Over 15% of Americans report having either a migraine or severe headache in the last 90 days. 

With headaches being so prevalent, it’s no surprise that a few myths have sprung up about them over the years. From flukey treatments to strange causes, there are headache myths to entertain you for days. 

However, you’re probably not up for a laugh if you’re suffering from a debilitating headache. Instead, we’re here to debunk the headache myths you may have heard so you don’t need to waste your time with them. 

Read on to find out more. 

A Migraine Is Just a Bad Headache

You may have heard people use the words ‘headache’ and ‘migraine’ interchangeably when referring to a severe headache. However, this is incorrect. Most headaches would be more accurately described as tension headaches. 

Tension headaches can be as severe as migraines, but they are an entirely different type of headache. Genuine migraines are much rarer than headaches and have different causes and biological mechanisms.

Allergies Give You Sinus Headaches 

Many people believe that allergies cause particularly nasty sinus headaches. However, this is only partially correct. While allergies can contribute to sinus headaches, they aren’t usually the cause. Unfortunately, after managing to treat your allergies you’ll often find that your sinus headache is still present.

Although, don’t let this put you off from using sinus treatments. You should still always try to clear the sinuses by taking allergy tablets because it should give you some relief. 

There Are Only a Few Types of Headache

Some types of headaches are well known. For example, talk about migraines, tension headaches, or cluster headaches, and most people will vaguely understand what you’re talking about.

However, researchers have actually identified around 150 different types of headaches that you can suffer from. These are primarily categorized as ‘primary,’ ‘secondary,’ or ‘painful cranial neuropathies, other facial pain and other headaches.’

You’ll Get a Headache If You’re Stressed 

There’s no doubt that sometimes you’ll get a headache if you’re stressed. But it’s not quite that simple. By that logic, the worse the stress, the worse the headache. 

However, different types of migraines and headaches all have different causes. If you’re prone to tension headaches, you’ll notice they are worse when you’re stressed. But, many people also live with chronic stress and don’t suffer from headaches, so there’s no hard and fast rule. 

You Only Get Night-Time Headaches at Night 

Similar to morning sickness, night-time headaches aren’t confined to one time of day. If you have a night-time headache, you’ll often find that it still affects you the following day. 

This is because as the pain keeps you awake or sub-consciously tense, it steals your valuable resting time. Sleep deprivation is a known headache trigger and will exacerbate your existing headache. 

Caffeine Makes Headaches Worse 

Have you heard people say that caffeine makes headaches worse? This is a common myth, and it couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Perhaps what people are referring to is the headache that you can get from caffeine withdrawal. If you’re reliant on caffeine, you may notice a headache when you stop having it – however, this is a withdrawal symptom, and it’s not caffeine causing the headache. 

In fact, caffeine has been proven to help with pain and is added to several over-the-counter pain medications. Caffeine is slightly dehydrating (which can cause headaches), but you will not suffer any dehydration if you have a glass of water alongside. 

Tension Headaches Are Common for Men and Women 

Although both men and women can suffer from them, tension headaches are more common for women. In fact, women get around a third more tension headaches than men. 

Tension headaches are, as the name suggests, triggered by physical and emotional stress. However, researchers don’t believe that women are more prone to these headaches because they have higher stress levels. 

Some research indicates that it may be due to higher concentrations of the hormone estrogen that can trigger these headaches. 

Sugar Causes Headaches 

Limiting your sugar intake is an integral part of maintaining good health and wellness, and most parents often find themselves telling their kids to stop eating cake because they’ll feel ill.

Although sugar plays a role, it isn’t necessarily the culprit of headaches. In fact, having low blood sugar can cause headaches. So you may find that if you’ve got a dull headache and have some sugar, it may be cured. 

However, after consuming a large amount of sugar, your blood glucose will spike and drop quickly. When it drops again, you’ll notice a headache. 

So, instead of eating the whole bag of sweets, just have a few, and you shouldn’t notice any head pain.  

Alternative Therapies Are Ineffective 

It’s easy to turn your nose up at alternative therapies, but they can be very effective for headaches. 

Headaches are often a symptom of stress or tension in other parts of your life. So, if you want optimal health, you can invest in alternative therapies to help cure your headaches and give you the best mental health. 

Some alternative therapies for headache and migraine help include acupuncture, reflexology, sound therapy, and color therapy. 

Headache Myths Debunked

That’s all the headache myths debunked for you. Next time you’ve got a headache or a migraine, there’s no need to entertain these theories. Instead, just hunker down and wait for it to pass. 

If you suffer from chronic headaches, go to your doctor for some helpful, scientifically accurate advice! 

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