05/27/2011 08:05 am ET | Updated Jul 26, 2011

Smart Strategies For Taming Headache Triggers

Sometimes you know exactly what’s causing that pounding in your skull -- like a too-loud TV or that jackhammer outside your office. Other times, you’re blindsided. Was it something you ate? Too little sleep? A change in the weather? The answer could be any of the above. Headaches -- whether debilitating migraines or less-painful-but-still-annoying tension headaches -- are often set off or made worse by a key trigger, says Brian Grosberg, M.D., director of the Inpatient Headache Program at Montefiore Headache Center in New York City. Here, the seven most common pain provokers, and how to head off the hurt. (See your doctor if these DIY fixes don’t do the trick; for those plagued by headaches, prescription meds may help.)