Not only are certain kinds of headaches classified as one of the most painful things imaginable, even more painful than childbirth, they can also be incredibly frequent. People with chronic migraines can be hit with them any time of day or night. You could be on your way to work or in the middle of a project, and one could come on out of nowhere. It can ruin your productivity for the entire day. Sometimes migraines can even last as long as three days! When this happens, if your go-to pain relief is over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen, which can only be mildly effective at stopping headaches, then this guide is for you.
But sometimes there are little tricks that can give you surprising relief. Here are 4 out of the ordinary ways to kick a headache.
Buy a Green Apple
According to one study conducted by the Smell & Taste Treatment Research Foundation in Chicago, it’s possible that smelling a green apple when feeling a migraine coming on could mitigate negative symptoms. We’re not sure why it works. It may be a means of distraction. Or it may reduce the muscle contractions located in the head or neck. Perhaps there’s a chemical trigger. Since many smells trigger migraines, it makes sense that some smells may alleviate migraines.
Try Magnesium Supplements
Magnesium is essential for a fully functionally brain, but nearly half of all Americans aren’t meeting their magnesium needs. Magnesium can help your blood vessels dilate, and without enough of it, can cause painful constriction that triggers headaches. Not only could this be responsible for your headaches, it could also cause chronic muscle cramping or muscle spasms.
You can buy magnesium supplements at your local grocery store. If you don’t want to take supplements, you can boost magnesium in your diet with foods like whole wheat, spinach, Swiss chard, and even dark chocolate!
Keep a Food Journal
Are your headaches worse when you drink two cups of coffee? What about when you eat chocolate, sugar, or too many carbs? If you underestimate the powerful effects certain foods can have on your body, you’d be making a big mistake. Whether you’re eating food containing inflammatory properties or drinking red wine, known to cause migraines in certain people, food triggers can be different for everyone. (And, confusingly, some foods may relieve migraines for some and cause them for others.)
By proactively keeping a food journal, you will have access to data that could allow you to pinpoint certain foods that may be causing your headaches.
Get Checked for TMJ
The temporomandibular joint is a complex joint that allows your jaw an incredible range of motion. Also, it’s connected to several important structures in and around your skull. When this joint malfunctions as a result of TMD, also known as TMJ, it can mess with surrounding mechanisms, possibly triggering tension headaches and migraines. Though we still don’t understand what causes migraines, it’s possible that the link between migraines and TMJ could be located in the trigeminal nerve. Neurotransmitters released from the trigeminal nerve can cause blood vessels in the brain to expand rapidly, putting pressure on the brain.
If you’ve been diagnosed with TMJ, or have TMJ-like symptoms such as clicking in the jaw, muscle soreness, or lockjaw, then your dentist can help. Using drug-free treatment options such as a custom-designed mouthguard could help to lower headaches in the future.
If you aren’t getting good results from your headache or migraine treatment, you should consider TMJ treatment as an alternative that might provide relief. Please call (229) 242-5511 or email for an appointment with Valdosta, GA TMJ dentist Dr. Nelson Clements.