To Stop a Headache

Friday, April 26, 2013

Sallie Tisdale, writer, talks about her essay "An Uncommon Pain" and the research she did when her severe headache wouldn't go away.








Sallie Tisdale

Comments [18]

George from Astoria

Ive been getting headaches for 2 years. Ive been to drs and was told it is from muscle problems in my back and neck. I went to physical terapy which helped a bit but didnt get rid of the problem.
The best solution i have found so far is trigger point therapy.
Look it up. its worked for me. Especially this book called

The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook.

Teaches you techniques to self massage your trigger point and has diagrams showing you exactly where they are according to where the pain is.

Apr. 26 2013 01:12 PM
Megan from Ridgefield, Conn.

I have suffered from chronic migraines since I was 4 years old; I saw a neurologist for the first time when I was 5. During my worst years I was having 2-3 attacks a week, spending the days in between recovering. When I was in school, I constantly struggled with individuals, like teachers, peers and even doctors, that were unable to wrap their head around the frequency and severity of my pain. I'm now an adult with 3 children and my pregnancies were always wrought with migraines and daily headaches. My doctors and I have never been able to pinpoint one specific trigger, things are not always as simple as "drinking a glass of water" or avoiding certain foods!

Apr. 26 2013 12:32 PM

I remember one time having a headache, and wondering, "Gee, this is unusual. I used to get headaches all the time, every 3 weeks. But now it's been years since I've had one. Ever since about--"

Then it hit me:

"Since I quit smoking(!)"

Apr. 26 2013 12:06 PM
Karen Casamassima from New York City

Great segment -- Sallie Tisdale made the distinction between migraines and migraineurs and the type of headache from which she suffers. For those interested in the history and mystery of Migraine, follow the progress of Out of My Head, a documentary film.

Apr. 26 2013 11:45 AM

I started having headaches as a child. The doctor asked me if it was inside my head or outside my head when I said "outside" he decided my mom braided my hair too tight. These persisted and increased when I went off to Peace Corps in the Congo. I thought it was malaria and in fact, some of these headaches probably were. I lived in an area where falciparum malaria was resistant to chloroquine, but Peace Corps doctors didn't accept it at the time. Then I had severe headaches when I was in Niger when the harmadan winds would blow. So, I thought I was allergic to acacia trees. And indeed I did seem to be allergic to tree pollens when I lived in Ithaca for graduate school. They were so debilitating that I would lose days to them. They were worse when I moved to Atlanta and trips to Jakarta, Bangkok and Manilla were rough. I definitely noticed fluctuations with menstrual cycles. My sister later decided I must have migraines because our grandfather, our mother and my sister suffer from migraines. Now, I hardly ever have them anymore. I'm not sure whether it is the Martial Arts that my son's sensei talked me into doing or turning 50 that did it. I would be terrified of stopping the Martial Arts.

Apr. 26 2013 11:40 AM
Alvin from NJ

Most headaches are caused by what we eat. The next time you feel a headache come on look into what you last ate. It's most likely gluten.

To get rid of a headache place a hot towel or heat pad on your forehead, or pinch (very hard) the muscle between your pointer finger & thumb for 1 minute.

Apr. 26 2013 11:39 AM
thatgirl from manhattan

There are also a great many different kinds of headaches and migraines--one solution doesn't suit all.

Can't imagine injecting myself with botulism toxin (botox). I've read the accounts of those who've found relief from it for a couple of years, but begin to have very negative side effects, nerve damage.

Apr. 26 2013 11:35 AM
Mary from Fort Greene

Love the last caller's comments about liking life how it comes and not being "evened out" by his headache medication. I have always felt the same. I hate high drama.

Apr. 26 2013 11:35 AM
paul feinberg

I've been a practicing Rolfer for 20 years. Chronic pain usually is the result of tight muscles compressing a nerve.

Apr. 26 2013 11:33 AM
thatgirl from manhattan

I suffered migraines since childhood. They got worse with age. They would debilitate me for 48 hours at a stretch.

I tried every Rx brand and home remedy, until I found a traditional Chinese acupuncture and herb practitioner 20 years ago (mine's from Shanghai). It's brought relief from the migraines in a way nothing else could. If one is diligent about it over a few months, it will work.

Apr. 26 2013 11:32 AM

Don't forget headaches caused by Shingles. Get your shot!

Apr. 26 2013 11:32 AM
Carol from Queens

I have Meniere's and recent theories are that it is a form of Migraine. Do you have information on this?

Apr. 26 2013 11:29 AM
Windows from nyc

To what extent are these pains psychological? What is happening in people's life that happens to trigger this pain?
Don't you find it interesting how some people get sick and others exposed to the same environment don't?
It's what caused the 9-11 rescuers from being compensated for their condition.

Apr. 26 2013 11:29 AM
John A

What I learned, in my mid-twenties: just drink a cup of water. Seriously.

Apr. 26 2013 11:28 AM
warren from LIC

I thought I was getting migraines but was diagnosed with getting cluster headaches which are very different and sometimes called "suicide headaches". While migraine Rx's had less and less effect every day luckily my new doctor knew and tried oxygen as a treatment and it WORKED!

Apr. 26 2013 11:28 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

My first migraine lasted for 4 days and, unfortunately, took place during my 11th grade midterms. What a pleasure (irony intended) trying to study, concentrate and take exams with a constant headache. My mom finally got me to a doctor on the fifth day and I got a prescription that helped, but I've been really conscientious about headaches ever since.

Apr. 26 2013 11:27 AM
wendy from manhattan

Are there any things here that might apply to other chronic and severe pain, such as back pain related to osteoarthritis? It is debilitating and causes tremendous emotional stress, and I'm wondering if pain management with severe, chronic headaches may somehow translate to managing other sources of pain.

Apr. 26 2013 11:26 AM
jim from Brooklyn

My mother was having ongoing painful all day headaches for a couple years. She was later diagnosed with lung cancer (seemingly unrelated) and after waking up from anesthesia from surgery the headaches disappeared. She completely recovered from the cancer and the headaches never returned. A very strange miracle.

Apr. 26 2013 11:25 AM

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