According to studies reported in The Journal of Headache and Pain, about 16% of people worldwide experience headaches on any given day. According to neurologists, stress and lifestyle changes brought on by more frequent work from home are to blame for the rise in headache cases.
Scientist, explains that “A lot of patients went from walking to and from the office and having that physical commute to now sitting at home”. “The lack of separation from work and home has affected people in more than one way,”
The following advice from experts is provided to help lessen the likelihood of headaches occurring in the middle of a hectic workday.
Think about your neck
In the WFH culture, slouching in chairs and placing computers on laps have led to a prevalent habit of staring down at a computer or phone for an extended amount of time. According to specialists, when the head is inclined downward, tension is created that affects the muscles in the neck and jaw and may cause the brain to perceive pain.
According to experts, “If you can minimise the strain at the top of the neck, then you decrease significantly the likelihood of ending up with a headache.”
Sit up straight
To keep an eye on your posture, advises Tufui. Maintaining a neutral spine with a modest arch in the lower back is the aim. Along with purchasing an ergonomic workplace chair or a laptop stand, placing a towel behind the back can also assist people in sitting up straight.
Tufui compares changing your posture to working out: while it may initially seem uncomfortable, the ache in your back muscles is a sign that they are fighting to keep you upright and will grow stronger over time.
Take breaks to stand up
Experts advise standing up and moving around occasionally, even if it’s simply around your workspace. Your eyes and brain will get a break from the screen and this can assist reduce back and neck tension.
Start by standing up every couple of hours, then increase it to every hour, advises Klenofsky. It will develop into a habit.
Keep a regular sleeping schedule
Sleep affects stress levels, cognitive function, and hence headache propensity.
Going to bed and waking up at roughly the same time each day is advised by Klenofsky. Even getting up earlier on weekdays and sleeping in more on the weekends might interfere with sleep cycles and cause headaches, she claims.
Maintaining a strict sleep pattern is essential, according to study. “In the very beginning of the pandemic, I had a lot of patients coming in suffering from headaches … We realised that it was because of that shift … They were no longer going in early to [work] .”
According to study, good sleep hygiene is essential. “having a really good routine at the end of the day where you do the same thing, which ensures that when it is time to sleep, your body knows what [to do].”
Eat regularly and drink water
According to experts, “the migraine brain gets hangry and agitated.” If you can’t avoid back-to-back calls for lunch, experts advise grazing throughout the day on modest snacks.
High-protein snacks like boiled eggs or a handful of nuts are advised by Klenofsky.
Additionally, it’s simple to overlook hydration when you WFH, but doing so will help you avoid headaches. For most adults, experts advise six to eight glasses each day.
Track your headaches
The timing of your headaches can help you and your doctor identify any lifestyle factors, such as sleep, exercise, or nutrition, that may be contributing to them. Neurologists advise maintaining a headache diary.
It aids in formulating a strategy as to whether or not we should focus on avoiding rather than merely treating them when they occur, according to study. It expedites the process of seeking relief as soon as possible.
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