Practical strategies for headache management can reduce the number of migraine days, severity of attacks, and frequency of analgesic medication use. These strategies include adherence to acute medications, preventative treatments, and behavioral changes.
Acupuncture is effective in reducing pain for some patients. Other techniques that may be helpful include biofeedback, a relaxation technique that uses equipment to teach you how to control your body’s response to stress, and meditation or yoga.
Many people suffer from headaches, but some aren’t normal and can indicate a more severe condition. When headaches interfere with daily life, see a neurologist with subspecialty training and migraine medicine experience.
Avoiding items that cause your symptoms, such as bright lights, loud noises, and strong odors, is the best method to control them. Non-conventional headache management, like biofeedback and relaxation training, is also an option.
Other preventive measures include getting enough sleep and drinking lots of water. About one-third of people with migraines cite dehydration as a trigger, so drinking enough water throughout the day is essential. Many people also say stress is a migraine trigger, so trying to find ways to reduce life’s stresses might help.
Get plenty of sleep
Getting plenty of sleep can help to prevent headaches. Studies show that sleep and headaches use the same brain parts, so it isn’t surprising that they are often connected. Sleep problems can also cause or trigger migraines.
It isn’t clear why headaches occur after a lack of sleep, but researchers suspect it has to do with a change in the circadian rhythm or low blood oxygen levels in the brain. They may also be related to dilated blood vessels in the brain and high carbon dioxide levels.
To avoid these problems, adults should get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. They should also try to relax before bedtime, limit stimulants, and avoid overusing prescription migraine medications, which can disrupt sleep.
In some people, dehydration can trigger headaches. Throughout the day, drinking enough water can help avoid this. Also, drinking water before and during physical activity can help prevent headaches.
Episodic tension-type headaches often occur when people feel stressed. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce stress, such as learning relaxation techniques.
Meditation, yoga, and taking a mindfulness class can all help. Some people also find relief by reducing the amount of things they do daily or taking on smaller tasks. For some people, having a regular sleep routine is essential. It might mean going to bed and waking up simultaneously each night. In addition, eating regularly can help. Avoid skipping meals or eating foods high in fat. It is recommended that people consume healthy fats, such as nuts and fish, in moderation.
Change your diet
Certain foods trigger many headaches. If you’re experiencing regular migraines, try avoiding aged cheeses (like brie or cheddar), cured meats, smoked fish, cultured dairy products, and foods high in salt or sodium. You should also avoid MSG foods, which can trigger headaches in some people.
It would be best to be careful about what medications you take, as some can worsen your headaches. Talk to your doctor about any headache-related side effects from prescription and over-the-counter drugs you’re taking, herbal preparations, or vitamins.
Regular exercise can help reduce tension and prevent headaches. These are especially important if you have a history of stress-related headaches.
A healthy lifestyle depends on exercise, but for some people, exercising out causes headaches. Generally, these are throbbing pains across both sides of the head and last from five minutes to 48 hours after the exercise. This rare exercise-induced headache is known as a primary exertional headache. A doctor should evaluate it to ensure that other serious health issues are not contributing to the pain.
If you are prone to exercise-induced headaches, warm up for 10 or 15 minutes before exercise and avoid activities in extreme temperatures. Also, hydrate with water before, during, and after your workout. Dehydration is a significant migraine trigger, and you can quickly get dehydrated during training by sweating, so be sure to bring a water bottle.