A bad headache can ruin your entire day the instant you feel that familiar dull pain creeping up around your temple.
Like most people, you probably reach into the medicine cabinet when you need to stop an oncoming headache in its tracks.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, like ibuprofen, are great for temporary relief, but they don’t last forever—plus most of these pills also present their own side effects, like upset stomach or dizziness.
That’s why aesthetic specialist Dr. Jane Leonard is offering an easier treatment to combat annoying headaches.
As Dr. Leonard explains to Express online, most people suffer from tension headaches, triggered by anxiety, stress, or fatigue.
These headaches are generally caused by muscle spasms in the jaw, neck, face, or scalp.
“Patients often hold their temples to indicate where the source of the pain is,” Dr. Leonard said. “This is due to spasm of a fan-shaped muscle found across the temples spreading the back of the head called temporalis.”
Individuals who grind their teeth or clench their jaw while they sleep are even more likely to suffer from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction.
Because tension headaches are almost always linked in some way to the jaw, Dr. Leonard suggests stopping the pain straight from the source.
So, what is Dr. Leonard’s solution to relieve the pain? Grab a pencil.
By putting a pencil in between your teeth, she explains, your jaw muscle can finally relax on its own.
“This is an exercise to try to relax the chewing muscles, which are in spasm in TMJ dysfunction,” Dr. Leonard said, adding that the pencil should be held in place to avoid clenching your teeth.