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Migraines During Work Can Be Mitigated

Jaclyn Hughes

You know it’s coming, you can feel it slowly starting to grow; a migraine is on its way to ruin your day. Once the pain begins, it’s probably too late to stop it from putting you down for a few hours, so instead medical teams urge sufferers to try to curb the onset of them by avoiding migraine headache triggers.

It’s not exactly news that millions of adults loathe going to work, or they aren’t crazy for their coworkers, or they just have a very nonstop, stressful workday. When you’re busy for hours upon hours racing the clock to get home and get to your family life, it puts stress upon you no matter what you do for a living. To start figuring out what begins your migraine cycles, always write the details down. When did it start, what did you eat that day, what was your workload that day, did you have any other symptoms before it began to develop? Review these notes carefully with your doctor for best results in treating them going forward.

Say for example, you rushed off to work today and didn’t sleep well the night before. Now you’re wiped out even before your day starts, so you attempt to gain a jumpstart by downing tons of caffeinated drinks to jolt your system. You’re blood pressure is high because you’re on edge, and now the goal is to get everything done at work without any hiccups. This all equates a recipe for migraines like no other. The caffeinated overload, the stress, and constant hustling just to get through the day. Dr. Noah Rosen from the Headache Center in New York reports that “Stress is by far the most common trigger for migraine”.

Some other huge migraine triggers to avoid at work:

  • Check your lighting; offices generally have terrible light fixtures that aren’t appealing to the eyes. Add in a few hours of staring at your computer screen all day and you have yourself a pounding head right around lunchtime. If you can get close to a window and set up a work station there that is ideal with the natural light coming in. If you’re in your own office, shut the overhead lighting off and bring in a lamp or two. It brings a different, more soothing type of light that is easy on the head.
  • Smells- The workplace is full of people and smells. Not necessarily bad smells, just aromas floating through the air that your head may not enjoy. Cologne, perfumes, coffee brewing, cleaning products, coworker’s candles, or even smells coming from copying machines or other equipment.
  • Noises- Noise in general forces the brain to work harder than usual because it has to focus on what you’re doing, plus block out the background noise. Every workplace is different, but some can be very noisy.
  • Foods- Items containing artificial sweeteners tend to provoke headaches. Some other ones to steer clear of while at work are chocolate, cheese, Chinese foods {with MSG}, and even processed lunch meats.
  • Too Physical- If you’re a construction worker always lifting or moving your body all day long, you may be prone to headaches for this reason. Try not to overdo it at work, or pace yourself if you have the option.
  • Traveling- Millions of employees endure travel as a part of their workweek. While at times this can be a perk of a career, often it disrupts your life balance and flight schedules can result in poor eating or sleeping habits.
  • Poor Posture- Next time you’re sitting at your computer, check your posture; in fact check it several times a day. Most are slouched over, not holding their shoulders back with a hunched over spine and this too will cause headaches. Try improving your posture for one month and see if it makes a difference, it will at least make you taller and leaner in appearance!

Also try to create a more migraine-friendly workday for yourself by changing the lighting where you sit, putting on soft music or news radio that encourages concentrating, and drink lots of water all day to avoid dehydration headaches.

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