From Bad Chairs to Strong Cheese

Five surprising headache triggers

By P. J. Ellison

You’re fully hydrated, your teenager turned down the Megadeth CD, and it’s still weeks away from allergy season. So why the blinding headache? Consider these triggers next time you can’t wrap your mind around the cause or anything else.

Screen Time
It starts from behind the eyes and wraps a band of pain around your cranium. Maybe that marathon of Bejeweled Blitz wasn’t the best idea. Experts agree: the bright, tiny rectangle of your smartphone screen activates the retina and optic nerve causing serious eye strain over time.

A study published in Cephalalgia, a journal for the International Headache Society, found that lightning strikes a nerve, so to speak. Chances of headache increased by 31 percent when lightning struck within 60 kilometres.

Strap It On
If your purse or satchel (a.k.a. “man purse”) weighs more than five kilos it might be time to consider leaving your stapler, brass knuckles and bowling ball at home. Chances are it’s the strap of your purse that’s putting a kink in your neck. Balance out the load or consider a backpack.

Game of Thrones
Sit in someone else’s chair and you risk putting stress on your spine, shoulders and neck. Adjust the height of your throne so that your knees are level with your hips. Or stand up.

Migraine On the Menu
Wine, chocolate, and cheese might make up a list of a few of your favourite things, but did you know they’re all linked to migraines? Tyramine is a compound found in some foods as they age and break down. Experts agree: tyramine is a trigger for many migraine sufferers.

Spring 2014, Vol 6 N°2

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