Many people suffer from frequent headaches and struggle to find relief. Headaches can be painfully debilitating and interfere with our ability to live our lives. Let’s talk about some tricks we can use to minimize the impact of frequent headaches.
The first important step is identifying what is triggering your headaches so that you can try to manage or avoid that trigger in order to avoid the headache. Let’s discuss some common causes of headaches and what we can do about them.
Hydration is a simple one. Many of us do not get the amount of water intake that our bodies need and this can cause a dehydration headache. A simple way to be able to tell whether or not you are hydrated is by the color of your urine. A light straw collar means you’re well hydrated any darker yellow or orange and you definitely need to increase your water intake.
Foods we eat can also relate to our headaches. Either going to long without eating or eating something that doesn’t agree with your body can trigger a headache. A good example of this is a popular trend right now called the ketogenic diet. As the body's metabolism switches from burning carbohydrate to burning keytones for fuel, headaches are common but should not persist as the body grows accustomed to the new metabolism.
Headaches from toxicity, hangovers, medication side-effects or withdrawal are also common causes of headaches. Hydrating and detoxing can help with these. Traumatic head injuries or whiplash are other more obvious causes of headaches that are easily avoided in most cases.
Over 70% of headaches arise from problems with the cervical spine and its related structures! Dysfunction in the joints of the neck and the surrounding musculature can cause many issues but how does it manifest? Poor posture, extended time sitting or using technology and not getting enough exercise can lead to a misaligned skeleton and spastic muscles. Muscles around the head and neck often cause headaches for people when they are in spasm, and can refer pain to different locations in the body, like up into the head or down into the shoulders.
Luckily for the headaches arriving from dysfunction in the head and neck, we have highly trained professionals that can get to the cause.
Chiropractors are trained in spinal care, specifically in detecting dysfunction in the spine. Misaligned spinal joints directly interfere with the communication transmission of the nervous system, which can lead to a wide array of functional issues in the body. Furthermore, when joints are misaligned and irritated, the surrounding muscles increase their activity as a protective mechanism. Both the inflamed joints and the spastic muscles can cause spinal pain and headaches.
If you can't immediately get into see a professional, there are some things one can do on their own to manage their headaches. Icing or heating the muscles at the base of the skull and neck, pain creams and massage can all provide temporary relief in many cases but as long as the the true cause of dysfunction persists, the symptoms will return.
If you have headaches and want to dig deeper to identify their true cause, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Pascal Chiropractic. Keep in mind that this blog is intended to discuss common recurrent headaches such as migraines, tension, cluster, sinus, etc. This is not a comprehensive list of all headaches, triggers, or interventions and should not substitute professional consultation. If you or a loved one are currently experiencing the “worst headache ever” with or without changes in pupil reaction, speech, and motor function, please treat the situation as a medical emergency and act appropriately.
For more on headaches, check our related post on Headaches and Chiropractic