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Water is a great pain killer

Next time you have a headache, leave the painkillers in the packet and just drink a glass of water.

Regularly sipping water can ease the severity of headaches and migraines, reducing the need for tablets.

Scientists found drinking about seven glasses a day was enough to ease pain and improve the quality of life in patients who regularly suffered headaches.

Researchers from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands noticed in 2005 that a patient told to drink more for a bladder problem saw his migraines get better.

Lead researcher Dr Mark Spigt and his team recruited more than 100 frequent headache sufferers and instructed them on how to ease their discomfort, including reducing stress, improving sleep and avoiding caffeine. But half the patients were also told to drink 1.5 litres of water a day for three months, on top of their normal liquid intake. At the end of the study, patients filled out a questionnaire called the Migraine Specific Quality of Life index to say how they felt. The results, published in journal Family Practice, showed those drinking extra water scored far higher on the questionnaire.

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