Why More Teens Are Getting Headaches

By KBJR News 1

Why More Teens Are Getting Headaches

September 7, 2010 Updated Sep 7, 2010 at 6:37 PM CDT

Headaches are a common complaint among teenagers, with five percent of teenage boys and almost eight percent of teenage girls in one nationwide study reporting frequent migraines.

A new study from researchers at the University of Oslo, reported in the journal neurology, reveals that of 6,000 kids studied, those who were overweight, smoked or didn't exercise were the most likely to experience migraines.

But as Barbara Reyelts reports for Connect With Kids, researchers have also found a way to ease the pain.

Teens most likely to suffer migraines are also most likely to smoke, be overweight and not exercise, according a study of 6,000 teens published in the journal neurology.

And migraine pain can be chronic - and severe.

"I can only describe it with one word and that is- well, two words, serious pain."

Whatever the cause, researchers at the University of Cincinnati found the best way to minimize migraines is to use a "multidisciplinary" approach.

"They not only provided medications, but they also provided education to the parents about eating habits, sleep habits."

The parents learned to make sure their kids got a good night's sleep.

The kids learned to keep track of common triggers like caffeine, chocolate and processed foods.

And they learned to notice the warning signs.

"By educating the family and the child as to when those symptoms start, the child is then able to identify that they'll be coming on and they can modify some of the things in their own lifestyle to help reduce the effect of that migraine."

The kids also learned relaxation techniques, yoga, massage, warm baths.

The result was much less pain and fewer missed days of school.

"Initially the children missed about 5 days of school per month.Following the intervention, that dropped all the way down to a little over 1 day."

From weekly migraines that lasted all night J.W. now has two mild headaches a month.

"He has really adapted well as far as having a migraine onset at school."