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10 Things You Didnít Know About Headaches

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
4/11/2011 5:00 AM   :  22 comments   :  15,581 Views

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By Sarah Jio via Woman's Day

Oh, the dreaded headache. The pounding. The tension. The pain. Whether you’re plagued with regular headaches or only get one every once in a while (let’s hope for the latter), we’ve rounded up the most interesting—and surprising—facts about headaches in general, along with smart tips on treating and preventing them.

1. A trip to the dentist, not the doctor, could solve your headache issues. If you get frequent, unexplained headaches, you may want to talk to your dentist about it at your next cleaning. “I suffered from awful headaches for many, many years,” says Gretchen Anderson, 48, a reader in Eagle, Idaho. “After medical tests and a battery of drugs I learned the cause: jaw clenching in the middle of the night. I had cracked a molar in the back of my mouth and my dentist asked if I was having headaches. Duh!” After her dentist fitted her with a mouth guard, and she began practicing jaw relaxation exercises before bed, Anderson says she was finally free of her headaches.

2. You may be able to ward off a morning headache by eating a bedtime snack. Do you have a snack before bed? If you tend to get headaches in the morning hours, you might consider eating a light snack shortly before you snooze. “A possible cause of headaches, especially first morning headaches, can be low blood sugar that occurs overnight,” explains Donna Hedgepeth, DC, DACCP, a chiropractor practicing in Raleigh, North Carolina. “Simply having a snack closer to bedtime that includes some protein can be of relief.” Some suggestions: cottage cheese with diced fruit, a small bowl of cereal with milk, a slice of lowfat cheese and a cracker.

3. Acupuncture may zap your headache once and for all. A brand-new study from researchers at the University of Rochester found that acupuncture may elicit a neurotransmitter called adenosine that can numb nerve cells and bring natural pain relief. “Acupuncture is extremely effective in both short-term and long-term treatments for headaches and migraines,” says Kristen Burris, an Idaho-based acupuncturist. “Acupuncture, when compared with flunarizine, a commonly used migraine medication, proved to be more effective in reducing the frequency of migraine occurrences in the first four months of therapy. Acupuncture also significantly lowered the intensity of pain.”

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