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13 Surprising Headache Triggers

8. Your Chair

The average chair is made for a 5’8″ man. If that doesn’t describe you, your chair may be too big for you, causing tension in your upper back, shoulders, and neck that can work its way up, triggering a headache. If you spend eight hours a day in an office chair, make sure it’s not working against you—add lower back support if you need it so that your entire back is against the back of the chair, and adjust the height so that your knees are level with or slightly lower than your hips.

 

9. Exercise

Although regular cardio exercise is good for pain, improving blood flow to the brain and relieving tension, up to 70 percent of chronic headache sufferers feel pain when they’re exercising. So what’s the deal? It depends on how you’re exercising—two main culprits of exercise-induced headaches are sudden sprinting and improper breathing. Keep head pain at bay by making sure you warm up immediately before a workout, and take the intensity of your workout down a notch if you can’t get through it without huffing and grunting the whole time.

 

10. Sex

Not tonight honey, it’ll give me a headache. For some people, a headache can be brought on by sex or orgasm. Experts haven’t figured out exactly why this happens yet, but they speculate that it might be due to pressure and muscle contractions in the head and neck during sex, or possibly the increase in blood pressure and heart rate during orgasm.

 

11. Weather Changes

If you feel like you get a headache every time it rains or the temperature spikes, it might not be coincidence. The pressure changes that cause weather changes are also thought to trigger chemical changes in the brain, irritating the nerves and leading to a headache for some.

 

12. Coughing

Though uncommon, for some, the strain of coughing can be enough to trigger a headache. It’s called a primary cough headache, and is thought to be possibly caused by increased pressure in the head. Also experiencing dizziness or fainting? Those may be symptoms of a secondary cough headache, a more serious condition sometimes caused by a defect in the skull or cerebellum or a weakness in one of the blood vessels in the brain, so get yourself to the doctor!

 

13. Certain Foods

Chocolate. Cheese. Wine. A list of my favorite breakfast foods or a few possible migraine triggers? Trick question—it’s both! All three of those have been known to cause head pain in some—click here to see more foods to approach with caution.

 

Which of these headache triggers have been the cause of headaches for you?

 

 

Read more: Conditions, General Health, Headaches, Health

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Diana Vilibert

Diana Vilibert is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn. You can be blog-friends with her at dianavilibert.com, or tweet her at @dianavilibert.

411 comments

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9:06PM PDT on Mar 23, 2014

The thing that has helped with my chronic migraines the most is changing my diet. Still trying to find the underlying cause, but this should be the first step for anyone suffering from regular headaches or migraine. Caffeine is number one trigger. Great book: "Heal Your Headache." By David Buchholz, M.D.

1:19AM PST on Dec 10, 2013

TY

1:26PM PST on Dec 3, 2013

ty

1:38AM PST on Dec 2, 2013

how about a bump on the head and then lack of sleep?

8:30AM PST on Nov 16, 2013

informative

4:11PM PST on Nov 4, 2013

THANKS.

6:07AM PST on Nov 3, 2013

thanks for sharing

1:52AM PDT on Nov 3, 2013

if there was no greedy government and no evil harmful murdering bastards then there be no head aches

6:01PM PDT on Nov 2, 2013

Wow, I didn't know that about relaxing! I do get headaches sometimes when I exercise. It's interesting how our bodies work. Sleep is also a headache trigger I find (or lack of even!). Thanks for the article. :)

3:05PM PDT on Nov 2, 2013

yup king steve is a big source up here
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