For many, headaches are simply a part of daily life, often ignored as soon as they are fought with an over-the-counter pain relief pill. However, these pesky aches can be the result of larger problems, and depending on the intensity, require more attention than what temporary pain relief medicine can provide.
No matter what type of headache you experience, paying a little more attention to your headaches and the ways in which you treat them can lead to a pain-free life and better sense of well being.
Below are our tips to ensure that you know what you’re experiencing, why you’re experiencing it and alternative treatment solutions:
Know your headache
Headaches are one of the most common types of chronic pain experienced across the globe, ranging in strength, duration, location, and triggers. Just like the individuals who host them, every headache is different, and should be treated as such. This means that not all headaches can simply be fought off with pain relief medication, most should actually be combated with natural remedies and by avoiding triggers.
Types of headaches
The two of the most common types of headaches are cervicogenic headaches and migraines. Neck pain and cervical muscle tenderness are common and prominent symptoms of primary headache disorders. Migraine headaches are considered to be the most painful, typically brought on by triggers that differ for each individual, whereas cervicogenic headaches are often the result of bad posture and neck tension.
Although migraine and tension type headaches are generally considered separate conditions, Featherstone (1985) found literature to support that they share several common underlying mechanisms including cervical spine dysfunction.
Head, shoulders, knees and toes
The body and the systems within it are highly complex and all connected, with nerves extending throughout your extremities. Therefore, taking care of your body as a whole rather than focusing on one area alone is going to significantly reduce headaches both in the short term and assist with prevention for the future.
One of the simplest things to do to help your body fend off headaches is drink plenty of water and eat a nutrient rich diet. As with most other sicknesses and types of pain, keeping your body as healthy as you can will minimize the frequency and intensity of headaches.
Treating headaches with Chiropractic care
Beyond general self-care, headache sufferers might still feel the need to pursue further treatment. Natural remedies can be much more effective than medicine, as they account for the individual needs of the person and their pain. Chiropractic care is quickly becoming the treatment of choice for many as it is safer, and more effective.
Bryans et al. (2011) state that almost without exception, chiropractic manipulation of the neck was found to be superior in terms of reducing tension, headache frequency and improving functional status when compared to other standard medical treatments. Chiropractic adjustments can also be very effective as a migraine treatment as it improves functionality and alleviates the stress on your system. The benefit of chiropractic care doesn’t end solely at physical treatment. Chiropractors believe in taking a whole body approach to natural remedies therefore also utilize and incorporate things like dietary recommendations and foods to avoid, posture guidance, ergonomics, exercises and relaxation techniques, as well as lifestyle changes.
It can be tempting to resort to medicine when you feel a headache coming on, but you might be doing yourself a disservice in the long run. Your health is important and so is your comfort. Headaches should not stop you from living life to the fullest. Next time you feel that too familiar tension in your temples, drink some water and turn to a Chiropractor to naturally relieve the pain and implement a plan for future prevention.
Bryans et al. (2011) Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headache, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 34(5):274-89
Featherstone (1985), Migraine and Muscle Contraction Headaches: a Continuum, Journal of Head and Face Pain 25(4):194-198