Do headaches tend to weigh you down? Do they hamper your productivity by preventing you from accomplishing what you need to do at work or at home? Do they hinder you from living the way you want to?

We have all experienced the pounding sensation of a headache at sometime in our lives. Unfortunately, for some people this is an everyday occurrence and it can be debilitating. Primary headaches are the most common and they  include migraines and tension headaches.

Tension Headaches. Physical and/or emotional stress may bring about tension headaches. With this type of headache, you might feel a certain gripping pressure like your head is in a vise. A dull burning sensation above the eyes and pain in the jaw, neck and shoulder areas may sometimes accompany tension headaches.

Migraine Headaches. This type of headache is caused by significant changes in the flow of blood in the head and is also called vascular headaches. A migraine is usually characterized by a throbbing pain in one or both sides of the temple, a marked sensitivity to light and/or noise, nausea and vomiting. The duration and recurrence of migraines varies widely from person to person. For some, it may last for just a few hours while others endure it for a few days.

Here are some things you can do to prevent headaches:

1) Improve you posture. Avoid sitting in a slouched position with your chin forward or your head tilted to one side or the other.  These positions tighten the muscles in the back of your head that usually contribute to headache pain.

2) Maintain regular sleep patterns. Sleep and wake at the same time every day. Don’t nap. There is a greater chance of getting a headache if you nap for a couple of minutes compared to sleeping for a couple of hours. Also, sleep with the lights turned off. Lights can add stress to your brain that might trigger a headache.

3) Check your computer set-up at both work and home. If your workstation is not properly set up it will cause unnecessary stress on your neck.  The top of your computer monitor should be at or slightly below eye level.

4) Avoid holding your phone to your ear using your shoulder. This can tighten the neck muscles that cause neck/headache pain.

5) Proper Hydration. Make sure you drink plenty of water.  Many people drink coffee or soda throughout the day. These drinks are diuretics, as well as stimulants. This means that they will dehydrate your tissues leading to tension and increased metabolism which can increase heart rate, blood pressure etc, making you more prone to headaches.

6) Frequent Breaks. As you are able, take frequent breaks.  This can be a simple 30 to 60 second break to get up and move around.  This will give your working muscles a small break so that they don’t get too fatigued.

If you have questions or need more specific exercises to address your headaches, give us a call at 516-829-0030.

Source: www.apta.org

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