5 Tips to Prevent Headaches at Work

Photo Credit: by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

 

Around 15% of the world’s population experience headaches on any day and over 3.3 million Australians take medications for headaches. Clearly a huge issue for many of us! 

 

Photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash

Here’s five tips to stop those frustrating headaches you may get while at work.

1. Don’t skip breakfast.

If you go too long without eating the resulting low blood sugar leads your body to release the compound histamine to communicate with your brain that you are hungry. Histamine also tightens blood vessels in your body which can trigger a headache.

2. Try blue light blocking glasses.

Exposure to blue light, especially from computer screens, fluorescent lighting and device screens can lead to headaches and migraines as well as cause eye strain and increased levels of fatigue. You might also want to decrease the brightness of your monitor and use night mode if available. 

3. Be sure your screen, desk and chair are set up correctly.

If you don’t have good workstation ergonomics then some muscles may be unnecessarily straining and causing tension headaches. A common mistake for example is having your screen too low which strains the muscles at the base of your skull. See our blog on workstation assessments for further advice. 

4. Avoid strong smells.

Smells are a common migraine trigger. It can be hard to avoid a coworker’s strong perfume or a freshly painted office. Try to ensure good ventilation and consider moving desks if you are too close something regularly emitting a strong smell.

5. Try herbal or supplements for prevention.

It is best to consult your doctor before any new herbs or supplements especially If you already take other medications. 

Vitamin B2 is a good place to start as it is very safe to take and has moderate evidence that it can help prevent headaches and migraines. Note that you may have to take B2 for a couple of months until it is effective.

Magnesium is also quite safe to take, has moderate evidence of effectiveness and only mild potential side effects of cramps and diarrhoea.

Melatonin may help prevent headaches and migraines as well as help sleep quality although there isn’t as strong evidence for this as other options. 

Other options you may want to research are Butterbur, feverfew and Coenzyme Q10. 

 

Blog written by Dr Samuel Wilmann – Registered Osteopath.
Berwick Family Osteopathy & Spinal Clinic

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