All headaches share these unpleasant qualities: They're common and sufferers are eager to find relief. Scientists also continue to search for new solutions - one treatment technology under development is a nerve-stimulating device implanted in the mouth to help relieve cluster and migraine headaches.
Here are a few more research-backed strategies to soothe your aching head:
Get acupuncture. A review of studies reports this practice, which involves inserting and stimulating needles at specific points in the body, is effective at reducing chronic pain, including migraines. Previous research suggested that true acupuncture worked no better than a "sham" version (which pricks random spots). But researchers recently analyzed data from 29 studies involving nearly 18,000 participants and found that acupuncture eased pain more than standard headache treatment and was slightly more effective than using the sham version.
Ask about supplements. Put a preparation of the herb butterbur (also known as petasites) at the top of your list: According to guidelines developed by the American Academy of Neurology and American Headache Society, it's effective at preventing migraines, as well as reducing the severity of attacks. Other research suggests riboflavin and co-enzyme Q10 may help headaches, too.
Speak the truth. Limiting the number of lies you tell may make you healthier, suggests preliminary research presented at the American Psychological Association convention. Americans average about 11 lies per week, say scientists. Study participants who told three fewer fibs than in other weeks complained less of headaches.
- The Doctors is an Emmy-winning daytime TV show with pediatrician Jim Sears, OB-GYN Lisa Masterson, ER physician Travis Stork, and plastic surgeon Andrew Ordon. Check www.thedoctorstv. com for local listings.