5 Considerations For Headaches That don’t Involve An Ice Pick
For the sake of clarity, I’ll say off the top that this isn’t a piece about how to deal with tiresome in-laws or your tax return; it’s about how to cope with literal pain in your actual head. Headaches are an occasional and sometimes persistent problem for just about everyone from time to time, and occasionally, the cause and remedy are simple. If you get headaches, you already have some coping strategies, but here are some suggestions, wherein you might find something you haven’t thought of before. Migraines aren’t simple, and if you suffer from them, you already likely know more than I do about them, and these simple tips won’t necessarily apply to you. If you have a persistent and very localized pain in your head, see your Dr.. If you have an ice pick sticking out of your temple or a ferret gnawing on the back of your scull, stop reading this immediately, and seek EMS assistance.
- Mild dehydration: Caffeinated yummies like coffee and pop, or very sugary juices don’t do a good job of hydrating us, and so it’s useful to make it a habit to drink water throughout the day, even if we don’t feel especially thirsty.
- Poor ergonomics: a badly arranged work station or TV can be fatal for a happy head. No matter what we’re doing, we should always aim to have our head up, neck straight, chin parallel with the floor, and shoulders down and back, away from our ears. Holding the phone clamped between our head and shoulder while doing things with our hands is pretty much always a bad idea. If your job involves a lot of the same posture or movements throughout the day, try to schedule in brief breaks for stretching and moving differently.
- Sometimes we just need glasses: squinting from too much sunlight, or because we’re having trouble focusing the eyes is an easy road to a headache. If you think you might need glasses, chances are you do, don’t fight it.
- Sinus trouble: this is also a nearly sure-fire way to get a pain in the head. Steam can be an effective way to help drain the sinuses and ease pressure. Manual therapies are also very effective ways of promoting drainage.
- Muscle tension: as well as relevant muscles in the neck and shoulders, there are thin, flat muscles around the forehead and scalp that can hold tension. Manual therapies, including self-massage, can be extremely effective ways to manage the pain.
Christine Malec is a registered massage therapist with a peaceful home-based practice in the neighbourhood. www.spiralmassagetherapy.ca