CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — “Headaches are so common. I’d say probably everyone has experienced headaches and many people have them at least once a month,” explained Dr. Genevieve Brauning with Novant Health South Park Family Physicians.

Relief is available before turning to a prescription. The pounding pressure and terrible tension can make you feel terrible.

First, it starts with managing what makes you more likely to get a headache according to Brauning.

“Some of that can be lack of sleep, poor sleep, muscle tension in the neck or shoulders can lead to tension headaches and even hormonal changes for women can contribute to headaches,” said Brauning.

She says to start with an over the counter anti-inflammatory and maybe even caffeine or a supplement.

“Magnesium is a supplement people can take during an acute headache that will break that headache,” said Brauning.

If you’re still not finding the relief you need Brauning says some patients turn to acupuncture or acupressure which uses pressure points in your body.

“There’s great evidence for acupuncture and tension headaches,” said Brauning. When it comes to acupressure she says it is a harmless thing people can certainly try although the studies are not quite as extensive.

If your headache makes you sick or you are sensitive to light you could be dealing with something more serious.

“You’re more likely to be having a migraine type of headache and that’s something we would treat a little differently and something you want to talk to your doctor about,” said Brauning.

If you wear a pony tail, a hat or even swim goggles those are things that can be too tight and could also contribute to headaches.