Drug Free Migraine Solutions for Back to School Teens

September 20, 2012

For teenagers heading back to school after the lazy days of summer, the stress and turmoil of juggling classes, activities, socializing and homework can be daunting.  If your teen suffers with chronic headaches or migraines, this time of year can be especially overwhelming, according to the American Headaches Society’s educational website.  If your child’s physician has ruled out any serious medical condition underlying these headaches, and has recommended treating them with medication and home remedies, you may want to try out some drug free migraine therapies as a first line of conservative treatment for your teen.  Lifestyle modifications and trigger avoidance strategies are complicated enough for adults to manage, but for teenagers who often lack mature judgment and control over their schedules, it can be impossible!

The following are some common triggers that may set off your teen’s chronic headache condition this back-to-school season.  Avoiding them will go a long way toward managing his or her headaches and migraines drug free:

  • Bus Rides:  Noisy, hot, bumpy and long bus-rides, to and from school, or worse yet… on field trips, are miserable for anyone and especially for a headache prone youngster.  Offer to drive your child to school and field trips by volunteering to chaperone.
  • Skipping Meals:  Teenagers tend to skip meals for various reasons from peer pressure to lose weight to harried schedules that interfere with regular nutritious meals.  Give them healthy snacks like dried fruit, nuts and whole grain protein bars to keep in their backpacks for when they can’t or will not have a proper meal.
  • Excessive Screen Time:  Limit television time and encourage active breaks from time spent staring at the computer screen.
  • Stress and Lack of Sleep:  Encourage your teenager to discuss the stress they are dealing with and help them develop time management skills, with a focus on putting their health first.  Make sure they get plenty of sleep to break out of the vicious cycle of groggy days, poor performance and late stressful nights studying.
  • Caffeine, alcohol and smoking:  Educate your child about the powerful and harmful effects each of these substances has on their overall health, academic and athletic performance, and headache condition.  Not to mention legal issues concerning underage usage and the devastating consequences that could follow.
  • Hormonal Changes:  While obviously unavoidable, they are also tricky to identify as triggers.  It’s best to check in with your teen’s physician to make sure they are physically fine, and then reassure your child that they will make it through this phase with patience and self-care.

Avoiding the above chronic headache and migraine triggers could be just the solution most teenagers need.  If your teen’s headaches are not responding to these drug-free migraine tips, over the counter medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen may help. Making sure they…and you… get regular fresh air, downtime, and exercise will also help getting them…and you…through the start of the school year.


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