Heading off Headaches
90% of the population complains of a cranial twinge at least once a year. And while most headaches likely stem from lack of sleep, stress, dehydration, or certain foods, they may derive from less–than–benign causes — such as concussion, encephalitis, hypertension, and brain tumors. Recent studies even show that migraines may raise the risk of stroke in women by as much as 70%, especially for those who experience vision loss during an episode. Get medical attention if you experience headaches that disable you, intensify during activity, coincide with seizures, dizziness, or extreme vomiting, or persist after a fall.
To prevent those throbs, avoid noggin nuisances like smoking, alcohol, food additives, and sugar. For some, chiropractic care and massage therapy can scale back headache frequency by adjusting spinal misalignments and easing muscle tension. But if your skull starts to split, try these tricks:
- Rub your temples, upper neck, and jaw muscles
- Apply pressure to the acupressure point located on the web area between your thumb and pointer finger
- Drink water to rehydrate
- Apply an ice pack to eyes, skull base, and forehead
- Close your eyes… or nap if you can
- Take an aspirin, or try dabbing peppermint oil on your temples and forehead, which studies show may mimic the effectiveness of conventional pain relievers.