Fight Off Head Pounders



For some, it's the culprit, not the fix. While a small amount of the stuff works with pain-relieving drugs to quell headaches, drinking too many cups of coffee will actually cause repetitive or rebound headaches.

Take Charge: Drink Less Joe

Depending on your sensitivity level, you may not need to quit altogether. Limit your intake to about 200 milligrams of caffeine daily (roughly the amount in two cups of java) to help ward off headaches without going overboard. Keep in mind you can also get jolts from the caffeine in chocolate and protein bars.

More from Women's Health: 10 Best Foods for Life's Troubles


Prolonged staring at a screen--whether it's on a tablet, laptop, or TV--can be bad news for your brain's blood vessels, says Diamond. Most gadgets emit glare that stimulates cranial nerves to release inflammatory neurotransmitters. In layman's terms? Brain pain. What's more, slouching at a computer can provoke headache-inducing muscle tension.

Take Charge: Cover It Up

Screen protectors cut glare; they're cheap, widely available, and made for all types of gizmos. After you've sheathed your screen, try policing your posture or rolling a massage ball along your upper back.


Many foods, especially those high in protein, contain a natural chemical called tyramine that initially poses no problem. But levels rise with time, and too much tyramine can balloon the brain's blood vessels. Beware: Many aged cheeses are also rich in tyramine.

Take Charge: Avoid the Old

If you think food is hurting your head--and women are more prone to such triggers than men are--nix aged cheeses (blue, Brie) and opt for fresher types (cottage, cream). Warmer temps foster tyramine growth, so never leave protein-packed leftovers lying around.


And headbands. And tight braids. Pulling your tresses too taut can strain the tissues in your scalp, initiating the kind of muscle and nerve tension that causes headaches.

Take Charge: Loosen Up

Research shows some women felt immediate relief after easing up on tight hairdos (others felt better within the hour). If you have to wear your hair pulled back--say, at the office or the gym--opt for a chic messy bun or a less stressful low ponytail.


More from Women's Health:

7 Pains You Should Never Ignore

Yoga Poses to Soothe Head Pain

Are You Hurting Your Heart?

23 Essential Health Tips From Dr. Oz

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