Headaches are one of the most common forms of pain. There are various forms of headaches with tension headaches being the most common.
Tension headaches are due to tight muscles in your shoulders, neck, scalp and jaw. They are often related to stress, depression or anxiety. You are more likely to get tension headaches if you work too much, have poor posture, don’t get enough sleep, miss meals, or use alcohol.
Other common types of headaches include migraines, cluster headaches, and sinus headaches. Most people can feel much better by making lifestyle changes and learning ways to relax , which will be reviewed.
Taking medication in the short-term may offer some temporary relief but will not get to the root cause of the issue. Ironically, rebound headaches may develop as a result of medication overuse.
Remember when you have a symptom your body is trying to tell you something. A change in your environment is required. This may involve your stress level, inactivity, posture, sleep position, what you may or may not be eating, etc.
If you take something consistently to mask these symptoms it is similar to taking the batteries out of a smoke alarm or putting a piece of black electric tape over your check engine light in your car.
What are the natural solutions for headaches?
1. Stress reduction
The more stressed you are, the harder you might find it to exercise, eat a healthy diet and get good sleep — which are all important for preventing headaches. Various forms of meditation have been proven to reduce the body’s stress response and anxiety very quickly. See: How to reduce stress in five minutes.
A quick workout may be able to stop your headache from progressing, possibly because it triggers the release of pain-reducing neurotransmitters.
Choose a low-impact activity, like riding a stationary bike, to avoid adding further stress to your pounding head. Regular workouts are also recommended. According to the American Headache Society:
“Regular exercise can reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches and migraines. When one exercises, the body releases endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers.
Exercise reduces stress and helps individuals to sleep at night. Stress and inadequate sleep are two migraine triggers.”
Pain in the head region can have many causes that you may eventually need the assistance of a health care provider to sort out but prevention and self care are low hanging fruits. They can be easily accessible and simple changes in your day that make a significant difference in how great you can feel.
Posture can be related to headaches since the ideal position for your head is just above the shoulder. Every centimeter your head is positioned forward adds four pounds of pressure plus the weight of your head. It seems silly but this is like holding a bowling ball overhead and then leaning it forward forty-five degrees and trying to hold it. Ouch!
Watch this quick video and I will teach you how to reset your posture
Chiropractic Care & Posture
An article was published in the 1995 Journal of BioMed and Pharmacotherapies by a well-known research scientist named Nikolai Bogduk. “The Anatomy and Physiology of a Headache” presents compelling evidence that all headaches stem directly or indirectly from the neck. Bogduk wrote about a specific part of the spinal cord called the trigeminal cervical nucleus that has been found to be a major factor in all headaches. The article concludes with a statement advising all headache sufferers to be evaluated bio-mechanically for any postural or neck aberrations in order to repair the root cause of the headache. This recommendation comes as a permanent solution rather than a temporary masking of symptoms through drug use.
Many headache sufferers experience significant relief from Chiropractic care.
Bogduk’s study does an exceptional job explaining why all headache sufferers can greatly benefit from a Chiropractic adjustment.
The science behind how the spine, posture, and mechanics of the body relate to headaches is very clear.
Chiropractors have been successfully addressing the cause of the problem for over a hundred years.
Chiropractic care achieves great success while improving the overall health and well-being of people from all walks of life.
(thanks to Dr Dan Sullivan for his relentless passion to research http://chiropracticadvocate.com/headache-solution-month-a-better-reason-for-awareness/)
One of the best things about chiropractic care is that it’s a drug-free and surgery-free path to healing naturally. The chiropractor can reduce oxidative stress in the body, just like an antioxidant.
Oxidative stress is the damage that occurs when free radicals outnumber the body’s antioxidants. Oxidative stress damages all body cell components: proteins, lipids and DNA.
What can the Doctor of Chiropractic do to help?
Your Doctor of Chiropractic is primarily concerned with helping correct any neuromusculoskeletal (nerves, muscles and bones of the body) source of your headache. He or she will perform a special spinal examination to determine whether the symptoms may be alleviated by chiropractic care. The examination can determine whether the headache may be caused, or aggravated by any misaligned vertebrae in the spine, a condition known as a subluxation, which may be creating undue nerve interference.
Chiropractic care may help prevent unnecessary tension and/or irritation in the neck and head. In some instances, chiropractic adjustments (specific spinal manipulations) can provide immediate relief for headache victims. A study of 87 headache victims who were treated with chiropractic adjustments over a two-year period revealed marked improvement. The common migraine had ceased altogether or was much improved in 85 percent of the females and 50 percent of the males. For those with classical migraine, the improvement rate was 78 percent in females and 75 percent in males.
Every headache victim is an individual case and may require special instructions or recommendations from their chiropractor. If your condition requires the attention of other health care specialists, your chiropractor will refer you to them.
Several clinical trials indicate that spinal manipulation therapy may help treat headaches. In one such study, 22 percent of those who received chiropractic manipulation reported more than a 90 percent reduction of headaches; meanwhile, 49 percent reported that the headache intensity was significantly reduced after receiving chiropractic treatment.
Chiropractic adjustments or spinal manipulation helps to alleviate the stress of your system. Studies suggest that chiropractic manipulation reduces tension and migraine headaches. The Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College conducted a study involving 729 subjects, of whom 613 received chiropractic care and their outcomes ranged from good to excellent, indicating that it’s a positive and beneficial headache remedy.
Headaches (HA) originating from the neck are one of the most common associated symptoms of neck pain (NP). For example, those with NP are two to ten times more likely to suffer from HA (compared to those without NP).
The International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-2) suggests the following three types of headaches are associated with neck pain: cervicogenic HA (CHA), whiplash-related HA (WRHA) and tension-type HA (TTHA). Tension-type headaches are the most common, and it is estimated that up to 38 per cent of adults suffer TTHA annually, with lifetime prevalence up to 86 per cent. The point prevalence of CHA in the general population is 2.5 per cent and up to 17.8 per cent in those who suffer from five or more headache days each month.
For chronic TTHA, evidence from one RCT suggests that multimodal care including cervical and thoracic mobilization, craniocervical exercise and postural correction is more effective than usual GP care
Manipulation in addition to light massage and heat resulted in improvements in pain, disability and HA frequency for those with chronic CHA. A second RCT demonstrated that both manipulation/mobilization and exercise were more effective than no intervention, but equally effective when compared to each other with respect to improving HA frequency and intensity and pain associated with neck movements and joint tenderness
Headaches originating from the neck are one of the most common associated symptoms of neck pain. For example, those with neck pain are two to ten times more likely to suffer from HA (compared to those without neck pain).
Not all headaches require a doctor’s attention. But sometimes headaches warn of a more serious disorder. Let your health care provider know if you have sudden, severe headaches. Get medical help right away if you have a headache after a blow to your head, or if you have a headache along with a stiff neck, fever, confusion, loss of consciousness, or pain in the eye or ear.
If you would like a consultation to discuss natural options for your headaches: