Headaches are a pain. They can make using a computer and working more difficult by stealing your focus and energy. Headaches affect up 45 million Americans, that's one in six, making them a highly prevalent problem.
Try these 20 different methods to prevent headaches at home and at work:
1. Take a break
Rest from whatever you're doing or working on.
"Many people are very busy and are reluctant to take the time, but if you consider the tradeoff of spending 10 minutes to close the blinds, lie down, and relax when you feel a headache forming, that might be better use of your time than being incapacitated later on after it gets worse. - Elizabeth Loder, MD, chief of the headache and pain division at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and President of the American Headache Society.
2. Eat frequent meals
3. Maintain good posture and move frequently
Stretch your legs and neck if you're seated for long periods of time.
4. Be consistent with your routine
Try not to vary your food, sleep, or habits too much.
5. Get 6-8 hours of sleep per night.
6. Drink recommended amounts of water to prevent dehydration.
7. Manage your stress in a positive way.
Try managing stress through hobbies and activities to minimize tension headaches.
8. Avoid food and situations that trigger your headaches.
9. Drink alcohol in moderation to prevent dehydration.
10. Minimize your caffeine intake.
11. Ice your neck or forehead.
12. Take a hot shower.
Especially if your headache is related to your sinuses, this can open up your nasal passages.
13. Get a massage.
"2010 Spanish study found that patients with recurring tension headaches reported better psychological states, reduced stress, and fewer symptoms within 24 hours after receiving a 30-minute massage." - ABC News
14. Try acupuncture.
15. Get your eyes checked.
Tension headaches may be sign you need corrective lenses.
16. Watch your weight.
"We also know that being obese can turn episodic headaches into chronic headaches." - Mark W. Green, MD, director of the Center for Headache and Pain Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City
17. Exercise on a regular basis.
A Swedish study had migraine patients start cycling. They found that migraine frequency and intensity decreased after adopting a workout schedule.
18. Consider testing for food allergies.
19. Skip chewing gum.
Jaw tension can increase muscle tension, leading to headaches.