My Head’s Killin’ Me!
Believe it or not, some medicines for headaches can actually cause them. This is called rebound headache, and it’s common. Over-the-counter meds, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil), help in the short term, explains Dr. Mark Green, director, Columbia University Headache Center, Columbia-Presbyterian Eastside, New York. But they can make matters worse if taken more than once or twice a week. Caffeine, sleep deprivation and stress also cause dull, thudding brain pain. The best way to rid headaches for good is to ditch the drugs and make a few lifestyle changes. Dr. Green suggests going to bed and waking up at a set time daily: “People with headaches find that they’re worse when they sleep late.” Carry snacks with you because hunger can trigger the problem. And exercise regularly to release endorphins, your body’s natural painkillers. If nothing works, a doc can prescribe medicine in safe doses.
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