Sure, a fresh snowfall may be beautiful to look at. But not so much when you’re battling a winter headache.
And for some, the appearance of cold weather triggers a seemingly never-ending series of the headbangers. Maybe you or a loved one known this torture all too well.
It turns out muscle tension is often the cause. Here’s how it happens…
When you walk out into the cold air, your natural reaction is to tense up. In fact, you don’t even have any control over the process.
The muscles in your neck, shoulders, and scalp automatically react to that blast of freezing cold air.
And BOOM suddenly you’re slammed with a dreaded winter headache.
3 ways to ward off a winter headache
Cold air isn’t the only cause of winter headaches, of course.
But the good news is no matter the cause if YOUR head pain I have some tricks that could help ward them off. And you won’t need any risky pain pills to do it.
Start with the simplest step first…
1. Layer on the layers:
Since cold air is a likely culprit behind your winter headaches, be sure to bundle up before heading outside. And that means piling on the layers
Start with your warm coat… which is a staple, of course. Then take the time to wrap your neck in a scarf, top your head with a hat, and stick your hands in some gloves.
It’s not a bad idea to wear both an undershirt and a sweater. And consider long johns as well.
Tip: Wearing your scarf across the bottom half of your face could help you avoid another common winter headache trigger, low humidity. Covering your mouth with your scarp will naturally cause the air you breathe in to be moister.
2. Refill your water glass:
When the cold weather rolls in, we don’t feel as thirsty as we did during the warmer months. So, naturally, we cut back on the beverages.
But if you often find yourself battling a winter headache, it could be backfiring on you. Not drinking enough could be contributing to a case of dehydration, a common headache trigger.
Surprised? Don’t be. Between the cold, dry outdoor air and forced heat inside, it doesn’t take much to send folks over the edge into mild dehydration even in the winter.
But the solution is simple. Drink more. A study published in the European Journal of Neurology found drinking just an extra liter of water a day could significantly slash headache pain.
And if you forget to stay hydrated and a winter headache rears its ugly head, drinking some water can help relieve the pain. In fact, just two cups of water could relieve dehydration-triggered headaches within half an hour, according to researchers.
3. Down more vitamin D:
It’s not uncommon to run low on vitamin D in the winter months. And D deficiency is especially common among seniors.
As we age less outdoor time, smaller, less diverse meals, and a harder time absorbing nutrients can contribute to a D shortfall. And research has found those low D levels can play a role in winter headaches.
We aren’t exactly sure WHY low vitamin D levels trigger head pain. But some experts believe it has to do with D’s ability to help our bodies absorb critical muscle-relaxing minerals such as magnesium. And that means you may be able to slash your winter headache risk simply by raising your D level.
It can be tough to get enough D from the sun alone during the winter months. So consider eating more D-rich foods such as fatty fish, eggs, and, my favorite, cheese. Also, taking a vitamin D3 supplement might not be a bad idea either.