Dr. Williams weighs in avoiding headaches or managing their onset.
“What a headache” is a figure of speech used to describe stressful situations. Of course, we know actual headaches are equally—if not more—troubling. The physical pain may result in the need to cancel plans, lost PTO and a reduced quality of life. Some headache causes, such as viral symptoms, can’t be avoided (sorry). However, neurologists want you to know that other headache triggers are preventable.
“The best headache is the one you never get,” says Dr. Vernon Williams, MD, a board-certified neurologist, sports neurologist and founding director of the Center for Sports Neurology and Pain Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles.
Though more research on headaches is needed, one older study from 2014 indicated that people with migraines experienced fewer headaches if they practiced meditation. A good body of evidence, including this 2021 study, suggests mindfulness is an important tool in stress management.
That’s why experts like Dr. Williams recommend it for avoiding stress-related headaches. “Meditation has been shown to help lessen headache occurrences and severity for many sufferers,” Dr. Williams says.
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