Daily headaches aren't something you should have to live your life with. Top research publications have found chiropractic care can provide 50% or more relief for headaches without the risky side effects typically associated with drugs and medications. Almost everyone will experience a headache at some point in their life. Luckily, headaches are rarely life-threatening. But, for people dealing with chronic headaches; they can dramatically impact your quality of life.
The International Headache Society has classified over 150 different types of headaches. The most common are migraines, tension, and cluster headaches. Knowing what kind of headache you are dealing with is the first step towards finding the best plan of care to find relief.
-Migraine: sensitivity to light and sound is common during migraine headaches. Approximately 1/3rd of people will experience an aura before the onset of a migraine
-Tension: almost everyone will experience a tension headache during their life. Stress, anxiety, dehydration, and even posture can trigger a tension headache
-Cluster: affecting more men than women, cluster headaches causes severe pain behind or around your eye and last between 15 minutes and 3 hours
A Migraine Headache
There are lots of people who suffer from migraine headaches. There are two types of migraine headaches.
The first is called a migraine with aura, where someone receives a signal (such as a flashing light or strange smell) that a migraine is about to start. The other type of migraine headache is called a migraine without aura, where the migraine starts without warning. A migraine can lead to nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to bright lights and loud noises. Some migraines can last for many hours.
A Tension Headache
A tension headache is the most common type of headache people experience. A lot of people describe a tension headache as feeling as though their head is being squeezed.
This type of headache develops because there are issues related to the scalp muscles. If there is a misalignment in the spine, you may experience tugging and pulling on the muscles at the base of the skull. This can tighten the muscles on top of the head, leading to a tension headache. Even though this can be uncomfortable, a chiropractor can work with you personally, developing a custom treatment plan to address why and how to alleviate the pain.
A Cluster Headache
Another type of headache that a chiropractor may be able to treat is called a cluster headache. This is an unusual but painful type of headache. This headache develops when there is a nerve issue going on in the face. The headache is only on one-half of the face. On the impacted side of the face, you may notice twitching, sweating, and paralysis.
Some people also complain that their eyes start to tear up and water. Your nose may also start to run, but only on that half of the face.
The Top 3 Causes of Headaches
A variety of factors can cause headaches. The good news is that many of these lifestyle factors are habits and patterns that you can control. By understanding a few of the most common causes of headaches, you will have the information to make the changes needed to find lasting relief from headaches.
Ironically, one of the most common causes of headaches is the medication usually prescribed to treat headaches. Overuse of many of over the counter medications is a leading factor in a refractory or bounce-back headache, which is why pills may not be the best option for care. Many tension headaches get their start with repetitive motion and poor posture while sitting or standing at work.
Keeping your shoulders back and your spine in proper alignment throughout the day can help prevent future episodes. And finally- most of the good stuff like coffee, cheese, alcohol, and meats have substances that can cause headaches. You don't need to eliminate them, but we recommend having a watchful eye towards moderation.
Medications: many commonly prescribed pain-relieving medications (including those prescribed for headache relief) list headaches as a top side effect
Foods: coffee, cheese, alcohol, and many types of meat contain substances that can contribute to headaches.
Posture: forward head posture due to long hours sitting or standing at work is a primary factor in the development of tension and cervicogenic headaches
Natural Care for Headaches
Three of the most effective natural solutions for headaches include magnesium, chiropractic care, and b-vitamins. Low levels of magnesium have been linked to migraine headaches. Taking a magnesium supplement has the potential to reduce the occurrence of migraine headaches without any of the side-effects typically associated with painkillers.
B-vitamins are a powerful natural way to reduce stress and improve your mood. If stress is a significant factor in your headaches- B-vitamins may be a natural fit for relief. And finally, postural changes and muscle tensions are one of the leading causes of migraine headaches. Chiropractic care has been shown to help reduce the frequency, severity, and duration of headaches. That's what I call a winning trifecta!
Magnesium: low levels of magnesium has been reported as a risk factor migraine headaches
Chiropractic: researchers have discovered a reduction in the frequency, severity, and duration of headaches for individuals under chiropractic care
B-Vitamins: these powerful vitamins have the potential to help reduce stress and improve mood which are essential factors when finding relief from headaches
Chiropractic Care Treats and Prevents
If you suffer from headaches, this can be a serious quality-of-life issue. Luckily, this is not something that you need to deal with on your own. A chiropractor can work with you and identify the root cause of your headache - a chiropractor can locate and identify subluxations (aka misalignments) of vertebrae by using precise and specific chiropractic adjustments. They can be treated using a chiropractic instrument, such as the Activator, or from a manual chiropractic adjustment delivered by the chiropractor’s hands. If you are ready to get rid of headaches, you should consider a chiropractic adjustment! Thanks for reading, Dr. Joe