Hot water can make headaches worse

Headache (acute)

Your pharmacy recommends


For acute tension headaches, over-the-counter pain medication such as acetylsalicylic acid, diclofenac, ibuprofen or paracetamol help. Combination preparations, including those with caffeine, are often less well tolerated and therefore only the second choice.

Be careful with higher doses of painkillers if the headache worsens: the risk of side effects increases. With long-term use, the effect of headache medication can be paradoxical, i.e. make the headache worse. This is especially true if you exceed the maximum daily amount specified on the package insert.

Because of the risk of side effects, acetylsalicylic acid may only be given to children from the age of 12; Reye's syndrome with brain and liver damage is very rare. Paracetamol is the only unproblematic non-prescription pain medication for pregnant women - it is even better to avoid pain medication altogether.

Peppermint oil.

The natural pharmacy offers effective and well-tolerated aids for mild to moderate headaches. A tried and tested remedy is peppermint oil, a few drops of which are gently massaged into the forehead and temples. The eyes must be protected from any contact with the oil. After rubbing in, it is advisable to wash your hands thoroughly.

Mind-Body Therapies.

Mind-body therapies are primarily prophylactic and are especially useful for stressful headaches and sleep disorders. They do not help in the acute headache attack. Yoga, progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson and autogenic training are recommended.

Corresponding exercises should be carried out regularly, i.e. at least once a week. The procedures are taught in groups by physiotherapists and other qualified trainers in private practices, sports clubs and adult education centers. Those who have completed a course in a group can then continue on their own and at home independently. There are also many videos on the Internet that can help you deepen what you have learned.


If the headache is accompanied by muscle tension in the head and neck area, massages will help relieve the tension. For this purpose, circular movements are carried out with the index and middle fingers under light pressure on the painful area. It takes about five minutes to take effect. The ball of the hand can also be used instead of the fingertips.


Dr. med. Arne Schäffler; Dr. med. Brigitte Strasser-Vogel; Section "Your pharmacy recommends": Dr. med. Arne Schäffler; Sandra Göbel | last changed on at 09:11