Data Suggests Workweek Drug Free Migraine Treatments Needed

November 20, 2012

In case you thought you were the only one with a headache-inducing job, think again.  Scientists in Boston conducted a study, which found evidence that migraines and headaches increase during the workweek, peak on Tuesdays and taper off by Fridays.  They studied something that many of us do when we are in despair with pain and nausea from a migraine: search the Web for helpful information such as drug free migraine treatments or virtual communities of migraineurs where we communicate with like-minded people.   The researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School tracked 5 years of Google searches and Twitter posts that included the words ‘headache’ and ‘migraine’.

So what can you take away from this information that quite frankly, you may have already suspected based on tracking your own migraines.  Treatments can be tailored around your workweek schedule.  From bringing your medication to work to drug free migraine therapies like the following, preparation is the best strategy:

Schedule Sleep- Calm your home about one hour before heading to bed.  That means tucking your kids in, and turning off computers and televisions so that you begin to relax and ensure a good nights sleep.  Avoid playing the day’s events over in your mind by reading something pleasant or engaging in meditation or prayer.  If your partner insists on watching late night TV, buy him or her a headset or better yet get yourself some noise canceling headphones.

Lunch Smart – Avoid eating migraine-triggering foods.  Sandwiches often contain nitrate-loaded cold cuts and dairy based cheese. Opt for unprocessed lean protein, like roast turkey or salmon, and fresh veggies in a salad or sandwich.  Avoid chocolate bars for dessert and reach for fresh fruit instead.  Not as much fun, but certainly way more enjoyable than triggering a migraine

Cut the Coffee – You try to stick to a one cup per day limit, but by Tuesday, you are so stressed and exhausted so you start sneaking in a couple of extra cups of Joe throughout the day just to stay energized.  Before you know it your head is pounding.  Anticipate your energy drops and keep a stash of small healthy snacks like almonds and dried fruit in your desk and stay hydrated with water or juice.

The study, that was reported on the Boston Globe website and published in Cephalalgia online, helps us understand how migraineurs go through similar experiences of struggling with symptoms during the workweek.  Since quitting your job or staying home in the dark until your migraines pass aren’t practical migraine treatments, try incorporating these drug free migraine tips into your workweek.  Track your new habits and how you feel in your migraine journal to determine how effectively you’re able to manage your condition during the workweek.

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