Triggers & Tricks for Managing Headache Pain

5 Things That Work for Me

Tenille Lafontaine


Regina, Saskatchewan



If you’re like me and suffer from headaches, you know that parenting doesn’t take a break when you’re in pain. Through the years I’ve found ways to handle my headache pain.  Perhaps you’ve discovered these tips as well, or have your own to share.


1. Figure out where the pain is

The most important tip, I think, is to figure out where the pain is stemming from. Pain, after all, is a symptom.

  • Where does the pain originate?
  • Is it chronic (long term) or acute (sharp)?
  • Does it get better or worse with movement?
  • Does light bother you more so when you have a headache?

2. Find your triggers

Knowing your headache triggers is important. For me, stress is definitely a trigger, as are hormonal fluctuations. Dehydration, hunger, and certain food additives are also common headache triggers. Once you can identify your triggers, you can then take steps to minimize them as best you can.

3. Minimize headache pain

Next, determine what to reach for to help minimize headache pain.  This is why knowing where the pain comes from and what the trigger may be is important.

Analgesics (medications used to treat pain) are used to relieve headaches, body aches and pains, reduce fever, arthritis pain and more. There are two main types of Analgesics – Antipyretics and NSAIDS. 

Antipyretic means “anti-fever” and mainly includes Acetaminophen while NSAIDS include ibuprofen, ASA (like Life Brand ASA Daily Low Dose 81mg) and naproxen sodium. Sound familiar? While all these terms can commonly be found on prescription fact sheets, it can certainly get confusing trying to determine which Analgesic is right for you and your pain.

If your headaches stem from muscle pain and inflammation, ibuprofen like Life Brand Ibuprofen Liquid Capsules may be helpful.  If, however, your headache is caused by a hormonal fluctuation or even a bump on the head, then acetaminophen is going to be more helpful for that type of headache pain.


Ask an Expert!

The Question: “Should I take pain medication only when I have a lot of pain?”
- L. Helmsworth

The Answer: No. Pain is easier to control when it is mild. In fact, waiting too long can actually make pain harder to control.
Shoppers Drug Mart Associate-owner
Victor Wong, BScPhm, PharmD, RPh, CDE.


4. Practice relaxation techniques

I think it’s important to practice relaxation techniques regardless of the cause of the headache pain. If you enjoy exercise, carve out more time in your day or week to get outside or to the gym and work out. If you prefer yoga or massage (my pick!) make it a priority to take care of yourself in this manner. I schedule my massage treatments like I do anything else in my life – once every two weeks or so for maintenance.

5. Maintenance

Finally, make sure that you make your health and treating your headache pain a priority. As moms are often put ourselves and our needs last, but a mom smiling through the headache pain and not being fully present leaves us all feeling like we’re not getting or giving 100%. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist too! Once you can identify the cause, triggers and best treatment plan, headaches can be minimized and not interfere with your daily life. Because, let’s face it, moms simply don’t have time to deal with a headache!

To ensure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.