My daughter has started getting lots of headaches in the last 6 months and she is 14, we have had her eyes tested and they are fine could this have anything to do with her growing? 

Many girls begin to have headaches around this time and for many different reasons. The best thing to monitor is that she is maintaining a good diet and drinking plenty of water. When a headache starts to appear, try getting her to lie down in a darkened room with a heat pack around her neck before taking too many pain killers, as that is a hard habit to break once established.

  • Hormonal Headaches: As girls start to form a regular cycle to their periods they may experience hormonal headaches around ovulation or pre-menstrually. This varies from girl to girl and some may have absolutely no trouble at all. Hormonal headaches often feel very constrictive, and may be helped with care with the diet around this time of the month. Avoiding cheese, preservatives, and artificial colorings and flavorings, along with increased water intake may also help to settle hormonal headaches.
  • Cervical Headaches: Often girls can get headaches caused by tension in the deep small muscles at the top of their neck, at the base of the skull. This is especially common in girls who poke their chin forward in standing or who slouch the upper body forward in sitting. Gentle massage of these muscles, along with heat over the area can help settle the symptoms very quickly. Gentle mobility exercises for the upper back and postural strengthening exercises will help prevent these in the future.
  • Neural Tension Headaches: As the spine grows longer, the spinal cord and nerves that run down inside it have to lengthen to adapt to their new positions. Unlike muscles, nerves are not very stretchy so it does take some time for them to adjust. If a girl has had a recent growth spurt, or is studying a lot, she will often be very tight in the muscles of the neck and the upper back. This tension may restrict the movement of the nerves that come out of the spine and around into the ribs. This will reduce the sliding of the whole spinal cord, and will make her feel tight when she tries to touch her chin to her chest. Constant strain in this area can be responsible for nagging headaches, especially those that are resistant to pain killers. Gentle massage and focused strengthening of the upper back can help immensely in reducing this kind of headache.

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