Over 29 million Americans suffer from migraines. The NTI-tss is indicated for migraine prevention. It is a small nightguard that comfortably fits over your four front teeth. Its patented design keeps your canine and back teeth apart. This separation minimizes the intensity of your nighttime clenching forces.

Dogs can Manage your Pain

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GoldenIf you have been considering getting a dog, add pain management to your list of reasons. According to a study in the journal of Pain Medicine, a therapy dog is a new addition to the pain management team.  According to Dr. Marcus who writes the well know migraine.com blog, “Therapy dogs have been trained to be quiet, calm, and soothing. Therapy dogs undergo extensive training and testing before they can be certified for therapy work. Typical therapy dogs' work involves the dog standing by or sitting with a patient and getting petted. It may not sound like this is much therapy, but studies have proven spending time with a therapy dog produces measureable reductions in stress levels and the body’s stress chemicals.”

So, maybe your dog won’t be a trained and perfectly well-behaved “Therapy Dog” but, your own pooch could become a beneficial part of a healthier lifestyle. Dog’s live on a schedule, when to eat, sleep, and exercise and as the owner you are generally responsible for making it all happen.  Here is a bit of evidence that Dr. Marcus included in her blog, the information comes from her books she has written; Fit as Fido: Follow Your Dog to Better Health and A Doctor’s Guide to Dog Therapy and Healing: The Power of Wagging Tails.

  • Petting a dog actually reduces pain severity: In an experiment reported in the journal of Complimentary Therapies in Clinical Practice, researchers found that pain levels in hospital patients dropped by one-third after spending 15 minutes petting one of the dogs trained and approved to visit hospital patients. Another study found patients reduced their use of pain killers by nearly half when they had regular dog visits.
  • Aerobic exercise helps reduce migraine pain and dogs are great exercise motivators. People who own dogs consistently have been shown to complete more regular, healthy aerobic exercise than folks without a dog. Excuses like bad weather, extra laundry, etc may work for you and your human walking partner, but no pooch will stand for this nonsense.  And when it’s time for the daily walk and you get the big “puppy eyes look” you will likely get out there and exercise.
  • Stress is the number one migraine trigger for most people and dogs are terrific stress busters. Petting a dog lowers your heart rate, decreases your blood pressure, and reduces your body’s stress response. It’s not the stress itself that triggers a migraine; it’s your body’s physiological response to stress.
  • Skipping meals and getting dehydrated can trigger migraines. When breakfast time comes for the dog, do you ever hear him say he doesn’t have time for breakfast?  Dog’s don’t skip meals and neither should you. Dogs do a great job of taking advantage of drinks throughout the day as well, lapping up water from their dish, rain water off the street, or snacking on snow.  Not that you should drink street water, but keeping yourself hydrated is a great way to keep migraines in check.
  • One last way to combat migraines that your furry friend can help with is your sleep schedule.  Most people need 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Dogs are great role models for good sleep and will most likely remind you when it is bedtime (I know mine know when it is time).

If you still are unsure, here is more proof, Dr. Serpell at the Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine in Cambridge evaluated new pet owners and people without pets for the occurrence of what were called “minor” health problems, which includes headaches.  While there were no changes in non-pet owners, minor health problems dropped 50% after just one month of adding a dog to the household.  So if you have been on the fence about bringing home that new addition to the house, this information may be the piece to help you make that decision.

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Headache Impact Test

More than 45 million Americans suffer from headaches that disrupt their daily routine. Therapeutic Solutions International has developed a Headache Impact Test and Score Sheet to discover the intensity of your headaches.  You can find this on their website, www.nti-tss.com or view it as the attached PDF here. Do you think your headaches disrupt your daily routines?

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Migraine Triggers: Myth or Fact?

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There has been a lot of talk about “migraine triggers,” including diet, exercise and sleeping habits.  The most controversial is the idea of food triggers. “Although many people believe that some foods may trigger a migraine, the evidence remains a bit fuzzy,” says Elizabeth Loder, MD, MPH, the chief of the Division of Headache and Pain at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Loder points out that it is difficult to track food triggers because different foods may affect people in different ways. There’s also no consensus about how long it might take a dietary culprit to set off a headache so it’s difficult to pin down which foods are the real trouble makers.

chocolateSome commonly “accused” foods include; aged cheese, alcohol and specifically red wine, artificial sweeteners, chocolate, citrus fruits, coffee, tea, cola, MSG’s, Nitrates in cured and processed meats (hot dogs and lunch meats), nuts and peanut butter and salty foods.  This covers a lot of food, but not all foods are triggers for all headache sufferers, they vary from person to person and it is difficult to track them like Loder commented. Food triggers remain controversial; however, one that isn’t controversial is the role of alcohol. Alcohol can have an immediate (within 3 hours) or delayed “hangover” effect.  Light and moderate drinkers seem to be more susceptible headaches than heavy drinkers, possibly because those who regularly drink wouldn’t be regulars if alcohol made them really sick.

So, what are some surefire ways to ask for a headache?  There are several known “triggers” for migraines.  Skipping meals altogether is one way to beg for a headache. “Fasting may alter brain chemicals or hormones or shift the metabolic processes somehow,” Loder explains.  Going for as little as five hours without food is enough to bring on a pounding headache in some people. Caffeine is another common culprit, but it can actually go either way, it can be good news or bad news for migraine sufferers.  Good news, you could ease aCoffee migraine by sipping coffee, caffeine is a mild pain reliever; it helps constrict blood vessels and can increase the absorption of other pain medications. So, starting the day with a java jolt could help prevent headaches. For the bad news, once the stimulating effects of caffeine wear off, some people “crash” especially if you’ve skipped a meal. And, caffeine can dehydrate you as well. After the caffeine high has worn off, some suffer from “rebound” or “withdrawal” headaches.

If you do suspect a certain food is a trigger – avoid it! However, maintaining a hardcore “anti-migraine diet” may not be worth the typically meager results. Loder says, “we counsel patients to watch for associations between what they eat and how they feel but not to get so caught up in the process that they make themselves crazy.”

(This information from dietsinreview.com)

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Headache Pain is Real

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We are all aware that there are millions of headache sufferers in the world, more than 45 million Americans alone.  Headaches disrupt the daily routines of people every day and they are recognized as a “legitimate neurobiological disease.”

Dr. Seymore Diamond, executive chairman of the National Headache Foundation and director and founder of the Diamond Headache Clinic said in a recent news8000.com article, “Headache pain is a real and legitimate condition… because headaches can interfere with having a good quality of life, frequent headache sufferers should see a health care provider for proper diagnosis and a treatment plan specific to their needs.”

There are two different types of headaches, primary and secondary.  The most common form of headaches is included in the primary category, tension-type headaches.  About 78 percent of adults experience tension-type headaches, so they are not uncommon. The pain is pressing or tightening, of mild to moderate intensity and occurs on both sides of the head. Migraines are another type of primary headache that affects 29.5 million Americans. Migraines are distinguished by throbbing pain on one side of the head and are often accompanied by nausea and light sensitivity. Migraines are often “triggered” by something in one’s environment.

There are some tips from The National Headache Foundation for headache sufferers, they include:

  •          Eat regular meals, avoiding food and drinks that are known to trigger headaches, such as  aged cheese, red wine, lunch meats, hot dogs or foods containing monosodium glutamate.
  •          Maintain a regular sleeping schedule, even on weekends or during vacations.
  •          Implement daily stress-reducing techniques into your life.
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Holiday Headache Triggers

We all know that the Holidays are supposed to be full of cheer, however, the season can also be very stressful. For many migraine and headache sufferers, the season means a lot of triggers all at once. Here are 10 Common Holiday Triggers according to Fox News:

1. Alcohol- there are lots of seasonal celebrations going on and it is easy to over indulge. Remember to moderate your alcohol intake.

2. Stress- certain stress related traits, including rigidity, reserve and obsessivity can make you headache prone.

3. Pine Scents- seasonal scents including pine and cinnamon are a big headache trigger for some.

4. Caffeine- a little coffee, tea, or cocoa can actually help headaches, but too much can trigger them.

5. Holiday Foods- some foods are known to trigger headaches for many people - others though, especially those rich in magnesium, seem to help prevent them.

6. Holiday Lights- try not to stare and the Christmas Tree or snow glare too long.

7. Perfume Samples- perfume can trigger real pain, avoid the beauty counter in big department stores if you can.

8. Being Home- headaches can happen when you take a break from your routine. Keep your sleep times as normal as possible, you will feel more rested than if you stay in bed until noon.

9. Flying- traveling can aggravate your sinuses. If you are congested or suffer from frequent sinus infections, but can't miss your flight, use decongestant nasal drops or a spray before takeoff to keep your sinuses clear.

10. Sleepless Nights- A study found that those who slept an average of 6 hours a night tended to have significantly more severe and more frequent headaches than those who got more sleep. Try not to let the stress of the holidays affect your sleep patterns.

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