Almost everyone is familiar with the pain of tension-type headaches. But that does not mean that the world stops when the pain attacks. Over-the-counter or prescription medications can help, but simply taking good care of yourself can also help prevent headaches.
MAKE HEALTHY LIFESTYLE CHOICES
A healthy lifestyle can promote good general health and help prevent tension-type headaches.
Here are the basics:
Eat healthy food Do not skip meals, especially breakfast, and drink plenty of water every day.
Exercise regularly Exercise releases chemicals in your body that block pain signals to the brain. With the permission of your doctor, choose any exercise you enjoy, be it walking, swimming or biking. Start slowly; Too vigorous exercise can trigger some types of headaches.
Sleep enough. Get up and go to bed at the same time every day, even on weekends. Relax before going to bed. If you do not fall asleep within 15 minutes, get up and read or do something relaxing until you feel drowsy. Avoid medications (including some headache medications) that contain caffeine and other stimulants that can affect sleep.
Avoid excess caffeine. While caffeine can help control headaches, daily caffeine intake (more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day (approximately four cups of coffee) can cause headaches and irritability.Caraine use also increases the risk of headaches, just like the total abandonment of caffeine, whether you stop smoking suddenly or gradually decrease.
Give up smoking. Nicotine in cigarette smoke reduces the flow of blood to the brain and triggers a reaction in the nerves in the back of the throat, which can cause a headache.
KEEP STRESS UNDER CONTROL
Stress and tension-type headaches often go hand in hand. To reduce stress, try these simple tips:
Simplify your life Do not look for ways to include more activities or tasks in the day; Instead, find things you can put aside.
Take a break. If you feel overwhelmed, some slow stretching or a quick walk can renew your energy levels.
Exhale. When you feel your stress levels increase, take several deep breaths and count to 10.
Adjust your attitude Think positive thoughts. Do not think that something is impossible; Tell yourself that you are up to the challenge.
Let it go. Do not worry about the things you can not control.
EASAR THE MUSCLE TENSION
Tense muscles can trigger tension-type headaches. Apply heat or ice to relieve tight muscles in the neck and shoulders. Use a heating pad, a hot water bottle, a hot shower or bath, a warm compress, or a warm towel. Or apply an ice pack (wrapped in a cloth) or a cold washcloth on your forehead.
Massage can also relieve muscle tension and, sometimes, headache. Gently massage your temples, scalp, neck and shoulders with your fingertips, or gently stretch your neck.
Take the time to relax every day. Try this deep breathing exercise:
Lie on your back or sit comfortably with your feet flat on the floor; hands in your lap
Imagine yourself in a quiet place, maybe on a beach or in a quiet forest. Keep this scene in your mind.
Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply for at least 10 minutes.
When you are finished, sit quietly for a minute or two.
Try practicing these breathing exercises or another form of relaxation every day.
KEEP A HEADACHE DIARY
A diary can help you determine what triggers your tension-type headaches. Keep in mind when your headaches begin, your activities, how long the headaches last and anything that provides relief. The diary can help you detect patterns in your daily habits that contribute to your tension-type headaches.
Look for improvements in your headaches as you make additional changes in your healthy lifestyle.
(Mayo Clinic News Network
© 2019 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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