8 Unusual Tips To Beat The Worst Headaches
Regularly popping pills for a headache can make it worse, says a new study. What else can you do? Here are some suggest
WEAR YOUR HAIR DOWN
50 out of 93 women experienced a headache from wearing a ponytail. Plaits, chignons, tight-fitting hats and hair bands can all cause headaches if the hair is pulled back tight, straining the connective tissues in the scalp. If you have to tie your hair up for work or exercise, try to avoid the so-called Croydon face-lift effect.
GLUG PLENTY OF WATER
Simply drinking a big glass of water and waiting 10 minutes or rubbing the neck and temples for five minutes to relieve any tension is often sufficient to banish a headache.
DON’T BUY EXPENSIVE PAINKILLERS
Avoid painkillers that say ‘plus’ or ‘extra’. People choose them because they assume they will work faster, but they simply contain added ingredients like caffeine or codeine that might not be suitable for you. See your doctor if you’ve been taking paracetamol, aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for 15 days in a row.
SIT UP STRAIGHT
Slumping in your chair is the worst thing you can do if your head is pounding. When you slump forward in a C-shape, you tilt your head upwards, which can stretch your neck and pinch your nerves, making your headache worse. So, sit with your feet flat on the floor and keep your hips and knees facing forward.
AVOID HAM SANDWICHES
Ham contains tyramine (a natural substance in preserved foods) and nitrates, both of which increase blood flow to the brain and trigger pain. Tyramine is also found in foods that have been preserved, pickled, smoked, marinated or fermented. Cheese, chocolate and certain fruits like pineapple and bananas are also high in tyramine and/or food additives.
SNACK ON NUTS AND SEEDS
These are a great source of the mineral magnesium, which acts as a muscle relaxant. Depleted levels are linked with reduced blood flow to the brain and low blood sugar, which can trigger headaches. Researchers found that up to 50% of migraine sufferers have low levels of magnesium. Other good sources of magnesium include fresh leafy, green vegetables, tomato puree, whole grains, beans, peas, potatoes, oats and yeast extract.
STAY CLEAR OF PERFUMES AND AIR FRESHENERS
Perfumes, aftershaves, strong-smelling soaps, air fresheners and household cleaners contain chemicals that activate nerve cells in the nose, which send signals to the brain. In some people, these nerve signals are strong enough to cause headaches. Open up the windows and use chemical-free sprays instead. Alternatively, you can fill a spray bottle with water and a few drops of essential oil and spritz it around instead.
FOLLOW THE 20/20 RULE
Staring at a computer screen for too long can leave you with a headache, sore or tired eyes and even blurred vision. So, look up from your screen every 20 minutes and focus on something 20ft away for 20 seconds.
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