How To Get Rid Of Headache Or Migraine In 2 Minutes Or Less
10 Things You Didn't Know About Headaches
1. A trip to the dentist, not the doctor, could solve your headache issues.
If you get frequent, unexplained headaches, you may want to talk to your dentist about it at your next cleaning. "I suffered from awful headaches for many, many years," says Gretchen Anderson, 48, a reader in Eagle, Idaho. "After medical tests and a battery of drugs I learned the cause: jaw clenching in the middle of the night. I had cracked a molar in the back of my mouth and my dentist asked if I was having headaches. Duh!" After her dentist fitted her with a mouth guard, and she began practicing jaw relaxation exercises before bed, Anderson says she was finally free of her headaches.
2. You may be able to ward off a morning headache by eating a bedtime snack.
Do you have a snack before bed? If you tend to get headaches in the morning hours, you might consider eating a light snack shortly before you snooze. "A possible cause of headaches, especially first morning headaches, can be low blood sugar that occurs overnight," explains Donna Hedgepeth, DC, DACCP, a chiropractor practicing in Raleigh, North Carolina. "Simply having a snack closer to bedtime that includes some protein can be of relief." Some suggestions: cottage cheese with diced fruit, a small bowl of cereal with milk, a slice of lowfat cheese and a cracker.
3. Acupuncture may zap your headache once and for all.
A brand-new study from researchers at the University of Rochester found that acupuncture may elicit a neurotransmitter called adenosine that can numb nerve cells and bring natural pain relief. "Acupuncture is extremely effective in both short-term and long-term treatments for headaches and migraines," says Kristen Burris, an Idaho-based acupuncturist. "Acupuncture, when compared with flunarizine, a commonly used migraine medication, proved to be more effective in reducing the frequency of migraine occurrences in the first four months of therapy. Acupuncture also significantly lowered the intensity of pain."
4. A headache could be your body's natural SOS signal.
Do you have too many balls in the air? If you're juggling too much and not taking care of yourself, a headache could be your body's signal to take it easy. "It has been interesting to me, as a doctor and researcher for 30 years, to learn that most people with headaches, including migraine and tension headaches, have a significant or often complete association between the onset of their headaches and stress and strong emotions in their lives," says Howard Schubiner, MD, director of the Mind-Body Medicine Center at St. John Providence Hospital in Southfield, Michigan. "I have found that most people with chronic headaches have significant or complete resolution of their headaches when they understand these connections and take the steps in their lives to manage the stressors that are triggering their headaches." In other words, get enough rest and take care of yourself—before your body puts out an SOS by way of a massive headache.
5. A visit to your therapist—or a call to your best friend—may help reduce headaches.
Headache sufferers may want to head to bed with a heating pad and ibuprofen, but talking through your pain could be just as effective, say experts. "Research, and my clinical practice, strongly supports the benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy and biofeedback to treat headaches," says Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, MS, PT, a psychologist and physical therapist practicing in Wexford, Pennsylvania, and the author ofA Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness. Consider a visit to a therapist who specializes in headaches and chronic pain, or just pick up the phone and call a friend.
6. Migraine headaches could signal other health issues.
According to the National Headache Foundation, more than 29 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches. Not only are they painful and debilitating, they may also signal other health issues. A recent study conducted by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University found that people who suffer from migraines aretwiceas likely to also suffer a heart attack. The researchers say that a history of migraine headaches signals a need to speak to your doctor, and possibly be seen by a cardiologist, to determine cardiovascular risk factors.
7. Women get more migraine headaches than men.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 75 percent of migraine sufferers are women, most often between the ages of 20 and 45. Statistics show that more than half of migraines suffered by women occur right around the time of menstruation, or shortly after. "If your migraines are consistently severe at a given time in your menstrual cycle, tell your physician," says Holly Atkinson, MD, of HealthiNation. "Your doctor can prescribe preventive medication that you can use at that time of the month. You'll also know to be very careful about controlling your other triggers at that time too—for example, completely avoiding red wine." http://www.healthination.com/
8. Medication may make a headache worse.
The latest buzz in headache treatment? The medicine you take to kill the pain could be causing you more pain. The condition, known as Medication Overuse Headaches (MOH), also referred to as "rebound headaches," involves a vicious cycle of pain relief and pain creation. If you take medication for headaches and the medication is followed by more headaches, which are often described as "tension headaches," you may be dealing with MOH. Experts note that many headache medicines—from triptans, such as Imitrex, to other painkillers, like Vicodin, hydrocodone, even aspirin or acetaminophen—produce the MOH effect, which can be different for every person. If you believe you're suffering from these types of headaches, seek out a health care provider who specializes in this area, which is still new to many doctors.
9. There is such thing as a vacation-induced headache.
Have you ever gotten a splitting headache on vacation—when you're supposed to be relaxed and destressed? It's common, say experts, and if it happens to you, there may be two reasons why.
The first: When people are out of their usual routines, says Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, the author ofFrom Fatigued to Fantastic!, they often forget to hydrate the way they typically do. In other words, when you're busy chasing the kids around Walt Disney World, you may glance at your watch and realize you haven't had a sip of water since breakfast at the hotel. Dehydration is the most common cause of headaches, so staying hydrated is your best defense. "When your lips and mouth are dry, or even when you're feeling tired, these are good markers that you are dehydrated and need to drink," Dr. Teitelbaum says. "With heavy sweating, even a gallon a day is not too much. Check in with your mouth and lips regularly. If dry, drink. Avoid sodas, tea and coffee, which are diuretics and worsen dehydration."
The second: If you're vacationing in a warm-weather climate, you could experience temperature-induced headaches. In a recent study published in the journalNeurology, researchers found that higher temperatures and lower air pressure increased the risk of severe headaches. According to their findings, for every 9 degrees in temperature increase, your risk for a painful headache jumps about 7.5 percent. However, warm weather isn't the only culprit, adds Dr. Atkinson. "Weather triggers can include such factors as intense heat or humidity, extreme cold, changes in barometric pressure or altitude, and bright sunlight, among others."
10. Headaches may be genetic.
Don't blame your boss for your headache—blame your great-grandfather. Researchers in The Netherlands believe they've found a genetic component to headaches, specifically migraines. According to their findings, which were published in a recent issue of the journalNeurology, if a family member suffers from migraine headaches, you are 56 percent more likely to get them yourself. Some experts, like Dr. Teitelbaum, believe it has to do with brain chemistry. "Genetics play a role, as low levels of brain chemicals like serotonin can run in families," he says.
Sarah Jio is the health and fitness blogger for Glamour.com.
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