I am a very headache-y/migraine person. I’ve had a cluster of concussions and I got one beginning my freshman year of college that was a game changer. (I’m a sophomore now.) I can honestly say that nothing has been the same since I got that one. I have headaches daily, they vary in intensity but they’re always there and that is certainly a residual affect of my concussions. I’ve been to so many doctors, gotten so many tests done, injections, taken this medicine and that medicine and have had no luck. It is frustrating in every which way, but it comes to a point where I realized I had to take things into my own hands because their isn’t a black and white answer or one reason as to why I have headaches. I have found little things that work to help me manage my headaches. I also know my triggers that make them worse. I don’t have all the answers but if I can make little changes that help manage my headaches and their intensity, then I’m helping myself get better. Here what works for me and I will always keep trying to find what helps!
- Constant headaches after concussion can stem from neck problems. This is a cause for my headaches, my muscles in that area stay very tight. I get deep tissue work done and it is sooooo painful! But it has offered some of the best relief I’ve had so far.
- There are pressure points in the body for headaches. Since I’ve had so many concussions in a short amount of time, my nervous system is heightened. Acupuncture in these pressure points works, but acupuncture needs to be a weekly occurrence to really reap the rewards. Acupressure works too, which is basically massaging these pressure points. For me, it’s extremely painful, (the hand, toe and arm, holy mollly!) but rubbing out these pressure points helps regulate circulation and relax tight muscles and clusters of nerves. This has really helped me.
- I love drinking coffee but this doesn’t help my headaches. I still drink coffee daily but I know that for every coffee I drink I need to have double even triple the amount of water. Water is so good for everything but especially with headaches, it flushes toxins out of your body.
- Diet!! Personally, I have dairy cut out about 80% of my diet. I have it if I have chocolate which isn’t a lot or a burger or pizza. Honestly, I’m in college and part of that is eating pizza at 2am with your friends! Cheese doesn’t really make my head worse. I find that milk, yogurt, and ice cream do, I stay away from those 100%. Oreo shakes used to be my FAVORITE food but I feel so horrible after having them that it is not worth it, even a sip. I also found that cutting out dairy made my skin better which is a double win! I know that for some people gluten triggers their headaches, I tolerate gluten ok. Obviously it’s best to eat whole and natural foods but it’s life and thats not always the case.
- WILD BLUEBERRIES! Wild blueberries are sooo high in antioxidants and those are great for the brain. Theres a podcast from the Medical Medium on restoring Brain Health and he is a huge fan of wild blueberries. They help to release the metal toxins in our bodies that we breathe in and are surrounded by. I have the blueberries in a smoothie everyday (they will turn your whole mouth blue when eaten) and they have made a huge difference with my headaches. They are smaller in size like champagne grapes, I get mine frozen from Trader Joes. I was skeptical at first about them but I say don’t knock it until you try it because they have been so good to me.
- Peppermint oil! This is the easiest thing to do that gives fast relief. Peppermint oil rubbed on the temples of your face at your hair line and at the base of your neck, again at the hairline. My headaches wrap around from my forehead to the back of my head to my neck so this placement really helps. It gives a cooling sensation which offers instant relief. Be careful though because it spreads VERY easily. Use your ring finger because my contacts have burned from mint before, yes. I also put it on before I did my makeup and it got on my beauty blender and the rest of my face burned. haha. SO thats how it works, trial and error really.
- Working out makes my headache worse, this honestly is hard just because I’m used to doing high impact workouts. I walk on an incline on the treadmill. I can usually keep my headache at the same level, it’s better for my body long term to move or else I get achey and sore which in turn makes my headaches worse.
- I try to take breaks when I watch tv or am on the computer. I know when my head is bad and I need to relax for a bit. Headphones don’t help honestly but I use them sometimes. Worse comes to worse a nap always works on days when my head is bad. I always love naps, though. Haha
- I almost always have the lights off. Bright lights do not help my head.
- I don’t use my phone in the car because I get carsick and this makes my head hurt.
Headaches are literally the worst. You look fine from the outside but can feel so horrible on the inside. Since I’ve been in college I’ve had daily headaches, it sucks but I’ve also made some of the most amazing memories and continue to do so! I refuse to let headaches win.