Help for summer headaches

As temperatures rise, so do your chances of getting a cranial pounder. Here are tips from Women's Health, published by Rodale, for thwarting the pain so you can stop the throbbing and get back to the beach.

Tension Headaches: These zingers, which feel like a giant rubber band wrapped around your brain, affect 78 percent of Americans and can strike up to 15 times a month. They come from stiffness in your neck, forehead, scalp and face. To treat them, pop an over-the-counter painkiller — aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen—at the first sign of scalp tightness. To prevent them, start sweating! Sofa spuds are 14 percent more likely to get tension headaches than those who frequent the gym.

Sinus Headaches: Anything that irritates your sinuses—a cold, allergies, malodorous cologne—can inflame them, leaving you with painful pounding around your eyes. To treat them, lay a warm damp cloth over your eyes to relieve inflammation, and use an over-the-counter nasal spray to knock out congestion. To prevent them, replace the filters in your air conditioner with new HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) ones that screen out the pollen, dust, mold and airborne bacteria that can cause nasal inflammation. If you're prone to allergies, try using a neti pot (a teakettle-like device that's used to irrigate the sinuses with a warm saline solution) twice a week.

Migraines: Migraines can be triggered by a variety of stimuli—including stress, bright light, too much or too little sleep, hunger and hormonal fluctuations—that engorge your brain's blood vessels. Over-the-counter painkillers have little effect. An ice pack can offer some relief, but most sufferers use prescription meds called triptans that work in part by constricting the blood vessels around your brain. They're most effective if taken at the first sign of the pain. To prevent them, have your doctor check your magnesium level to determine if you need a supplement. The mineral is closely tied to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates blood-vessel function; inadequate amounts of magnesium can hinder serotonin production and lead to inflammation.

Info: http://www.WomensHealthMag.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
Comments
Loading