6 Weird Headache Triggers

Businessman leaning back with hand on forehead, close-up(BlackDoctor.org) — Everyone knows a sinus infection or a major work project can make your head throb, but headaches can also be triggered by seemingly innocuous everyday activities like sleeping in on Saturdays or cleaning your apartment. With so many culprits, it’s no wonder so many people suffer from migraines and nearly half. If you think popping a pill is the only way to ease the symptoms, you’re wrong. We consulted the experts, and they revealed some unexpected causes of headaches, as well as how you can stop the pain for good.

1. Kicking back (too much) on the weekend.

You put in 14-hour days Monday through Friday, only to wake up midmorning on Saturday with pounding pain in your temples. The reason? As tension dissipates, levels of stress hormones,such as cortisol and or adrenaline, decrease. This causes a rapid release of neurotransmitters,the nervous system’s chemical messengers. These send out impulses to blood vessels,making them constrict and then dilate, in addition to releasing other pain causing chemicals.

Head it off

Although it’s tempting to sleep in on weekends, you’re setting yourself up for trouble. In a survey conducted by the National Headache Foundation, 79 percent of headache sufferers reported that they wake up with a headache after snoozing for more than eight hours. Also, if you enjoy an 8 a.m. cup of joe during the week, try to have coffee at the same time on the weekend. Caffeine withdrawal also causes blood vessels to dilate, which can give you a “grande”-size headache. You should try to factor decompression time into your workweek, too. If you don’t have a consistent fitness program, start one now, aiming for at least 30 minutes of exercise three times a week. One study found that this amount of activity reduces headache frequency by 50 percent. Exercise buffers the effects of stress and releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, which help prevent the chemical changes that trigger a migraine.

Also consider incorporating relaxation techniques into your schedule, such as meditation, yoga, or biofeedback, which teaches you to control involuntary body responses like muscle tension and heart rate. Studies show that using these therapies, either alone or in combination, can improve symptoms in up to 80 percent of patients suffering from headaches.