6 tips for managing headache pain at work
On those days when you have to work through headache pain, try these six easy remedies.
Nothing can keep you from doing your best at work like nagging headache pain. Some days, however, there’s no way around it. For those days when you have to keep plugging through, use these six easy pain-relief remedies that you can try at work.
- Breathing Exercises. When you’re trying to work through headache pain, one of the simplest things you can do is take a few moments to practice deep breathing. Increasing the amount of oxygen in your blood can do wonders to relieve headache pain. Relax your shoulders, close your eyes, and take in a slow, deep breath, imagining you are breathing through your belly. This will allow you to take in more air to your lungs. Count to five as you breathe in then release slowly, also counting to five. Repeat slowly three or four times. Practice at least once an hour.
- Neck and shoulder exercises. Stress and tension can often lead to headaches because tight muscles can affect blood flow. If you feel a headache coming on, take a few minutes to try some neck stretches (slow head rolls and gentle neck extensions in all directions) and some shoulder rolls to loosen tight muscles groups.
- Hot and cold compresses. Applying heat to tight or achy neck muscles or a cold compress to the temples can sometimes help to relieve headache pain. Keep a compress at work that can either be heated or kept cool in the freezer, depending on whether heat or cold works for you.
- Drink and eat regularly. At the first sign of a headache, reach for a healthy snack and a glass of water. This can also help prevent a headache from happening. Some people suffer from headaches when their blood-sugar levels drop, so it’s important for them to eat and drink frequently. Avoid too much sugar and caffeine, however, as this can sometimes bring on a headache.
- Take a break. You would probably be surprised at how quickly time flies when you’re absorbed in your work. But you’ll benefit from taking short, regular breaks, especially if you’re fighting off a headache. Leave your desk and take a walk in the fresh air if possible.
- Reduce stimulation. Some headaches are brought on by bright computer screens or exposure to noisy environments. If you have a nagging headache, try lowering the glare on your computer screen (after taking a short break) and wearing earphones to listen to relaxing music.
In the video below, headache specialist Dr. Jonathan Gladstone discusses the best time to take medication to relieve a headache.
*Important: Take only ONE medicine at a time containing acetaminophen.
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