Society mistakenly believes that just the fact that many people have headaches makes them normal. Many people have that occasional headache but the frequency of how many people have them regularly may surprise you. At least one time per month about 15% of the population experience a headache, but there are some estimates and say that there are 5% or more have a headache every single day. This type of headache can be that only constant, but also debilitating at times. And headaches are one of the most common causes of disability with Americans. They are one of the top reasons for visiting the doctor and more than 250 million days are lost from work because of this disabling headache that cost over $25 billion per year. Headaches affect the entire population, but women are twice as likely to get them as men.
There are some estimates that say they're over 100 different types of headaches with a primary or secondary cause. Primary or recurrent headaches are not caused by an underlying disease or structural problem and 90% of most headaches our primary. Secondary headaches are caused by an underlying condition and or disease. Tension and migraine headaches are far the most common in society but they're also cluster and sinus headaches which are very prevalent and the Cincinnati area.
While there are many different types of headaches, there's also a multitude of causes for these headaches. The scariest part is that research shows that only 10% of headaches have a true definitive cause or etiology. While our healthcare focuses on the symptoms and effects rather than finding the true root cause. Some potential causes include blood pressure, eye strain and improper diet but also changes in the pressure of the weather, fatigue, lack of sleep, sensory stress (light, sounds and smell) medication, abnormal posture, spinal dysfunction and also hormonal changes. In very rare cases, headaches can be attributed to very serious conditions such as tumors, stroke, meningitis and/or diabetes.
Reducing the severity of the headache to make you feel better, by just covering up the pain but finding out why you're experiencing this pain in the first place and then corrected that should be your first concern. There are many actions that you can take to reduce or alleviate headaches which include reduced stressors which cause muscle tension/tightness causing our nervous system to be off-balance. We all know that stress causes tension which leads to your spine being pulled out of alignment resulting tension and spasm. Stretching is important to help reduce this the tightness and giving you more range of motion or only in your neck but also in the joints. Sitting properly at your desk computer along with improve ergonomics can help along with practicing regular range of motion exercises of your neck, head, shoulders and upper back will help reduce the tension and tightness that may cause a headache. There are additional actions which include improving your nutrition, drinking more water and reducing time in front computer/phone. Certain foods cause inflammation in your muscles and joints. Dairy products, sugars and certain grains which may trigger his headache symptoms. Certain types of these foods can cause inflammation in the body which can lead to irritation and that headache. Certain foods have allergens and chemicals which may exacerbate the headache symptoms. The importance of drinking water and keeping your body well hydrated as dehydration causes a headache. I aim for 2 to 3 bottles of water every day. Technology is such an essential aspect of our lives and this can be very difficult to limit your screen time but it's important to try to reduce that as much as you can. One of the major causes of headaches is technology and texting not only among older adults but teenagers too.
As a chiropractor many these headaches are caused from tension/tightness, stressors, physical injuries or just bad posture mechanics. It's important to have your spine checked to see exactly the benefits of a property aligned spine and how your spine/nervous system work much more efficiently that only to improve the quality of your life but also reduce those headaches. Headaches are a big issue in society as we said but they don't have to be a major part of your life. Let your chiropractor consult and examine to find out what is the root cause and have a plan of action to try to alleviate and fix the problem. Reduce your stress, stretch and exercise on a regular basis and improve the quality of your diet and nutrition. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Thanks for reading, Dr. Joe