5 Headache Fixes To Try

Chiropractic and Active Release Technique work great at alleviating headaches!  5 great additions include:

Chill Out: Your headache risk soars fourfold when a stressful situation ends.  That’s when the stress hormone cortisol–which also blocks pain–ebbs away.  One possible solution: People who meditated for about 30 minutes daily experienced shorter and somewhat less-intense headaches compared to those who did not meditate, reported a recent study in Headache.  Practicing stress-reduction techniques could keep cortisol lower when you become stressed, helping you avoid a crash later.

Get More Magnesium: When brain cells have adequate magnesium, they’re less likely to switch on the pain pathways if they meet up with a pain trigger.  The American Academy of Neurology says to hit the recorded daily allowance for magnesium (310 to 420mg) for migraine prevention.  Three servings of whole grains plus a cup of cooked spinach can get you your daily magnesium.  Other sources include pumpkin seeds, black beans and dark chocolate.

Drink Up: Mild dehydration could double your risk for a headache, according to a Journal of Nutrition study.  Fortunately, upping your water game is a simple fix, Dutch researchers found.  Regular headache sufferers added four 8-ounce cups of water to increase their total beverages from 7 to 11 cups daily.  This lessened the impact of headaches on their quality life.

Go Exercise: Pedaling an exercise bike for 40 minutes, three times a week, blocked migraines as effectively as taking a migraine-preventing prescription drug, found a Swedish study.  Any movement may help by activating feel-good brain chemicals (called endocannabinoids) and muting signals in pain-sensing areas of the brain.

Quit Chewing Gum: Giving up gum for a month halted head pain for 19 out of 30 kids and teens with chronic headaches, found Israeli researchers.  And for those who restarted their gum habit, the headaches returned. All that grinding may put excess pressure on the jaw joint, causing skull-wide discomfort.


When A Headache Is More Than Just A Headache:

Call 911 right away for a “thunderclap headache”–a sudden, violent head pain that’s the worst of your life.  “Severe head pain that comes out of the blue could be a sign of bleeding or a blockage in your brain, meningitis (which may also come with a stiff neck and fever) or another life-threatening condition,” saysMatthew Robbins, M.D., of Albert Einstein College of Medicine.  Also get help for a headache after a head injury that comes with symptoms like slurred speech, vision changes, trouble moving your arms or legs, or with nausea, fever, stiff neck or vomiting.  It could be a sign of a concussion.

Written by Sari Harrar for Eating Well magazine.


Looking to provide natural fixes to headaches,

Dr. Phil Kotzan, DC