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Dimulai oleh exile_rstd, Desember 08, 2011, 07:16:23 AM

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Headaches & Weather: A Surprising Link

Does your child complain of headaches on rainy days? Recent research conducted at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics suggests precipitation and humidity could be partially to blame.

To complete the study, 25 children and teenagers suffering from migraines or chronic tension-related headaches were given handheld computers and prompted by alarm to log their symptoms three times per day for two weeks. After comparing the times of participants' headaches to weather data gathered from tracking software, results were surprising.

    The probability of a headache during rain or snow was 59 percent.
    The probability of a headache at times when there was no rain or snow was 22 percent.
    The probability of a headache in higher-than-average humidity was 59 percent.
    The probability of a headache in average humidity was 22 percent.

"While the study did show some support that weather-related headaches exist, we can't yet determine what exact changes are occurring in the child's body to produce the headache during those weather changes or what can be done to prevent them," says Mark Connelly, PhD, Co-Director of the Pain Management Program at Children's Mercy and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the UMKC School of Medicine. "Hopefully in the future, we can figure out how these weather changes are affecting kids and do something to alleviate or prevent their headaches."

Shake the Ache While headaches are common in children and typically aren't a cause for great concern, kids who have headaches on a regular basis may be missing out on school, time with friends and other activities. Fortunately, Children's Mercy has started the Comprehensive Headache Clinic to address these children's unique needs.

"The Comprehensive Headache Clinic is not for kids who have headaches once in a while—it's for kids who have severe headaches at a high frequency and don't respond well to medication," says Jennifer Bickel, MD, Neurology at Children's Mercy and Assistant Professor of Neurology at the UMKC School of Medicine.

"Through the clinic, we work to address these children's needs and help them deal with headache pain. By combining the efforts of multiple specialties, we're able to take a comprehensive approach to treatment and achieve more positive outcomes for our young patients."

When a child is accepted to the Comprehensive Headache Clinic, he is first evaluated by a neurologist and a pain psychologist. Depending on the medical diagnosis, his treatment plan may vary. In many cases, the child will learn headache management skills through biofeedback training and counseling and will be treated by a massage therapist who will address the muscular component of headaches. If necessary, nerve blocks may be performed by an anesthesiologist.

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