Coping with Headaches and Migraine (Overcoming Common Problems)

Stress and Migraine
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This is due to the inflammation of the sinal cavities and is generally accompanied by other sinus related symptoms, such as swelling of the face, a running nose and sometimes even a fever. The inflammation of the sinal cavities is typically caused by an infection of the sinuses and accordingly any discharge from the nasal passage is yellowish or green. This type of headache mainly affects women, and can occur during menopause, pregnancy and even during their period.

This is due to changing hormone levels in the body and can also be triggered by taking birth control tablets. Migraines can be characterized by intense throbbing and pounding headaches, which can occur alongside several other symptoms, such as visual impairment, loss of balance, temporary paralysis, numbness or a tingling feeling in extremities, slurred speech and confusion. Thus headache is only one of the symptoms of the migraine, which can last for several hours and up to three days.

The occurrence of migraines is often times hereditary and is sometimes attributed to genetic problems in specific areas of the brain. If you suffer from recurring or severe headaches, it is advisable to see a doctor about diagnosis and treatment of the headache. It is however not always easy for a doctor to diagnose and besides information which the doctor will gather from a physical examination, it may be extremely helpful if you are able to provide accurate information on your headaches. The treatment of a headache will generally depend on their frequency, intensity and causes.

Not all people experiencing headaches require any medical attention, but if they do the doctor may prescribe medications, suggest counselling or introduce stress management therapy. Stress management treatments and activities can refer to a broad range of measures which can help reduce stress. If however during your treatment, the headaches increase in frequency, duration or intensity, you may have to see a headache specialist for further diagnosis and more appropriate treatment options.

A headache diary can be an extremely useful tool in monitoring the progress of your treatment. Even though most mild headaches can be easily relieved with the help of a mild sedative, it is not advisable to use such medications too regularly. In the event of reoccurrence or for severe headaches it may be more beneficial to adopt lifestyle changes to help manage the risk of headaches occurring.

Regardless of how healthy our lifestyles are and how proactive we are in managing our headache risks, we all experience headaches from time to time. There are however simple and practical methods we can utilise in the home or office to help us cope with these sometimes unbearable afflictions. Depending on the position you sleep in as well as your height and weight, different types of mattresses and pillows offer varying kinds of support to your body and more specifically neck.

Most of us find ourselves sitting for long periods of time during the typical work day, yet so often we neglect to properly adjust our seat height and back support. Generally speaking, turning of the neck and head should be minimised or avoided altogether when at a work station. Also you should remember that if you are in one stationary position for long periods of the day, this should be broken by regular intervals where you should get up and move around to stretch.

How to cope when one of your migraine triggers is stress

Torelli P, Manzoni GC. This Migraine Again article is based on scientific evidence from reputable sources including scientific and academic institutions and medical journals. Learn about the different health conditions a headache may signal. If you spot a migraine in its very earliest stages, you may be able to control it with nonprescription pain relievers. Migraine treatment. And although it seems paradoxical, many medications used to treat headaches can also cause medication overuse headaches or rebound headaches. If you need more help, your doctor may prescribe a stronger pain medication or a muscle relaxant to control headache pain.

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. Usually, they aren't as painful as other headaches, but they can last for hours or even days. A tension headache tends to form as a result of muscle contraction, and is commonly felt like a band behind the eyes and across the forehead. This type of headache tends to respond well to painkillers, rest, and alleviation of the source of stress. Prevent migraine headaches with exercise.

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Migraines may be genetically linked, although researchers are not certain exactly what causes migraines. There are sometimes visual problems—called "aura"— such as seeing stars, flickering objects, and even partial loss of vision. Some migraines also cause numbness or weakness. Migraines can be caused by reactions to food, stressors, hormonal changes, an accident, medications, or other unknown triggers.

Childrens Headache Disorders

Migraines require special medical attention If you frequently experience them, see a doctor. Obesity may also be a migraine trigger, so exercise can also help prevent migraines by helping you stay at or reach a healthy weight. Intense or sudden physical exertion without a gradual warm-up period can trigger migraines. Even brisk sexual activity can trigger a migraine in the very sensitive. Manage a cluster headache by avoiding alcohol and nicotine. Researchers don't know exactly what causes cluster headaches, so you can't prevent the first onset of a cluster headache.

They can also involve drooping eyelids, nasal discharge and watery eyes. There are some drugs and treatments that can alleviate the symptoms. Prevent a medication overuse headache MOH by monitoring your painkiller use. The medication overuse headache MOH , or "rebound headache", stems from withdrawal symptoms from the long-term use of pain relief medication usually for tension headaches. MOH headaches are treatable.

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In most cases, just stop using the medication and your headaches should stop within a few days. The symptoms of an MOH headache are often similar to those of tension headaches. If your symptoms are severe enough to require more frequent medication, see a doctor.

Use over-the-counter painkillers no more than 15 days per month. Prevent a hangover headache by drinking water. The only guaranteed way to prevent a hangover headache is not to drink, but staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can help you avoid the pain of an alcohol-induced headache the next day. Other liquids, including sports drinks or even broth, can also be helpful.

Avoid alcohol obviously and beverages that include caffeine. Alcohol and caffeine both dehydrate you. Prevent an allergy or food-induced headache by knowing your triggers. Allergies and sensitivities can cause nasty headaches that often include a runny nose, watery eyes, and an itching or burning sensation as well as headache pain. Some allergies are seasonal, such as pollen allergies, and can be treated with antihistamines. If you have frequent headaches with symptoms like itching or watery eyes, consider having an allergy skin test done by a medical professional.

These tests expose you safely! MSG can sometimes induce headaches. Someone with an MSG sensitivity may also experience facial pressure, chest pain, burning sensation on trunk, neck and shoulders and throbbing head. Nitrites and nitrates in meat can induce a moderate to severe headache. Prevent other headaches by changing your personal care routine. Headaches can sometimes be caused by eyestrain , hunger, strained neck or back muscles, and even by things like wearing your hair in a certain style such as in a tight ponytail or wearing a headband that puts pressure behind your ears.

These headaches are likely to have similar symptoms to tension headaches. Eating on a regular schedule can also help prevent everyday headaches. If you don't eat regularly, your blood sugar drops, and this can trigger intense headaches and nausea. Be sure that you follow a regular sleep schedule and get at least hours of sleep every night. It can help for some headaches. Try to make it a short nap. If you take a long nap during the day it might make your headache worse and you'll have trouble sleeping at night.

Yes No. Not Helpful 2 Helpful This is to release tension in your muscles, which can contribute to headaches. Not Helpful 7 Helpful Drink a lot of water. If you aren't dehydrated and your headaches persist, see a doctor. Not Helpful 0 Helpful Having a lot of screen time can increase headaches and will make you feel worse. Not Helpful 43 Helpful Are there any techniques that kids can try? I need something less advanced. Try the acupressure method, where you press the soft spot in between your thumb and index finger. This can help a lot with tension and dehydration headaches. It doesn't always work if you simply press down for seconds though, so keep that in mind.

Not Helpful 84 Helpful Sometimes, but it depends on the severity of the headache. Migraines usually make a person very sensitive to noise, and every person prefers something different when dealing with a headache. Not Helpful 23 Helpful In the context of this article, a compress is a wet washcloth or a freezer bag full of ice with a washcloth wrapped around it.

To help soothe your headache, just lightly press one of these on your forehead. Not Helpful 35 Helpful You probably have cluster headaches.

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You should just try to calm down and breathe deeply and slowly. There is no cure for cluster headaches, but there are some techniques to help ease the pain and reduce how often you experience them. If things don't improve, see a doctor. Not Helpful 36 Helpful When your routine has changed, this means that your body can sometimes be working overtime to catch up. Aim to have a sensible bedtime that you stick to regularly, and aim to get up at a reasonable time each day for you to undertake your daily tasks.

See your doctor if the headaches don't resolve. Not Helpful 70 Helpful Most headaches are harmless and are caused by factors that you can change as part of your lifestyle. For example, you may have a headache each day if you are over stressed, sit wrongly, use electronics too much, eat foods you're allergic to or you have bad posture. If you are experiencing headaches daily and you have attempted to make lifestyle changes, seek professional help. It could be something as simple as you seeing an optician who may prescribe glasses.

If you have tried this and the headaches continue to persist, see a doctor who may run tests, including CT Scans. Not Helpful 56 Helpful Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Tips If your hair is up, undo any tight ponytails or braids and let your hair loose. Wrap an ice pack or frozen vegetables in a towel and apply wherever the pain is forehead, back of neck, etc.

Don't be afraid to withdraw from other people to rest: remaining around people and trying to stay perky when you've got a headache can worsen it. If you need glasses, wear them for reading and detailed tasks. Not wearing them can bring on a headache.


Avoid using ice cubes as a compress, as the edges can dig into your skin and cause pain. Use an ice pack designed to remain soft and pliable, even when frozen. Learn to look at all of your lifestyle factors as a whole to identify the areas where you can reduce stressors that lead to body tension and headaches. Identifying "precipitating factors", including food, bright lights, alcohol, exercise, stress, changes in your life, sleep problems, physical exertion, etc.

If you know you have hypertension high blood pressure it's possible your headaches may be related to this condition. Look into ways to relieve a hypertension headache. For some individuals, CFLs compact fluorescent light bulbs may cause headaches. Sleeping regularly is important to ward off recurring headaches. A natural alternative to Advil is almonds. Just eat , and you should be feeling better within 3 minutes. Try getting a light meal and some orange juice.

This can distract your mind from the pain and help get rid of the headache. If you're near electronics and it's necessary for them to be on, lower the brightness, or just close them. If you do not have to be around them, unplug and turn off all electronics in a foot space around you.

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Try closing your eyes and inhale a deep breath and exhale deep breaths. Most headaches are caused by the lack of water; therefore, as soon as you get a headache drink some water, as it helps rehydrate you. Get lots of rest. Naps can help with a headache. Be sure to find somewhere nice and quiet. Drink cold water to lower the pain. Massage your head. If it is a child's headache then take children's Advil and have them lay down for minutes. Pull the hair not too hard that is right above your ear and in other places. It can help your headache go away.

Drink herbal tea. It is good for you, and it normally doesn't have any side effects. If herbal tea doesn't work try something with electrolytes such as Gatorade or Powerade. Do not read any small writing while you have a headache. Use Collinsonia root; it's been proven to relieve headaches.

Talk to a doctor if you have headaches every day. Try not to jump about too much; it can hurt even more if you have a headache. If a headache is brought on by car sickness, drink plenty of water or ginger ale. If you frequently have headaches brought on by car sickness, take an over the counter drug such as Dramamine an hour before you have to be in the car. Warning: some types of Dramamine make you drowsy. If you must be awake, select a non-drowsy variety. Try having space of your own and get away from people for a while and from the noise, you can also go to a dark place to prevent headaches.

Try a paracetamol. Sometimes headaches can be treated by going up to a wall and putting your legs against the wall and put your back down onto the ground. This helps as the blood is brought up from your legs up to your head as most of the blood is brought down by gravity. Massage the nerves in the area between your thumb and pointer finger. The pain should go away. If you are on your electronic devices frequently, lessen your time on them. Taking a break from them might help, as electronics may give users headaches.

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Stay off your phone to lessen the pain. Warnings Use common sense when considering any "home remedy. If a treatment makes your headache worse, or if you experience other symptoms, stop the treatment and contact your doctor. Tumors can cause headaches, although having a headache doesn't mean you have a tumor. Usually, these headaches will be accompanied by other symptoms, including numbness or weakness of limbs, slurred speech, disturbed vision, epileptic fits, personality changes, poor balance, or difficulty walking.

If you experience these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. Some medications can cause headaches, such as the birth control pill or antidepressants. Seek advice from your doctor if you're taking medication regularly and experiencing headaches. The headaches might be a side effect or an indication of something that needs attention. If you're involved in an accident that involves trauma to your head, you may develop headaches. As this headache can also be accompanied by a concussion, skull fractures , internal bleeding, etc.

How many days will I be bedridden and out of commission? Will I be able to get the housework done this week? Am I letting down my spouse? And those are just the immediate worries. We often catastrophize, as Dawn Buse explains here. Will I ever be healthy enough to maintain a full-time job?

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Will I graduate on time? Will I be healthy enough to care for a child someday? Will I ever be free from taking daily medication? Will I ever be fully healed?

A Treatment for Every Headache

Anxiety also creeps in on those migraine-free days. Will I get one today? Will eating a certain food trigger an attack? Will I be able to get everything done? Will I be healthy enough to enjoy the holidays and other fun events? Such is the cycle. It can feel incredibly overwhelming at times, and anxiety frequently turns into depression 4. But there are several tricks, tools, and coping skills that can reduce anxiety and lessen the impact of migraine on your life. More and more studies are proving that mindfulness is especially powerful in managing chronic mental and physical health conditions.

Prayer and meditation can be a powerful tool to battle anxiety. Letting go of worry and fear helps release the hold that anxiety has on your body and mind. Meditating can be helpful to prevent both migraine and anxiety. Image: GraphicStock. Exercise is known to be an excellent migraine management and prevention tool.