Pandemic Brought More Woes for Kids Prone to Headaches

By Denise Mann HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Aug. 9, 2022 (HealthDay Information)

Add extra frequent complications in children who’re already susceptible to them to the listing of ills related to the pandemic.

Earlier than the pandemic, 60% of youngsters reported complications on lower than 15 days of the month. After the beginning of the pandemic, this quantity fell to 50%. What’s extra, the share of youngsters reporting fixed day by day complications elevated from 22% earlier than the pandemic to 36% after the beginning of the pandemic.

“It is a actually massive enhance,” mentioned research creator Dr. Marc DiSabella. He is director of the Headache Program at Kids’s Nationwide Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Precisely how COVID-19 elevated headache frequency amongst children who get migraines is not totally understood, however the researchers have their theories — particularly extra stress, much less bodily exercise and extra display screen time.

“COVID-19 disrupted normalcy, and most of the people with migraines are Sort A personalities and wish management, and COVID-19 wiped that out,” DiSabella mentioned.

For the research, 107 kids and adolescents accomplished a questionnaire about their complications and life-style components because the begin of the pandemic. Along with extra frequent complications, near 50% of youngsters mentioned their complications obtained worse after the onset of the pandemic and lots of reported worse nervousness and temper, which might contribute to headache frequency and severity.

Totally 54% of youngsters mentioned that they obtained much less train, and 61% spent greater than six hours a day on their screens in the course of the pandemic. An excessive amount of display screen time and fewer train may be headache triggers, DiSabella mentioned.

This doesn’t suggest that oldsters or children with complications are powerless.

“Reset routines,” DiSabella mentioned. “It is probably not the identical routine that your little one had pre-pandemic, however attempting to ascertain regular train will help.”

If staff sports activities aren’t a risk, discover a secure different so your children can get sufficient bodily exercise all through the day. “If children have complications greater than 4 occasions per 30 days that influence their high quality of life, search medical consideration,” he mentioned.

The findings had been revealed on-line within the Journal of Youngster Neurology.

The outcomes mirror what Dr. Christina Szperka has been seeing in her observe because the starting of the pandemic. She is the director of the Pediatric Headache Program on the Kids’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“Some sufferers have actually skilled worsened headache traits because the COVID-19 pandemic,” mentioned Szperka, who was not a part of the research.

“This can be resulting from social isolation, stress, decreased bodily exercise, or elevated display screen time [with the postural effects], however sufferers whose complications have worsened because the COVID pandemic usually tend to search care and extra possible to reply to surveys about the issue,” she mentioned. Poor posture whereas viewing screens can pressure the neck and again, inflicting or worsening complications.

Nonetheless, some children with complications might have benefited from elevated flexibility with their faculty schedule and decreased social strain in the course of the early days of the pandemic, Szperka added. For instance, kids with a migraine throughout digital faculty might typically pay attention into class with their digital camera turned off fairly than lacking the category as they might throughout in-person faculty, she mentioned.


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“It is vital that we attempt to perceive each the optimistic and detrimental results of the COVID-19 pandemic to be able to assist our sufferers long-term,” Szperka mentioned.

Extra data

The American Academy of Pediatrics has extra on complications in children.

SOURCES: Marc DiSabella, DO, director, Headache Program, Kids’s Nationwide Hospital, Washington, D.C.; Christina Szperka, MD, director, Pediatric Headache Program, Kids’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Journal of Youngster Neurology


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