Headaches can really throw us off. Whether you're in the midst of work and finding it hard to concentrate because your head is throbbing or you're attempting to have some fun with a friend or enjoy a nice, long run or powerful workout, the hindrance of pounding can turn your world upside down, and even more so, the bewilderment of where it came from.
Sheena Aurora, M.D., clinical associate professor at Stanford, says that one of the best things you can do is to know the triggers that can cause a headache. And while it's easy to assume it's a migraine or caffeine related, sometimes the cause isn't all that apparent. And while taking a pill might be all you need to alleviate the pain, other times something else is going on that needs to be addressed, especially if you're noticing a pattern in your headaches. Aurora suggests that in order to track this, you keep a diary that you can refer to. Not sure what's up with yours? Here are five triggers that may be the cause.
1. You overexerted yourself at the gym.
“These can be alarming,” explains Aurora. “They come on explosively in seconds.” You may notice that they begin when your heart rate rises and drop when it falls. But sometimes, they can last days. If you get them easily, Aurora suggest picking up a heart-rate monitor in order to track when the pain attacks.
2. You're dealing with neck strain.
A headache from a strained neck is known as occipital neuralagia, and it usually occurs in the back of the skull, making its way through the scalp. Try taking magnesium and B2, which Aurora says can help to alleviate the pain, and may even prevent them.
3. You clench your jaw.
This is known as TMJ, or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. “People tend to clench their jaw when they’re under stress,” notes Aurora. This can cause pain and soreness in the face, neck and jaw. If this is happening, chances are you're experiencing tension ... so chill out. And if that's not working, head to the dentist and get a mouth guard.
4. You're in a high-altitude location.
This can cause headaches and even nausea, which is usually worse in the morning. Even being mindful of your hydration sometimes can't help, so if you're heading up high for a few days, try to steer clear of stress-related activities as well as caffeine. It's also important to note that you should make your exposure to altitude change gradual.
5. You're an avid pill popper.
While popping a pill seems like a quick fix, it can also be an addictive habit. Have one coming on? You swallow a pill down before the pain even really sits in. This behavior can result in rebound headaches, which feel like a dull ache. They're the result of your painkillers findind a new path to your brain.
Were you aware of any of these not so common culprits?
Source: Women's Health