Headaches are one of the most common problems Americans suffer from. Headaches vary in length, severity, and frequency, but I think we can all agree they are very unpleasant. The first response is going to be to use a pill or just try to tough it out, but there are other solutions out there that are much more sustainable, such as a chiropractic adjustment.
Common Types of Headaches:
- Tension headaches are by far the most common type of headache found in patients. The focal point of the pain can vary widely, but most people describe it as a dull achy feeling on each side of their head or around their eyes. Tension headaches generally come on slowly but they are also slow to leave. Avoiding tension headaches can be difficult in our busy daily lives, but a couple things you can do are to be conscious of your posture throughout the day and seek regular chiropractic care.
- Migraine headaches are less common but much more severe than tension headaches. Migraines are intense throbbing headaches that cause nausea, sensitivity to light and even affect vision. There is some speculation about what really causes migraines, but research suggests that it runs in family genetics. Migraines can also be related to an allergy or a sensitivity to something in your diet.
- Cluster headaches are even rarer than migraines but the pain can be very severe. The pain is usually localized behind the eyes or on one side of the head. The reason they are called cluster headaches is because they can flare up several times over the course of a day.
What causes headaches?
The cause of a headache is typically called a trigger. The type of headache you have and its severity is going to be a good indicator of what that trigger could be. A good habit to get into would be keeping a headache diary. The documentation of each headache will reveal patterns in your day-to-day life, your diet, and your overall well-being.
- Stress is the most common cause of headaches, and it results from a tightening of our body due to excess mental or physical pressure.
- Emotional swings are also a big cause of headaches. When we experience overwhelming emotions, whether good or bad, they can increase blood pressure and produce unexpected health issues.
- Eating certain foods, especially those containing MSG and nitrates, can cause a dull pounding headache and increased blood pressure.
- In rare cases chronic headaches can be due to exposure to poisons, such as lead, asbestos, and insecticides.
How Can a Chiropractor help?
Chiropractors use spinal manipulation to relieve stress in your blood vessels and nervous system. While this may not completely fix a recurring headache, it greatly reduces the severity and allows you to continue on with your day-to-day life. Chiropractors can also offer nutritional advice, posture advice and educate you on ergonomics. The goal of chiropractic care for headaches is to reduce the severity of the symptoms and restore a natural and healthy rhythm for your body.