What Can Trigger Headaches?

Headaches can occur at any moment, and the triggers for one person can be different to that of someone else. Many people are not aware of what triggers their headaches, but here are just a few you might not have realized can be a problem.

If recurring headaches are affecting you, try keeping a diary of foods eaten, products used and actions taken. If you can identify a correlation between your headaches and any event or item, you are on the way to being able to avoid them in the future.

Stress and Anger

Anger can cause the muscles located at the back of your neck and scalp to become tense, and subsequently in some people can trigger the onset of a headache.

Stress is another major contributor to headache pain. If you are getting constant headaches, consider the stressors in your life and try to reduce or eliminate them.

Headaches brought on by stress or anger are usually a tension headache. If you want to avoid tension headaches, learn to perform deep breathing exercises. Inhale deeply and slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth until the muscles in your head and neck become relaxed.

Cleaning Products or Perfumed Products

Many people don’t realize that their house cleaning chores can trigger a headache. Their everyday cleaning products may be emitting fumes, and handling these items may bring their skin into contact with toxic substances that can be contributors to headaches.

This may be part of the reason why so many more women than men experience tension headaches. Both men and women are exposed to the highly fragrant scent of soaps, air-fresheners, fabric conditioners, aftershaves and perfumes which can also bring on a headache.

Test your own responses to all these types of products to determine which ones are a problem and then don’t use them. You can also lessen your exposure to the effects of some of these products, by making sure the room is well-ventilated and using gloves whenever you use cleaning products that might have a toxic impact.

Frozen Foods and Beverages

Have you ever heard of a ‘brain freeze’? This is what people call their ice-cream or icy cold drink headaches. This happens because the coldness of the food or drink touches the roof of the mouth and throat triggering a pain in the forehead. It’s from the coldness touching a particular nerve in your mouth. The correct name for this circumstance is ‘sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia’ which means ‘nerve pain of the sphenopalatine ganglion’.

This type of headache will often subside quickly. For fast relief, place your tongue to the roof of your mouth as soon as you feel the discomfort. It will often make the ‘ice-cream headache’ go away.

Poor Posture

If you sit at a desk all day, with head and shoulders drooped over a desk, you may experience headaches. You need to make sure you have good posture, whether you stand or sit.

Poor posture can make the muscles in your shoulders, head and neck become tensed, which will then lead to a throbbing pain at the base of the skull and forehead. So, shoulders back, and let your spine and not your neck muscles carry the weight of your head.

Bruxism – Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding while sleeping at night is another trigger for headaches. This is because as you grind your teeth your jaw muscles will contract leading to the symptoms of a dull headache. You may consider using a mouth guard at night or consult your dentist for advice.


Medications and Diet

If you are taking medications and getting headaches, let your health care provider know.  They make not be suitable for you to take, especially if you are taking multiple medications which may adversely affect another.

A healthy diet can make you less prone to headaches. There are foods that can contribute to triggering headaches, and nutrient deficiencies can cause them too.