I quit taking painkillers for my headaches/migraines because they never work. My doctor is doing the typical throw pills at them and hope they go away. For me I noticed the hot/cold temperature stuff (warm wash cloth, ice pack, etc.) a lot of people prescribe makes mine worse.
As a constant headache sufferer with migraines thrown in that can last upwards of a week, I've found what helps me to get through the best (by no means does it stop the pain) is to turn on some heavy music, turn off the lights, and go play a FPS.
Egad, that would be intolerable for me! Loud music and bright lights nearly always make my migraines worse, and they can even trigger them under the right (wrong?) circumstances.
Turning down the lights (or turning them off completely) is practically a necessity when I have a migraine. Also, listening to some classical music or jazz can help as well, although I obviously have to keep it a low volume.