Preventing a headache can be a lot easier than treating one. Avoiding your headache triggers – including stress, dehydration, and too little sleep -- can help you stay pain-free.
Headaches are among the most common health problems worldwide — the World Health Organization estimates that up to 4 percent of all adults are affected by an aching head on 15 or more days every month. And when a headache strikes, especially a migraine headache, you might be out of commission for several hours or even days.
While there are many effective headache treatments, headache prevention is the place to begin. Even if you can't stop every headache from happening, some simple changes can help you avoid at least a few.
Headache Prevention: What You Can Control
There are headache triggers you can control, and those you can’t. Some triggers in the latter category are the weather and, if you’re female, the hormonal fluctuations that occur with menstruation, ovulation, and menopause.
You're not going to be able to prevent all headaches,” says Mark Green, MD, director of the Headache Center at NewYork–Presbyterian and Columbia University Medical Center. “But you can minimize them with headache trigger management.