Use This Clever Towel Tip To Melt Your Stubborn Headache Away Fast

Headaches are never pleasant. They're even more unwelcome when you're trying to get some sleep, enjoy a movie, or go out with friends and family. It's at times like these that you wish you had a quick hack (that doesn't involve pain medication) to send that stubborn headache away.

Dr. Jason Singh, chief medical officer of One Oak Medical and board-certified physician, took to his Instagram to share a clever towel trick you need to try to get rid of headaches. "You want to grab two rags or short towels for this. One needs to be cold, so run it over cold water, and the other over hot water, and then you wring them both," explained the doctor. He then instructed viewers to place the cold towel on your forehead while simultaneously placing the hot rag on your neck, and to keep them on like this for about five minutes to see results.

Apparently, this is a quick way to relieve headaches. Here's why this tip might work. 

The cold rag constricts blood vessels while the hot one relaxes muscles

While the idea of using either cold or hot towel tricks to relieve headaches isn't a new one, using them at the same time in different parts of your body isn't as widely documented. "Ice is often the 'go-to' to treat pain and inflammation, so it makes logical sense to be applied when your head hurts," Dr. Tania Elliott, chief medical officer at Nectar Allergy, told Healthline. Cold applied to the head constricts blood vessels and disrupts pain signals from reaching the brain, explained the doctor. 

This seems to be the science behind Dr. Singh's clever towel tip as well. The cold rag works by constricting your blood vessels and reducing inflammation while the hot rag on your neck increases blood flow and relaxes your muscles, shared the expert on Instagram. 

It is important to note, however, just as Dr. Singh himself pointed out in the post description, that this remedy might work for some while it may not for others. Different types of headaches might require different treatments, and it's important to know when to see a health care professional and when to try at-home hacks like these.

Some things to keep in mind

Whether it's hot rags or cold towels, your skin can only take a few minutes of this exposure. Most experts would recommend not more than 20 minutes at a time for each. Also, if you don't have access to cold water and only have ice cubes at your disposal, remember not to place them directly on your head. Ice on bare skin can lead to frostbite, per Rapid Aid

Also, it's important to be mindful of just how often you're getting headaches. Do they come on with intense stress, lack of food, lack of sleep, or when you're straining to read? Or are they migraines? You might not always be able to tell the difference or the cause, so if they're persistent or disrupting your everyday life, seek out the advice of a health care professional without relying on clever tips found on the internet. 

Dr. Sandhya Kumar, neurologist and headache specialist at Wake Forest Baptist Health, told Everyday Health, "If you're having headaches more than four times a month, especially if they are debilitating and keeping you home from work, you should see a provider for diagnosis and medication."