Tips for preventing headaches
Splitting headache got you down? Frequent headaches can disrupt daily activities and sometimes even debilitate you. Many times, individuals with headaches can make lifestyle changes that decrease the frequency of headaches so medication is not needed.
Katie Schill, nurse practitioner, Prisma Health Telehealth, shared some tips to help prevent headaches before they start.
- Drink 40–60 ounces of water a day.
- Watch the caffeine. Slowly wean off caffeinated beverages (tea and sodas).
- Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean meats or other sources of protein.
- Do not skip any meals.
- Eat a small serving of protein for snacks.
- Avoid food that contain nitrates such as hot dogs, cured meats and sandwich meats.
- Exercise daily. Exercise releases chemicals which help reduce pain.
- Exercise in the afternoon as it promotes a good night’s sleep.
Get enough sleep.
- Avoid screen time one hour before bed. This includes phones, computers and television.
- Have a calming bedtime routine such as journaling or reading.
- Consider using melatonin. This is available over the counter and is a natural sleep aid that does not cause sedation.
- Keep a consistent daily routine.
- Address stressors.
- Avoid an over-scheduled lifestyle.
Avoid overuse of medications.
- Over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol, Motrin, Excedrin and Aleve should only be used 2–3 times a week. Overuse can result in more frequent headaches.
If headaches continue and are severe, contact your doctor.
Find the care you need, close to home
Our primary care physicians provide well visits and everyday care when you need it with compassion and expertise.Find Primary Care Near You