Caffeine is the most consumed psychoactive substance. This is because it’s richly available in our daily beverages and treats such as coffee, tea, and chocolates. And it comes with an alkaloid that functions as a minor stimulant to the nervous system.
Caffeine is mostly used in beverages, medications, and supplements that help fight sleep and improve focus. It works by blocking off natural neurotransmitters and powering your body down. Your body can access more energy. That’s why taking a lot of energy drinks simultaneously is bad for your health. This is because it can cause caffeine crashes.
Another main role of caffeine is to block adenosine in our brains and body. This happens when the caffeine is already in our body system.
Does Caffeine Relieve Pain?
Caffeine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant. As it stimulates the body, it blocks the pain adenosine receptors. As a result, it reduces the pain sensation in your body. And this is why some of the most popular painkillers have caffeine as part of their ingredients.
To better understand how caffeine helps deal with pain, finding out how pain works is critical. In the simplest terms, pain is basically a warning to the body that there’s something wrong the body. And it can either be mild, chronic, or debilitating. But pain sometimes doesn’t signify something serious.
A boost in the adrenaline goes a long way in reducing mild pains. And this is how sometimes caffeine work in your body. As it stimulates your nervous system, you get to a point where you get some adrenaline rush. This mainly leads to vasoconstriction.
Caffeine also affects adenosine. It helps caffeine reduce how the brain perceives pain. At the same time, it boosts the body’s dopamine acting as a natural painkiller. It also takes away the pain feeling of getting tired.
However, you need to know that caffeine is a temporary solution. The best thing to do when you’re fatigued is to get some sleep.
Why Do You Get Headaches When You Miss Caffeine?
Most people who have been used to drinking coffee or tea get some pain that could be mild or severe. It mostly comes as headaches or mild body pains. These symptoms are what’s mostly called caffeine withdrawal. And mostly happens because your body has become dependent on caffeine.
The headache happens because caffeine affects the blood vessels. With time, they narrow down. And without it, the blood vessels widen. As a result, more blood flow is boosted in your body, leading to withdrawal symptoms.
When this happens, you can treat the withdrawal symptom easily. Here are simple ways to do it.
- Take Over-the-counter Pain Reliever
Several over-the-counter pain relievers will help you deal with headaches and other pain-related effects from withdrawal symptoms. Some of the OTC pain relievers include:
You can take these medications once every four to six hours until the pain clears. However, the dosage will depend on the medication you settle with. You should consult with your doctor if you have any allergies or reactions to medication. They will recommend the best medication for you.
The most effective pain relievers are those that have caffeine as an ingredient. The caffeine in them helps your body to absorb the medication quickly.
But if you choose to use medication, don’t use them more than once in a week. This is because dependency on pain relievers will lead to more serious problems, such as rebound headaches.
- Use Topical Peppermint Oil
Topical menthol is perfect for soothing headaches and reducing any kind of inflammation. It helps in relaxing tight muscles in the body. So, when you get headaches, apply topical peppermint oil to relieve the headache tension. You can gently massage the temples or forehead with two to three drops of peppermint. And it can be safely applied without dilution.
- Keep Your Body Hydrated
Increasing your water intake is advisable if you drink a lot of coffee or other caffeinated beverages. This will help reduce headache-related risks. Plus, caffeine increases your urination intervals. That means you are losing more fluids. And too little fruits could shrink your brain, making the skull pull which eventually causes some sort of pain.
So, if you have caffeine withdrawal symptoms, pump more fluids into your body. This will make sure you stay hydrated and reduce the chances of getting severe headaches.
- Use an Ice Pack
When you get a migraine, ice should be the place to go. It helps in relieving the headache by altering the blood flow. An ice pack will also numb the area that’s in pain. You can also use the ice pack and put it on the back of your neck. Research shows that cold treatment reduces migraines by over half.
So, when you have some of those withdrawal symptoms, you can try them out using an ice pack. It will help relieve the pain.
- Stimulate Pressure Points
Most of the pressure points in your body correlate to your overall health. Pressing on those points will help ease the pain and ease muscle tension. It works better than muscle relaxants.
The main pressure point related to headaches is at the base of your index finger and thumb. So, when you suffer from caffeine withdrawal symptoms, press firmly the pressure points for about five minutes. Repeat this specific technique on the one hand and then shift to the next hand. Press on the spot for about five minutes. And repeat the technique on the other hand.
- Rest Enough
Taking a nap can help reduce the tension caused by the caffeine withdrawal system. Sleep is one of the most effective techniques for dealing with withdrawal-related pain. As your body relaxes, it re-energizes and deals with the headache issue.
- Satisfy Your Caffeine Craving
If you don’t get any relief from all the above ways, then give your body what it wants. Take some caffeine. But as you get into it, start cutting back on caffeine slowly. Slow uptake of caffeine will reduce the dependency with time.
Caffeine is one of the most used nervous stimulants. It can help reduce body pain when necessary. However, dependency on caffeine could be dangerous. This is because, without it, you will end up with more serious issues such as withdrawal symptoms. So, take caffeine responsibly if you wish to get its best value.