There are many reasons why summer may be the worst season for migraines for some of us: allergies, summer weather, stress, changes to our routines, etc. Following these five tips should help you alleviate some of them, which will give you more time to enjoy the long, lazy days of our summer.
1) Drink plenty of water and eat regularly. Dehydration triggers migraine, especially during the warm summer months, so drink plenty of water. Regular meals are important to maintain even blood sugar levels as a drop in blood sugar can trigger a migraine. And avoid food triggers such as chocolate, red wine and dairy products.
2) Watch the weather. The brightness of the summer sun can also trigger a migraine. Keep sunglasses at hand and wear a large-brimmed hat. Also, keep an eye on weather changes as migraine sufferers can experience head pain with the transition from sunny weather to cloudy, rainy weather. Be proactive with your medication.
3) Exercise regularly. Regular exercise also helps to control stress, another migraine trigger. You may be tempted to avoid exercise, afraid it might start a migraine. But, research suggests that moderate aerobic exercise may reduce the severity, duration and number of migraines in many people.
4) Relax those tight muscles. Do you hold your stress and tension in your back and neck? Are you hunched over at your desk? All of these lead to spasms, tightness, knots, and inflammation that radiate up into the head and trigger a migraine. Work on your posture, sit correctly at your desk, have regular body work like massage, acupuncture and physiotherapy. Do regular yoga and Pilates.
5) Neck exercises can help relieve tension and reduce headaches.
- Begin sitting or standing tall. Bring your chin to your chest and then return back to looking straight ahead.
- Tilt your head to the right and then over to the left.
- Extend your neck back to look upwards.
- Do half-circles by bringing your chin to your chest and rolling slowly from side to side.
- Shoulder shrugs. Elevate first your left shoulder up toward your ear and release it down, then repeat with the right shoulder. Bring both shoulders up and drop them down to complete the exercises.
Migraine can be a real nuisance during the summer but, often, taking simple steps can reduce the number of migraines you may get or reduce their severity.