To help prevent rebound headaches:

  • Take your headache medication as prescribed.
  • If you need headache medication more than twice a week, contact your doctor.
  • Avoid medications that contain butalbital or opioids.
  • Use OTC painkillers less than 15 days a month.
  • Limit use of triptans or combination analgesics to no more than nine days a month.

Taking care of yourself can help prevent most headaches.

  • Avoid headache triggers. If you're not sure what triggers your headaches, keep a headache diary with details about every headache. Eventually, you may see a pattern.
  • Get enough sleep. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day — even on weekends.
  • Don't skip meals. Start your day with a healthy breakfast. Eat lunch and dinner at about the same time every day. Drink enough water.
  • Exercise regularly. Physical activity causes your body to release chemicals that block pain signals to your brain. With your doctor's OK, choose activities you enjoy — such as walking, swimming or cycling. To avoid injury, start slowly.
  • Reduce stress. Get organized. Simplify your schedule. Plan ahead. Try to stay positive.
  • Relax. Try yoga, meditation or relaxation exercises. Listen to music, read a book or take a hot bath.
  • Lose weight. Obesity can contribute to headache development, so if you try to lose weight, find a program that works for you.
  • Quit smoking. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about quitting. Smoking can trigger headaches or make them worse.
Dec. 02, 2014