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rebound headaches


Rebound Headache

Reimund Bertrams – Bergkamen/Deutschland – Pixabay

If there is one area of headaches that has been intensely researched over the past decade, it would have to be Rebound Headaches.  Rebound Headaches are headaches that are actually caused by the medication that people take for their headache in the first place.  For this reason these headaches are also known as Medication Overuse Headaches or MOH’s.  In other words, people who have HEADACHES take varying types of headache medications.  Although these medications might help temporarily with the pain, a common longer-term side effect is headaches.  When the patient gets another headache, what do they do?  They take more headache medications of course.

If you are having a lot of headaches and taking a lot of headache medications, you should automatically assume that you are dealing with Rebound Headaches.  However, there are ‘official’ criteria for determining whether or not your headaches would be classified as ‘Rebound’ or not.

  • If drugs like ergotamines, triptans, and opiods are taken for over ten days a month, for three consecutive months, you are said to have Rebound Headaches.
  • If simple analgesics (Tylenol, Nuprin, Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, Advil, etc, etc) are taken half the days of the month, for three straight months, you are dealing with Rebound Headaches.


I could have titled this section ‘Things to do for Rebound Headaches‘ but I chose not to.  This is because our goal with every headache patient — not just those with Rebound Headaches —- is to get them off of their headache medication(s) and give them their life back.  Just remember that only your doctor can take you off of your medications.  No matter what kind of headache you have, the things on this list have a good probability of helping you.  WARNING: if you have the worst headache of your life and it comes on very rapidly, you are likely dealing with a stroke.  Dial 911 immediately!

  • CHIROPRACTIC ADJUSTMENTS:  I cannot even begin to tell you how many patients that I have successfully treated over the years with various kinds of headaches.  To understand more about this, go HERE.

  • TISSUE REMODELING:  If you are one of those people who gets relief from a Chiropractic Adjustment, but it does not seem to hold more than a few days (or even a few hours), there is a good chance that you are dealing with underlying scar tissue. Much of this is likely to be FASCIAL ADHESION due to some old ACCIDENT or injury.  I wrote about the relationship between cervical (neck) ranges of motion and chronic neck pain / headaches A FEW DAYS AGO.

  • CLEAN UP YOUR DIET:  If you are consuming things like MSG, additives, preservatives, chemicals, and who-knows-what-else, it may be quite difficult to do anything with your headaches until you start eating better and drinking more water.  The great things is that this step alone may resolve your headaches.  HERE is more information on the subject.  This diet aspect boils down to diminishing the chemicals your body makes that well collectively refer to as INFLAMMATION.  Fail to understand Inflammation, you’ll find it tough to help yourself.

  • CONTROL YOUR BLOOD SUGAR:  For people struggling with regular headaches, this is a critical step in the right direction —- particularly for those who might be dealing with underlying hypoglycemia.  You should be aware that Blood Sugar Dysregulation is being touted as a causal factor in almost every health problem you can name.  Be aware that this can be a huge problem even in the absence of DIABETES.

  • GET OFF GLUTEN:  Gluten is problematic in all sorts of crazy ways.  HERE is more information on the subject.  Be aware that you may be sensitive to more foods than Gluten.  Milk is a common one as well. 

  • MAKE THE DECISION TO EXERCISE:  Regular exercise is good for you on many different levels.  HERE is more information about doing it the right way.

Just remember that this list is by no means comprehensive.  However, if you were to do the things on this list and still find yourself struggling with headaches, you might have an underlying BRAIN-BASED problem that requires special neurological testing (not just another brain scan) or metabolic testing.


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