Printable Headache Log
If you get frequent headaches and migraines like I do, you may find this headache log useful. It was through the use of a headache journal like this one that I finally learned how to mitigate my migraine pain. I'm still trying to figure out all the triggers, so after I ran out of room on my hand-written migraine log I decide to go ahead and create this. Hope you find it useful.
Headache Log Templatefor Excel, OpenOffice, and Google Sheets
Download a printable headache log to keep a record of your symptoms and triggers. Or, use the spreadsheet to keep a record on your computer. If you travel a lot, you could use the Google Sheets version so that you always have access to the log (assuming you can connect to the internet).
"No installation, no macros - just a simple spreadsheet" - by Jon Wittwer
Use a Headache Log to Help Identify Triggers
A Major Step Towards Prevention is Understanding
I'm not a medical doctor, so don't take any of this as professional advice. But, if you are trying to prevent headaches or migraines, you might find some of this useful.
Migraines vs. Headaches
If you don't know the difference between a normal headache and a true migraine, I suggest you do some research. I've had headaches that were just as painful as some migraines, although most of the time a migraine is much worse. It's not just about the level of pain. Even though the causes, triggers, and symptoms can be similar, a migraine is a different beast, medically speaking. The last time I checked, the Migraine article on Wikipedia was pretty good.
Symptoms vs. Triggers
One of the main reasons for keeping a log of headaches and migraines is to help you identify the triggers, meaning the factors that can be the cause of a headache. Then, maybe you can work on avoiding or preventing the triggers. Symptoms, on the other head, are the effects of the headache, such as pain, nausea, dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound, etc.
It's important to record both symptoms and possible triggers. Symptoms are used to help you identify the type of headache or migraine. Recording the symptoms can also help you identify the effectiveness of medications. It was through the use of migraine log that I was able to identify the optimal time to take my Excedrin (i.e. immediately after I first notice the aura). Of course, what works for others may not work for you.
In my blog article, "Use a Headache Log to Help Identify Triggers" I've written in more detail about some of the following common headache and migraine triggers. See that article if you want to read about my experiences and leave comments.
- Water (lack of)
- Activity (e.g. exercise without hydration and electrolytes)
- Sleep (lack of and irregular)
- Stress (psychic)
- Muscle Tension (particularly in the neck)
- Food / Diet