Got a pounding headache? The instinct is to take painkillers, particularly if you are one of millions of people, who have frequent headaches.
But, the watchdog National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence or NICE, warned that taking pain-killers regularly may reduce their effectiveness and make your brain more sensitive to pain, therefore you are prone to further headaches.
What is the most effective way to treat a headache? This is what the experts say.
Know If It is a Headache or a Migraine?
According to consultant neurologist Dr. Nick Silver, of the NHS Walton Centre for Neuroscience and Neurosurgery in Liverpool, most often a tablet is not what people need.
This is because your headache is more likely to be a mild form of migraine. Also, half of migraine cases are undetected.
To dertermine if you are a secret migraine sufferer, Dr. Silver suggests taking notes how many headache-free days you have each month, that is without any aching, throbbing, fogginess, tension or dizziness.
“If you have 25 or more, painkillers should be able help, as you have an occasional problem. Ibuprofen and Paracetamol are effective, as is soluble aspirin, which is absorbed faster.
If you have fewer than 25, it is more likely you are a migraine sufferer and needs a more focused treatment.”
Also be aware that what you think may be a sinusitis headache could be a migraine.
What to Eat for Headaches?
Bananas are loaded in magnesium, which helps to fight headaches. If you repeatedly suffer from headaches, adding bananas in your diet may help reduce the frequency of your headaches or even help in preventing them altogether.
Consuming carbohydrates, such as a banana, will help stave off symptoms by keeping your blood sugar levels even.
Sitting Up Straight to Ease Headache
If your head is pounding, slumping in your chair is the worst thing you can do, according chartered physio-therapist Sammy Margo.
If you slump forward in a C-shape, you kink the head upwards, and this can stretch the neck and the pinch nerves, therefore causing headaches.
It is better, to sit with your feet flat on the floor, with your knees and hips straight, looking ahead.
Avoid surrounding yourself with flowers or relaxing scented candles. Strong odours including perfume may stimulate the nerve system that are linked with head pain and cause a migraine.