulants like sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine can keep you from sleeping and wake up at night with trips to the bathroom. Give your body time to wind down before your head reach to the pillow.


Do A Relaxing Activity Before Bed

Turn off the tv or computer and treat yourself to a hot bath or good book. It may seem old-fashioned, but some relaxation goes a more.


Adopt a ‘headache diet’

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Certain foods are delicious yet cause headaches. Try keeping a headache diary of drinks and foods you eat every day or specifically when you get a headache. If you find a specific trigger, skip it for some time and see if the headaches lower. Possible problems foods have:


Caffeine-Containing Foods And Beverages

Examples have coffee, chocolate, tea, and cola.


Monosodium Glutamate-Containing Foods

MSG is utilized as a preservative and used in traditional Asian cooking. It is also discovered in foods like quick ramen noodles.


Nitrate-Containing Foods

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Most simple meat, such as lunch meat, hot dogs, pepperoni, and sausage can lead to headaches.


Tyramine-Containing Foods

Tyramine is a synthesis produced by the breakdown of an amino acid named tyrosine and it is discovered in foods like aged cheeses and pizza.


Sip Soothing Teas

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The comfort and warmth of a steaming cup of herbal tea make it a good way to relax at night. Those same soothing qualities can get pain-relieving effects. Because herbs can interact with medications and medical conditions, it is essential to check with a physician before drinking these teas.

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