Kids suffer back to school headaches for a reason

September 6, 2012 2:08:03 PM PDT
With kids heading back to school there are reasons for those headaches.

James Tretola finally has his headaches under control, but for the last 3 years it's been tough.

"I had such bad pain I couldn't even go out and play sports," he said.

And he said it was even harder to function in school, especially classes like math.

"I wouldn't understand it because of my headaches," he said. He adds, "I'd have to read an equation over and over and I don't think anyone would understand how hard it was."

And for some children and teenagers, heading back to school can trigger a painful headache.

Dr. Joshua Cohen is a neurologist at the Adolescent Headache Center at Roosevelt Hospital.

He says the biggest trigger for back to school headaches is stress

"Not only the academic stress but also the emotional and psychological stress that comes with being in a new school or a new classroom with different people," he said.

Trigger number two are changes in diet.

"Kids often have healthier diets during the summer their parents are preparing their foods," he adds.

And trigger number three is changes in sleep and activity schedules.

"They may be doing after school or before school spots or other activities a lot of kids sleep in the summer suddenly they're going back to their school schedule that major change in sleep schedule can be a big trigger for migraine," adds. Dr. Cohen.

Once a migraine headache starts it gets tougher and tougher to treat to so the best solution is actually prevention

And though it easier said than done, Dr. Cohen says trying to address each of those possible triggers early may help prevent the headaches.

And it's been shown that if you address and treat headaches in teenagers, they're more likely to go away completely by the time they become adults.

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