Top 5 ways to reduce your Headache and Migraine

Do these five things and you can decrease the frequency, duration and intensity of your headaches by up to 80%.

1. Develop a regular sleep pattern

Lack of sleep and disrupted sleep are both associated with Headache and Migraine. Insufficient sleep is a significant stressor to your body and sensitises the nerves that are responsible for switching on your headache. Identify if you are getting enough sleep and address anything that might be disrupting this.

2. Schedule exercise into your week

Exercise is scientifically proven to be one of the top preventative drugs you can take to decrease the frequency of your headaches. If you don’t exercise regularly, start slowly with something you are comfortable with, such as brisk walking. As exercise becomes part of your regular routine you can gradually increase the intensity of exercise. Regular moderate intensity exercise trains your body to produce very strong natural painkillers that reduce the frequency and intensity of your headaches.

3. Examine how you react to stress

There will always be stressors in your life that you cannot control. You can however examine and learn to adapt how you respond to stress.

Stress relates to your headache and migraine in two ways

A. It changes your posture; you lift your shoulders towards your ears, your chin pokes forward, you start to breathe with your neck muscles. All of this sensitises the muscles, joints and nerves that refer pain into your head

B. Stress also induces a chemical change in your body. This lowers your pain threshold so things that previously wouldn’t affect you now succeed in switching on your headache.

4. Review your food and diet intake

Going for long periods without food has been consistently shown to trigger headache and migraine. This is something that you control by ensuring to eat regular meals and bring food with your to be prepared for times when you might not have access to food. Approximately 20% of headache sufferers have a food that triggers their migraine, most commonly red wine, cheese, chocolate and dairy,

5. Keep a diary

Keeping a headache diary is an invaluable tool that enables you to keep track of frequency of headaches, possible triggers, medication use etc. It then allows you to monitor any changes that are helping you gain more control over your headache or migraine.

There are many other things you can do to help your headaches. We endevour to provide you with information that will help you manage your headache and migraine problem.

We will provide future articles on the role of the neck in headache and migraine and how treatment of this area can provide relief to your headaches.

In the meantime please feel free to contact us for advice or an appointment on 0851670574 or info@proactivephysio.ie

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